Jerrold Hirsch, professor emeritus of history, has been invited to give a guest a lecture at the Frazier Museum in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 15, in connection with the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, “Kentucky By Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture.” His talk is entitled “Rediscovering America: The Federal Writers’ Project’s Legacy and Challenge.” He will also be interviewed for a PBS documentary on Kentucky’s role in the work on the Index of American Design. Hirsch was involved in planning the exhibit and has an essay, “Kentucky Folk Art: New Deal Approaches,” in the book/catalogue for the show, entitled “Kentucky By Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture.” The book has been nominated for several awards. The Index of American Design was one of the most significant undertakings of the Federal Art Project—the visual arts program of the Works Progress Administration. Part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, this ambitious program set out to discover and document an American style in everyday objects. The makers of the Index of American design saw themselves as rediscovering an American artistic identity that could be seen in the popular and folk arts created by and for ordinary Americans whose artistic impulse and creativity had gone unappreciated, indeed, had been dismissed as unimportant, when it was not denigrated.

Daniel Mandell, professor of history, has joined the Yale Indian Papers Project as a subject specialist and consultant. The project is “a scholarly editing endeavor and collaborative research initiative that promotes an understanding of and dialogue on the historical and cultural forces that have shaped New England Indian life for several hundreds of years.” Mandell is involved with transcribing, annotating and commenting on documents relating to Indians, circa 1620-1880, from the Massachusetts State Archives.
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