This special symposium celebrates the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian’s landmark exhibition, The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire, with a fascinating look at the material, political, economic, and religious structures that integrated more than one hundred Native nations and millions of people in the powerful Andean Empire known as the Tawantinsuyu. In this segment, Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, provides some opening remarks.
Richard Kurin is the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, responsible for most of the Institution’s national museums, and cultural and educational programs. Formerly the Director of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, he served on the U.S. Commission for UNESCO and helped draft a treaty on safeguarding the world’s living cultural heritage. He led the rescue of Haiti’s cultural heritage following the devastating 2010 earthquake and oversees similar efforts in other nations. A former Fulbright Fellow, Kurin earned his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He has been honored by the International Council of Museums, Harvard, the American Anthropological Association, the American Folklore Society, the Smithsonian, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves as Smithsonian liaison to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. His latest book is the best-selling The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects.
The symposium was recorded at the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian on June 25-26, 2015.