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Sunday, March 18 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
The Cool Jews of the Smithsonian's American Cool Exhibit

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The French invented chic; Americans created cool. To call someone cool bestows upon them the supreme compliment of American culture. In 2014, the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian presented American Cool, an acclaimed popular culture and photograph exhibit featuring one hundred icons and one hundred photographs. The curators defined an icon of cool as an artistic rebel who had a transformative impact on a generation and an artistic field through creative production, a signature style, and a radically new persona. Of the hundred icons – such as James Dean, Miles Davis, Patti Smith, and Jay-Z – eight were Jewish-Americans, including Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Susan Sontag, and Jon Stewart. Curator Joel Dinerstein will discuss the history of the word and concept of cool going back to the 1940s and each of the eight Jewish-Americans who made the list.

avatar for Joel Dinerstein

Joel Dinerstein

Joel Dinerstein is the author of four books on race, cool, music, and American culture, including The Origins of Cool in Postwar America (2017), Coach: A Study of NY Cool (Rizzoli 2016), and a cultural history of big-band jazz, Swinging the Machine: Modernity, Technology, and African-American... Read More →

Sunday March 18, 2018 11:30am - 12:30pm CDT
Grant Board Room, JCC