'Souvenir Nation' At The Smithsonian

Guest Host:

Christina Bellantoni
'Souvenir Nation' At The Smithsonian

We talk with the curator of a new Smithsonian exhibit about the evolution of souvenirs and what we can learn from those early relics.

Early American souvenirs typically took the form of a piece of the place visited. A splinter chipped out of the molding at Mount Vernon, a chunk of stone chiseled from Plymouth Rock or bit of fabric clipped from a White House curtain. At one point the "national mania" for souvenir collecting threatened to destroy the very places visitors wished to remember. We talk with the curator of a new Smithsonian exhibit about the evolution of souvenirs and what we can learn from those early relics.

Guests

William L. Bird, Jr.

curator and historian, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History; author, "Souvenir Nation: Relics, Keepsakes, and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History"

Related Links

Photos: Souvenir Nation Exhibit

Images courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

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