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Smithsonian Material Culture Forum

Smithsonian Staff
The Material Culture Forum was organized in 1988 with a mission of maintaining the sense of a scholarly community throughout the Smithsonian museums, libraries, and research and cultural centers. The Forum provides staff with regular opportunities to interact with their colleagues in other disciplines, to share information about their fields, to think about different directions in their research, to develop new collaborative projects, or to just learn. The Forum considers topics from the vast world of objects that the Smithsonian collects, preserves, studies, and presents. Quarterly meetings of the Forum are open to all, including members of the outside academic community. 

Smithsonian Material Culture Forum's collections

 

The Magic Boxes of D-Day: How One Humble Invention Helped Make Operation Neptune Possible

<p><em>This presentation will focus on how technology can be simple but when employed in an innovative fashion, also transformative.</em></p> <p>Presenter: <strong><strong>Frank Blazich, Jr., PhD</strong>;</strong> Lead Curator of Military History at the National Museum of American History<br /><br />#112MCF</p>
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
37
 

Gratitude, Trauma and Repression: D-Day in French and American Collective Memory

<p><em>This presentation will focus on personalizing the memory of D-Day: how do memorials create official versus vernacular/local/personal memory? How does material culture inform memory? Whose responsibility is it to maintain memorials? Who gets remembered? Who gets forgotten?</em><br /></p><p>Presenter: <strong>Kate Clarke Lemay, PhD; H</strong>istorian at the National Portrait Gallery </p><p>#112MCF</p> <p></p>
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

African Americans, D-Day and World War II

<p><i>This presentation will highlight African Americans on D-Day, using a few select objects from the D-Day invasion currently on display at NMAAHC. It will also emphasize other African American experiences during World War II</i>.</p><p>Presenter: <b>Retired U.S. Army Colonel Krewasky A. Salter, PhD</b> is a guest associate curator and advisor at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where he curated the inaugural exhibition <i>Double Victory: The African American Military Experience</i>.<br /></p><p>#112MCF<br /></p>
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

National Native American Veterans Memorial

<p><i>As part of its NMAI Veterans Memorial project research, this presentation will feature the story of Charles Norman Shay who served at Normandy and has been honored with a memorial overlooking Omaha Beach and some of the other stories of Native American service connected to D-Day.</i></p><p>Presenters: <b>Rebecca Head Trautmann</b> is a curator and researcher working with contemporary art at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.</p><p></p><p><b>Herman J. Viola, PhD</b>, curator emeritus at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, and is an authority on American Indian history and culture and the exploration of the American West,</p><p>#112MCF</p><br /><br /><p></p>
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
5
 

Flak-Bait: A Story of Survival from World War II

<p><i>American aircrews flew the Martin B-26B Marauder bomber named Flak-Bait on more missions than any other American warplane during World War II, which included three times on D-Day.</i><br />Presenter: <b>Jeremy R. Kinney, PhD</b> is curator of the World War II American military aviation collection at the National Air and Space Museum.</p><p>#112MCF<br /></p><p></p>
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4
 

Intelligence Support for Operation OVERLORD

<p><em>Intelligence and counterintelligence played a critical role in the successful D-Day landings. German spies in Britain were captured and turned, codes were broken, operatives collected information behind enemy lines, aerial surveillance provided visibility in German troop movements and fortifications, and a successful deception campaign pointed the Germans to false landing sites. Without the accumulation of information and insight into German operations, the D-Day landing may have ended in disaster.</em><br /></p> <p>Presenter: <strong>Gregory Elder; </strong>chief historian at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and content manager for the DIA Museum, working in collaboration with Smithsonian Exhibits</p> <p>#112MCF<br /></p> <p></p>
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum
4