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Roger Manley: “Show & Tell”

We recently caught up with Roger Manley, director of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NC State University, to coincide with our current issue on Things. And we got right down to the thing, asking about the study of objects. “Well, the quickest way to define material culture is to come see this show,” Manley joked about the museum’s inaugural exhibit, Show and Tell. “I think this is a show of almost nothing but material culture. But to be a little more serious, I think of material culture as being the useful things that we—that every culture does—to create the way that they live.”

The Gregg Museum opened in a new home in August 2017, where it houses 35,000 objects—many deeply rooted in southern history. Visit the Gregg via this video, and listen to Roger share how long histories of trade, industry, and everyday use can be traced in two of the objects on view in Show & Tell: a paisley shawl from Kashmir and a Central Asian cloak called a “chirpy.”

Tom Shields, Family Bench, 2011. Gift of the Friends of the Gregg.

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