Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (John Brathwaite)
A memorial is public space created to remember, commemorate, instruct, uplift, or to heal. In recent years, a national conversation has emerged that questions and challenges the nature and purposes of memorials both existing and new. Who and what do we honor—and why? How do elements of design, which can sometimes be controversial, and setting interpret and enhance a memorial’s meaning and power?
Kathleen Bashian, a certified master guide in Washington and a popular Smithsonian study leader, leads a virtual memorial pilgrimage through the city, examining the aesthetics of memorials as works of art and architecture, their origins, and their impact on contemporary visitors.
The survey covers popular sites such as the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials and the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, as well as lesser-known spaces including the Japanese American Patriotism Memorial, the Smithsonian’s Native American Veterans Memorial, and the Memorial to Victims of Communism.
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