47 episodes

Hosted by Tim Gihring, "The Object" podcast explores the surprising, true stories behind museum objects, touching on immigration, race, and other issues. An object's view of us. (Produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Art)

The Object The Object podcast from the Minneapolis Institute of Art

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 104 Ratings

Hosted by Tim Gihring, "The Object" podcast explores the surprising, true stories behind museum objects, touching on immigration, race, and other issues. An object's view of us. (Produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Art)

    47: Do You Feel Lucky? A Bonus Episode for the New Year

    47: Do You Feel Lucky? A Bonus Episode for the New Year

    Many people dream of finding a masterpiece in the attic, a closet, or a thrift store. In 2007, it happened to a church in a small town, and the story behind the painting is just as curious. It's a special bonus episode to start the new year with good vibes and a question: do you feel lucky? What would you do? Maybe you should listen to find out.

    You can see the painting mentioned in this episode, "Christus Consolator," in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art: https://collections.artsmia.org/art/104894/christus-consolator-ary-scheffer

    • 17 min
    46: The Sinner and the Saint: A Christmas Fable

    46: The Sinner and the Saint: A Christmas Fable

    In 1650, a less-than-holy artist is hired to paint a religious mystery even the pope isn't totally sure about. It's just one part of the Church's plan to counter its enemies with guns, inquisitions, and art, but the mystery—and the artist—will become increasingly popular as a new world threatens to end the old.

    You can see the grand artwork mentioned in the show here, in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art: https://collections.artsmia.org/art/1613/the-immaculate-conception-with-saints-francis-of-assisi-and-anthony-of-padua-giovanni-benedetto-castiglione

    • 28 min
    45: The Man Who Shot America

    45: The Man Who Shot America

    In the mid-1960s, Richard Avedon is the most famous photographer in the world, redefining fashion and celebrity while becoming an icon himself. But as America is shaken by the war in Vietnam and racial strife, he struggles to reinvent himself as a serious artist, showing the country as it is—not as it pretends to be.

    You can see more than a dozen of Avedon's most famous photographs, including his portrait of Marilyn Monroe and Dovima with elephants, in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art: https://collections.artsmia.org/search/Richard%20Avedon

    You can see images of his groundbreaking 1970 show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art here: https://www.avedonfoundation.org/minneapolis-institute-of-arts-mn-1970-richard-avedon

    And images of Avedon's very 1960s fashion shoot with Angelica Huston in Ireland here: https://lineargrey.wordpress.com/portfolio/when-anjelica-met-avedon/

    • 28 min
    44: The Ghost Ships Of Xu Fu

    44: The Ghost Ships Of Xu Fu

    In ancient China, a royal sorcerer named Xu Fu is sent with some 60 ships to find the elixir of immortality. But on the second voyage, he and his crew of thousands disappear. Possibly to Japan, legend suggests, where Xu Fu becomes the first emperor. Now, as a Hmong artist explains, one clue to their fate may lie with his people’s own legendary history.

    You can see the entire 50-painting series of “The Hmong Migration” by Cy Thao, mentioned in this episode, in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, including the painting depicting Xu Fu’s voyage:
    https://collections.artsmia.org/art/89559/5-cy-thao

    • 22 min
    43: The Possibly True Story of an American Legend

    43: The Possibly True Story of an American Legend

    In 1798, a portrait artist named Joshua Johnson advertises himself as a “self-taught genius.” A few decades later, he will nearly be forgotten. It’s a mystery only now being revealed: the unlikely story of the man sometimes called America’s first Black professional artist. A story of slavery and freedom, racism and redemption, nearly lost to history.

    You can see Johnson's "Portrait of Richard John Cock," c. 1817, here in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art: https://collections.artsmia.org/art/106096/portrait-of-richard-john-cock-joshua-johnson

    • 23 min
    42: Seeing Ourselves in Animals: An Unnatural History

    42: Seeing Ourselves in Animals: An Unnatural History

    As long as people have told stories, we have told stories about animals. Stories of slow turtles and fast rabbits, sly foxes and cunning monkeys, that are really stories about ourselves. But why? What can animals tell us about human nature? And what happens to our fellow creatures when we turn them—in art and literature and myth—into something they’re not?

    You can see Edwin Landseer’s startling painting of the 17th century fable “The Monkey and the Cat” in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (just don’t show your cat):
    https://collections.artsmia.org/art/3077/the-cats-paw-sir-edwin-henry-landseer

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

MinnetonkaSunshine ,

Fascinating Stories

This podcast is perfect for people who love art and stories about art. The writing is interesting and the narration is excellent. I always enjoy visits to Mia and this podcast has added another dimension to my excursions there. So fun to seek out one of the objects and listen again to the podcast about it.

Nelly C from MN ,

Interesting and fun

I really enjoy it! Host Tim Gihring is an excellent narrator, the stories are very interesting and fun. What a great way to learn about art and history!

Ridley...W ,

The Secret Life of Art!

Host Tim Gigring relates shocking and delectable details about artists, their lives and creations in a warm confidential tone that makes you catch your breath and lean forward as if he’s about to say something funny. I love his voice. My first and favorite episode is about The Three Musketeers, and I forwarded it to a bunch of people.

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