SPEAKER: John Michael Vlach
EVENT DATE: 04/10/2003
RUNNING TIME: 33 minutes
The first in the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks series, Barns presents a broad, fresh, and newly informed visual analysis of one of America's fundamental building types.
Speaker Biography: John Vlach, Professor of American Studies and Anthropology and director of the Folklife Program at the George Washington University, has pursued a career of scholarly research both in the university and in museum settings. Author or editor of 10 books, he has also produced 30 book chapters, 40 articles in academic journals and more than 60 book reviews. He has also curated six museum exhibits for a variety of institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Institute of Texan Cultures, the Washington Historical Society and the Library. In addition, he has served as a consultant to many museums and government agencies including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Information Service. His service with the National Endowment for the Arts includes three years as a member of the Review Panel for the Folk and Traditional Arts Program and one as chair of that panel. In addition to reaching out to various audiences--professional scholars, the academic community and the general public--he has recently undertaken the task of retooling primary and secondary school teachers as the member of the National Faculty. The variety of his range of scholarly interests, which include American folk culture, vernacular architecture, traditional arts and crafts, and the peoples of the African diaspora, are revealed in the following list of books which he either wrote or edited, including "The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts," "Charleston Blacksmith: The Work of Philip Simmons," "Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture," "Plain Painters: Making Sense of American Folk Art," "Back of Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery" and "The Planters Prospect: Privilege and Slavery in Plantation Paintings."