FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KENIN LECTURE ON TEXTILES AND SOCIAL HISTORY SET AT REEDLaurel Thacher Ulrich a MacArthur "genius" fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner Professor Laurel Thacher Ulrich of Harvard University, a 1992 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" grant, will give the Richard Metz Kenin Memorial Lecture on "Pens and Needles: Diaries, Textiles, and the Craft of History" on Thursday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Vollum Lecture Hall. Ulrich will describe some of the ways in which she has integrated written documents and artifacts in her current work on textiles in the social history of early America. The lecture, which will be followed by a reception, is free and open to the public.
Ulrich is the author of A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diaries, 1785-1812 (Knopf, 1990) which won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize. She recently completed work on a PBS/NEH-sponsored film based on A Midwife's Tale, in which the historian is shown at work in the archives and Martha Ballard's life history is recreated by actors. Ulrich is also the author of the classic work in early American women's history, Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 (Knopf, 1980).
Richard Metz Kenin (1947-83) graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College in 1969. Kenin was awarded a visiting studentship at the London School of Economics to study historical trends in the development of the art market, and he earned his Ph.D. in modern history from Oxford University in 1976.
From 1972 to 1975 he was attached to the U.S. Embassy in London, first acting as the representative of the Smithsonian Institute for the National Portrait Gallery. He subsequently served in the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration and represented the Charles Eames Organization in London, Paris, and Warsaw. Kenin was a contributing editor to the Paddington Press in London and served as research historian of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. He was director of photography and picture editor of Time-Life Books and was an active collector of rare prints over a 15-year period.
Kenin was the author of a number of books on art and social history, including the prize-winning Return to Albion: Americans in England, 1760-1940 (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1979), written while he was research historian with the Smithsonian. He also co-edited the Dictionary of Biographical Quotations, which has become a standard reference volume (published by Knopf in America and by Routledge Kegan-Paul in England, 1978). Among his other publications are The Art of Drawing (Paddington Press, London, 1974), and a new edition of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Historical Register of the Centennial Exposition, 1876, as well as numerous articles and publications. Kenin had been preparing an exhibition on the Centennial Exposition when he died.
The Richard Metz Kenin Memorial Lectureship was established by his family and friends and his former employers and associates.