On a road trip taken during a move from Atlanta to Seattle in 2001, Tim Gruenewald was struck by the brutal differences in the preservation and commemoration of two historic sites—the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre and Mount Rushmore, both in South Dakota and involving the Lakota. In 2015, Gruenewald released the film Sacred Ground, which “explores the contrasting memories and mythologies about the American past” (xi) concerning these two sites. He continues this exploration of memory and mythology in Curating America’s Painful Past: Memory, Museums, and the National Imagination in what he refers to as a “sequel” to the film (xii). In his book, Gruenewald examines four museums located on the National Mall in Washington, DC: the National Museum of American History (NMAH), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the National Museum of the American...
Review: Curating America’s Painful Past: Memory, Museums, and the National Imagination, by Tim Gruenewald
Samantha Blair Schwartz; Review: Curating America’s Painful Past: Memory, Museums, and the National Imagination, by Tim Gruenewald. The Public Historian 1 May 2022; 44 (2): 136–138. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2022.44.2.136
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