Last December, just as a major snowstorm was beginning to pummel the Midwest, I jetted off to Milwaukee to present a salon at the Milwaukee Art Museum in a wonderful exhibition space called Mrs. M.—–’s Cabinet. Created by the Chipstone Foundation, this intimate gallery blends fact and fantasy with a special collection of objects curated by a time-traveling ghost (Learn more here!). In my talk, “Time Traveling Objects: Past, Future, Retrofuture, and Material Culture,” I mused about some of the ways that objects themselves can travel through time or bridge historical eras.
Here’s the blurb that I provided to MAM in advance of my talk:
In this talk, Dr. Sarah Beetham will peel back the layers of meaning that activate objects with historical significance. From a Revolutionary War soldier monument steeped in Civil War memory to a tintype photograph shot in 2013 with a camera that once captured the image of Jefferson Davis, she will explore significant things that seem to exist in more than one era, confounding viewers with their time traveling powers. With a sensibility that is one part scholarly, one part steampunk, Dr. Beetham will probe the often fluid and sometimes frustrating relationship between stuff and time.
And as of today, thanks to the folks at Chipstone, video is now available! Enjoy below: