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Episode 22

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
We celebrate the Big Easy with the late great New Orleans street singer Snooks Eaglin, we hear New Orleans jazz from The Crescent City Serenaders, and we listen back to some vintage Cajun social music.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service Podcasts

Henry Casselli, artist talk (Pt3)

National Portrait Gallery
Portraits of astronauts John Glenn, Bob Crippin and John Young, by Henry Casselli -- the artist discusses his work.

Stacilee Ford, author talk

National Portrait Gallery
"Troubling American Women: Narratives of Gender and Nation in Hong Kong" -- author Stacilee Ford discusses her book.

John Ferling, author talk

National Portrait Gallery
"Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free"-- author John Ferling discusses his book on America's political journey from protest to revolution.

Lecture by David Hackett Fischer, cultural historian

National Portrait Gallery
David Hackett Fischer, cultural historian, spoke on Emmanuel Leutze's iconic painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware."

The Wild Orchid Mystery

Smithsonian Institution

You probably know orchids as the big, colorful flowers found in grocery stores and given as housewarming gifts. But those tropical beauties represent only a fraction of the estimated 25,000 orchid species worldwide. While their showy relatives fly off the shelves, North America’s more understated native orchids are disappearing in the wild. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are working to protect these orchids and their habitats, but first they need to solve a surprisingly difficult problem: how to grow one.

Space Jocks & Moon Rocks

Smithsonian Institution

When NASA’s Apollo 11 mission sent the first astronauts to the moon 50 years ago, there were many things we didn’t know. Like whether the moon’s surface would turn out to be a field of quicksand, if space germs would infect the astronauts, or what exactly the moon was made of. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we join forces with the National Air and Space Museum’s podcast, AirSpace, to explore the mysteries of lunar science: what we didn't know then, and what we still don't know today.

Listen to AirSpace, stories that defy gravity:

Penny Colman, author talk

National Portrait Gallery
"Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World" -- author Penny Colman discusses her book.

Keith Waters, author talk

National Portrait Gallery
"The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68" discussion by author Keith Waters

Jack Pierson, artist talk

National Portrait Gallery
Jack Pierson discusses his self-portraits on view in "Difference and Desire in American Portraiture"

"Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, 3 leads" by artist Brian O'Doherty, Face-to-Face talk

National Portrait Gallery
James McManus, professor of art history, California State University, Chico, discusses Brian O' Doherty's work "Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, 3 leads" on view in the exhibition "Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture"

Steve Pyke, artist talk

National Portrait Gallery
Photographer Steve Pyke discusses his work on display in "Portraiture Now: Feature Photography"

Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln portrait, Face-to-Face talk

National Portrait Gallery
Erin Carlson Mast, curator at Lincoln's Cottage, discusses Mary Todd Lincoln

Lady Bird Johnson portrait, Face-to-Face talk

National Portrait Gallery
The NPG's Amy Baskette discusses a portrait of Lady Bird Johnson by Boris Artzybasheff

Best of the Rest

Smithsonian Institution

Big Bird in space. Saving a multi-million-dollar painting. Smokey the *real* Bear. These are some of the stories we've been itching toshare, but didn’t have room for… until now. To close out Season 2, we’re serving up a few of our favorite Smithsonian “shorties,”plus we’ll check in with our most talked about characters from this past year. We’ll be back forSeason 3in August 2018! 

Today's Lesson

National Air and Space Museum

As part of NASA’s Teacher in Space Program, Christa McAuliffe prepared lesson plans and lectures to beam into classrooms from orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. She, and the rest of the Challenger crew, were lost when the Shuttle broke apart 73 seconds after launch. This episode is about the lessons she had planned to perform in space, which now form an important part of her legacy.

Christa planned six science activities, known as the six lost lessons, that were to be used as educational resources for students around the world. The Challenger Center, in partnership with NASA and STEM on Station, worked with astronauts Ricky Arnold and Joe Acaba to film these demonstrations on the International Space Station and complete these lessons.

Emily, Matt, and Nick reflect on the Teacher in Space program, the lost lessons, and the impact McAuliffe had on a generation of students, teachers, and astronauts.

You can find more information about Christa McAuliffe’s lost lessons, including videos, lesson plans, and other STEM resources at

Frank Romero interview excerpt

Archives of American Art
The 1974 "Los Four" exhibition at the L.A. County Museum of Art received a scathing review in the L.A. Times from art critic William Wilson. The critic argued that the Los Four artists Frank Romero, Gilber Lujan, Carlos Almaraz, and Roberto de la Rocha could not legitimately represent a Chicano street style. Wilson wrote that the four educated artists, "by the very act of leaving the barrio, ceased to be authentic folk artists." Romero defends the exhibition in this interview with Jeffrey Rangels.

Gilbert Luján interview excerpt

Archives of American Art
The "Los Four" exhibition—considered the first Chicano art exhibition in a Los Angeles museum—opened at the Art Gallery at University of California, Irvine in 1973 and then traveled to the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 1974. In this interview, founding member of the Los Four art collective, Gilbert "Magu" Luján, described the show's unexpected success.

Episode 8

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Gourd banjo music from Mike Seeger, a rare recording of a young Bob Dylan, vocal harmonies from the Bahamas, the gentle touch of Brazilian guitar master Luiz Bonfa, and the final performance of folk legend Dave Van Ronk. Plus: a cowboy ballad from Lead Belly, and “Mean Talking Blues” from Woody Guthrie.

Episode 31

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
In this musical pub-crawl, we explore the joys and perils of the drinking life; songs about beer, wine, whiskey and moonshine; sad drunks, mad drunks, mean drunks, and just plain stupid drunks; booze-soaked classics from Memphis Slim, Roscoe Holcomb, Lead Belly, Dock Boggs and more.

Stuart Davis, Self-portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Mary Cassatt, Self-portrait

National Portrait Gallery

John Singleton Copley self-portrait, Face-to-Face talk

National Portrait Gallery
Liz Rideal, of London's National Portrait Gallery, discusses John Singleton Copley's self portrait on display in the exhibition "American Origins"
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