International Lecture Series 2018
Harry and Virginia H. Van Wormer Lecture Fund
Enjoy the finest speakers in the arts and humanities. The Leonhardt Auditorium simulcast seatings provide digital HD projection, and an enhanced sound system for the hearing impaired.
ACT NOW: For Members-Only Simulcast Advance Series Discount, $180 for four lectures!
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Cartoonist for The New Yorker
January 15, 2018, 4:30 pm
I Only Read It for The Cartoons: An Insider's Cartoon History of "The New Yorker"
Bob Mankoff is the ultimate New Yorker cartoon insider. He's been a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker for 35 years and was its Cartoon Editor for 20 years. As editor, he viewed over 1,000 cartoons a week'in order to help select the 15 or so for the magazine, which over its long and storied history has published over 80,000 of them. In this fast-paced and funny multimedia presentation featuring cartoons and videos, Bob ushers you into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker (Shhh! You'll upset the fact-checkers) to show you the soup-tonuts process of cartoon creation, giving you a detailed look at his own work as well as the artists who keep you laughing weekly. Mankoff’s presentation will explain it all including how to increase your odds of winning the famous New Yorker caption contest.
Robert Mankoff’s career started, unexpectedly, by quitting a Ph.D. program in experimental psychology at The City University of New York in 1974. Shortly after, he began submitting cartoons to The New Yorker. Three years and over 2,000 cartoons later, he finally made the magazine and has since published over 950 cartoons. The New Yorker named Bob Cartoon Editor from 1997-2017. As editor, he spent his days mentoring cartoonists, new and old, towards the laughs that readers expect. By 2005, he started the "New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest." With over 2.5 million entries to date, the contest receives 5,000 reader submissions a week. The Washington Post said of his 2014 book How About Never – Is Never Good for You?: My Life In Cartoons – "Mankoff's deep understanding of humor, both its power and practice, is the live wire that crackles through his book … It's also an enormous window into the mystery and alchemy behind New Yorker cartoons."
Bestselling Suspense Writer
February 26, 2018, 4:30 pm
The Master Storyteller: A Conversation with Frederick Forsyth
Frederick Forsyth's eventful retelling of his life story along with tales from the thrill-writer's career, will reveal how adversity first prompted his move into writing fiction, how he almost started the Third World War, and what he really thinks of global politics and journalism. This very private man, whose biography is indicatively titled The Outsider, dislikes publicity and long resisted the offer of writing his own life's story. Forsyth has published 17 novels in his 45-year career. However, he stated in a 2015 interview, "I have never been a compulsive; I never had a message for the human race; and I called myself a mercenary because I did it for the money, not the fame and the glory." No matter what he reveals as his motivation, the world can never deny the impact that his storytelling has had on them or contributing to our understanding of complex global affairs.
Frederick Forsyth is arguably one of England's most prominent suspense writers. This former RAF pilot, investigative journalist for Reuters and the BBC, spy, and political commentator is best known for his meticulously complex novels, which are based on detailed factual research. Forsyth defined the modern thriller genre in 1971 with his novel The Day of The Jackal. British author Lee Child (author of the Jack Reacher series) described Jackal as the book that broke the classic mold with its lightening-paced storytelling, effortlessly cool reality, and unique "insider" information. Applying his skills as an investigative reporter and utilizing a natural penchant for storytelling, Forsyth has penned 12 novels which have been bestsellers around the world: including The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Fourth Protocol, and most recently The Kill List with many bestsellers being adapted to film. Forsyth holds the distinction of selling more than 70 million books worldwide in his career. He resides in Buckinghamshire, England.
Designer, Vietnam Veterans Memorial
March 19, 2018, 4:30 pm
An Afternoon with Maya Lin: At the Intersection of Art and Architecture
Maya Lin will give an illustrated lecture about the past 30 years of her career, which encompasses large-scale environmental installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works, and memorials. She redefined the idea of monument with her very first work, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, and has since gone on to pursue a remarkable career in both art and architecture, while still being committed to the exploration of time, memory, history and language. Her artwork interprets the world through a twenty-first century lens, utilizing technological methods to study and visualize the natural environment. Lin's architectural projects create a close dialogue between the landscape and built environment, and she is committed to advocating sustainable design solutions in all her works. She will also speak in depth about her final memorial, What is Missing, a project that raises awareness about the crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss.
Artist and designer Maya Lin interprets the natural world through history, politics, and culture, creating a body of work that balances art and architecture. Lin's installations, studio artworks, architecture, and memorials become a part of the land, merging physical and psychological environments and presenting a new way of seeing the world around us. Lin's memorials address the social and historical issues of our time. From the Vietnam Memorial, to The Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama and the Women's Table at Yale, Lin's art explores how we experience and relate to landscape, setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, memory, and language. Her interest in landscape has led to works influenced by topographies and geographic phenomena. In 2009 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts (the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence), and in 2016 the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian honor).
Lonnie G. Bunch III
Founding Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture | Smithsonian Institution
April 9, 2018, 4:30 pm
The Challenge of Building a National Museum
Lonnie Bunch will explore the history and struggle to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, focusing on a variety of challenges —including building on the National Mall, conceptual frameworks, public expectations, and the contextual terrain of race. He will reveal the strategies used to successfully navigate these challenges, and will also briefly survey the difficulties of chronicling race in American museums. Bunch will provide updates on the new institution's current status and on future projections, and share how the National Museum will help the Smithsonian transition from a 19th-century institution to a 21st-century enterprise.
Historian, author, curator, and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch III is the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened to critical and public acclaim in September 2016. As a public historian, a scholar who brings history to the people, Bunch has spent nearly 30 years in the museum field where he is regarded as one of the nation's leading figures in the historical and museum community. A prolific and widely published author, he has written on topics ranging from slavery, the black military experience, the American presidency, and all black towns in the American West —to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. Among his numerous honors in an incredible career, in 2016 he received the Visionary History Award from the DC Historical Society, the National Newspaper Publishers Association Torch Award, and was listed # 1 in the Washington Business Journal's Power 100 ratings and in Vanity Fair's Hall of Fame.
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VBMA Adult Public Programs Refund Policy
All Sales Are Final; please review your reservations carefully before submitting. We are unable to offer refunds or exchanges. However, the value of cancelled reservations may qualify as a tax-deductible donation; please notify the Museum at your earliest opportunity before the program date. Occasionally, programs are cancelled or postponed due to circumstances beyond the Museum’s control. When this occurs, you may elect to have your reservation honored for the rescheduled date or you may receive a refund if applicable. In some cases, the performance contract may set refund limitations. All refunds or exchanges are subject to a $10 non-refundable convenience fee.