As we enter into the new year, the Wende Museum is thrilled to announce a slate of compelling online programs. Borne out of a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wende has developed a calendar of unique weekly and monthly offerings which explore how the past can inform the present.
The weekly lunchtime discussion series Cold War Spaces returns for its 28th iteration on Wednesday, January 13, with Reconstruction Space: Civilizing Europe After World War II. This program will feature Paul Betts, Professor of Modern European History at St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford. Cold War Spaces has previously covered topics such as Contaminated Space: Long Radioactive Half-Lives and Short Media Cycles in Chernobyl with Kate Brown, author of Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future; Psychic Space: Brainwashing in the Cold War with Daniel Pick of the Wellcome Collection; and Profiling Space: Policing During and After the Cold War with Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing. The program archive is available to watch on the Wende Museum’s Vimeo page.
The Wende continues its monthly Art Past Present series with Chelle Barbour on Thursday, January 21. Curator, writer, and multimedia artist–Barbour’s initial foray into the arts began in theatre but their work has expanded into a fully engaged art practice of curating, writing, photography, digital video, collage, and painting. Barbour’s artwork has been presented in solo and group art exhibitions, including Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art. Co-hosted by Farrah Karapetian, artist and writer, and Joes Segal, the Wende’s Chief Curator and Director of Programming, Art Past Present invites artists to share their ideas about confronting the past to give meaning to the present, open up perspectives, and restore agency in times of conflicting alternative truths.
In conjunction with our popular Virtual Friday Night Films at the Wende, Vladimir Paperny, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, will present a talk on Friday, January 29, comparing two Cold War comedies: The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966, United States) and The Russian Souvenir (1960, Soviet Union). This presentation is a continuation of his project with the late film critic and screenwriter Maya Turovskaya, called “Hollywood in Moscow: American and Soviet Film of the 1930s–1940s,” and his third virtual film discussion at the Wende.
The museum continues to expand its digital content and educational offerings, including a 3D tour of the current exhibitions Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art and See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR. One can take a virtual visit through the museum’s interior galleries and will soon be able to experience new installations in the garden.
Looking toward the future, the Wende and many cultural organizations across the Southland continue to monitor county and state public health directives. We are standing by to welcome the public back to the museum for socially-distanced tours of the garden and, when deemed safe, our interior galleries.