From Dorothy's ruby slippers to a speech that saved Teddy Roosevelt from assassination, this authoritative guide delivers in-depth reportage on the history of remarkable objects from the Smithsonian's collections. With charm and exuberance, The Object at Hand presents a behind-the-scenes vantage point of the Smithsonian collections.
Veteran Smithsonian magazine editor Beth Py-Lieberman weaves together adaptations of the magazine's extensive and compelling coverage and interviews with scholars, curators, and historians to take readers on an unforgettable journey through the Smithsonian museums. Objects are grouped into the themes audacity, utopia, fierce, haunting, deception, lost, desire, triumph, scale, optimism, playful, rhythm, and revealing to engage with the emotional dimensions of each object, how they relate to each other, and how they fit into the larger American story.
Py-Lieberman reflects on the profound connections between even outwardly dissimilar objects, and offers insight and stories from Smithsonian experts. The book explores artworks, scientific specimens, historical artifacts, airplanes, spacecraft, plants, and so much more, contemplating how each item represents different facets of humanity and resonates with cultural meaning in surprising ways. Whimsical, affecting, and insightful, The Object at Hand offers an intimate and exclusive tour of the Smithsonian collections.
In presenting its national collections, the Smithsonian Institution creates lifelong memories for millions of visitors annually. The Institution touches the lives of Americans in communities across the nation with outreach programs that offer the Smithsonian experience.
- 272 pages
- 45 halftone illustrations
- 9" x 6"
- Written by Beth Py-Lieberman