Museum curator Debra Schmidt Bach on the art of selecting objects that will capture visitors’ attention.


This week, host June Thomas talks to Debra Schmidt Bach, curator of the New York Historical Society’s new exhibition, “‘Turn Every Page’: Inside the Robert A. Caro Archive.” They discuss the art of selecting objects that visitors will respond to; how artifacts like notebooks and a typewriter showcase Caro’s idiosyncratic writing process and the special challenges of maintaining an exhibition featuring lots of pieces of paper, a material that needs to “rest” so that it can be preserved.

After the interview, June and co-host Karen Han discuss what kind of museum guests they are, the art of winning, and how they find projects that will sustain their interest.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Schmidt Bach reveals her strategy for overcoming the “curator block” and shares what she learned from working at the Caro exhibition.

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Podcast production by Kevin Bendis and Cameron Drews.





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