Lunch and Learn with Harold Closter – Horse: From Bones to Bestseller

The Strange Saga of the Racehorse Lexington and Other Tales from the Vaults of the Smithsonian


In 2022, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks published her sixth novel, Horse. The book became an instant bestseller, garnering numerous awards and well-deserved praise. Oprah called it “a thrilling story about humanity in all its ugliness and beauty.” In the acknowledgements section, Brooks credits Temple Micah member Harold Closter with having first brought the story, on which the book is based, to her attention. Harold will share the story behind the story of Horse, as well as other tales from his efforts to bring the Smithsonian beyond the National Mall to communities across America.

About the Speaker

Harold Closter is Director Emeritus of Smithsonian Affiliations, a program created to bring the Smithsonian to Americans in their own communities. During his thirteen years as the program’s Director, he developed over two hundred partnerships with museums and educational organizations across the country, leading to the loan and display of thousands of treasured Smithsonian objects. In his forty-year career at the Smithsonian, he also previously served as the Associate Director for Public Service at the National Museum of American History where he was responsible for its education programs and the design and production of exhibitions. In 1994, Harold served as the project director of Smithsonian’s America, an exhibition and music festival held in Tokyo, Japan — the largest Smithsonian traveling exhibit ever assembled at the time, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors in two months. He is the recipient of the Smithsonian’s Bicentennial Unsung Hero Award. Harold is a native Washingtonian and, along with his wife Betsi, a proud member of Temple Micah for more than 30 years.

Register before 5 p.m. the Sunday before for in-person lunch ($10) or by the next evening for the Zoom link.

For more information, please email Lunch and Learn.

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