The Object Podcast

Exploring the strange and wonderful true stories behind museum objects.

How to Stop an Assassin
Long ago, when everyone but your dog was a potential assassin, you needed to protect yourself by any means necessary. Starting with poison-proof silverware. A surprising story of art, myth, and the dangerous world that was.

X-ray Man and the Great Mummy Mystery
An assistant curator decides to x-ray a 3,000-year-old mummy case, to learn if anything’s in there, and sees more than he bargained for. The international mystery would change his life — and the fate of the mummy.

The Indian Artist Who Wasn’t
When the frontier closed, the fate of Native Americans seemed sealed. But George Morrison, born into poverty near a reservation on Lake Superior, was as determined to be an artist as he was to avoid stereotypes.

The Woman Who Knew Everything
Miriam McHugh Taney was well-educated, well-traveled, and well-known among museum-goers, lecturing on everything from the Italian Renaissance to American furniture—a rare authority for a woman in the 1930s. But the real purpose of her popular museum talks was even more interesting.

The Fellowship of Good Things
There were wolves and caribou on the Minnesota frontier when John Scott Bradstreet arrived with his white suits and Far East fantasies of furniture, determined to elevate this outpost with fine interior design. A globalist mission on a collision course with history.

Americana
After founding General Mills, the food and flour giant, James Ford Bell turned to preserving the America he knew and loved. A vision that was fast disappearing in the stampede of mass immigration — and may never have existed at all.

Egyptomania
She was wealthy, single, and always in the right place at the right time. But when Lily Place was in Egypt during the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, her art collecting suddenly put her at the epicenter of a curious and powerful trend that was about to shape world history one last time.

Everyone Loves Shiva
In the 1920s, a dancing god of destruction suddenly becomes a museum must-have, setting off a scramble in the jungles of India. The global interest promises to bring East and West together, but can it last?