Telluride Museum: Feasting on History, 8/17; Ken Burns Returns, 8/26

Telluride Museum: Feasting on History, 8/17; Ken Burns Returns, 8/26

Join the Telluride Historical Museum for the 15th annual “Feasting on History,” a benefit dinner for the Museum, on Friday, August 17, 6 – 9 p.m.

Tickets for Feasting are $250 with all proceeds going to support the mission of the Museum. Purchase here.

Also, on Sunday, August 26,  6 p.m., the Museum is pleased to announce its annual “An Evening with Ken Burns.” This year’s event features a screening of Episode 6 of Burns’ celebrated Vietnam War Series, “Things Fall Apart.” The evening also includes a post-screening audience Q&A session with Burns, as well as a book and DVD signing presented in conjunction with Between the Covers Bookstore.

Tickets are $25 for non-members, $20 for members, and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased here  or by calling the Museum at 970-728-4334, All tickets will be distributed at the door.

“We continue to be appreciative of Ken Burns’ gracious commitment to the Telluride community and to the Museum specifically,” Executive Director Kiernan Lannon said. “We are once again providing the community with the rare opportunity to see one of America’s foremost documentarians and historians present his work and engage with this great community. We’re looking forward to another fantastic event!”

The Telluride Historical Museum is excited to announce its 15th annual Feasting on History fundraiser. This year’s event, which takes place on Friday, August 17, is a progressive dinner hosted by Becky and Bill Deupree, Shari & Pete Mitchell, and Ingrid & Brian Poulin in the Adams Ranch area of Mountain Village.

In order to highlight the Museum’s newest annual exhibit, “Children of Winter Never Grow Old: Snow Sports in the San Juans,” the theme of this year’s Feasting will be snow sports.

The evening will features a guest speaker who will give a short presentation on Telluride’s history as a winter playground. The event also includes cocktails, a sumptuous dinner, delicious dessert and a wide array of friends and supporters of the Telluride Historical Museum.

The night kicks off with a cocktail hour at the Deupree residence 102 Singletree Ridge, Mountain Village at 6 p.m., before proceeding to the Mitchell home 112 Singletree Ridge for a seated dinner. It concludes at the Poulin house, 110 Singletree Ridge, for dessert and dessert drinks.

The Museum would like to thank its incredibly generous hosts for opening their beautiful homes for hosting the event.

Telluride’s Museum is also excited to screen “The Vietnam War – Episode 6: Things Fall Apart” featuring an appearance by Ken Burns on August 26. This 18-hour documentary series, “The Vietnam War”, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film.

The series debuted on PBS last September and is a must-watch according to Hank Stuever from The Washington Post in which he said: “Yes, America, PBS’s ‘The Vietnam War’ is required viewing – all 18 Hours of it.”

Ken Burns, by Tim Llewellyn Photography.

Please read on for more on Burns and “The Vietnam War” By Stuever in The Washington Post.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s astounding and sobering 10-episode PBS documentary “The Vietnam War” (airing Sunday through Sept. 28 on PBS stations) took a decade to research, film, edit and ultimately perfect. It clocks in at 18 hours — a length as daunting as its subject, yet worth every single minute of your time. I’ll go so far as to call it required viewing, before you watch anything else on TV that will come (and probably go) this fall season, especially all those new fictional dramas that celebrate special-ops teams quietly taking out America’s terrorist enemies with little muss and no fuss.

As an account of both the war and its political and cultural legacies, “The Vietnam War” is about as complete and evenhanded as it could possibly get, which, of course, means it won’t please everyone. There’s also the ongoing problem of our corroded attention spans and increasing inability to separate fact from opinions or lies. This makes “The Vietnam War” even more valuable right now. Do your best to stay with it — an episode here, another episode later — and open both your heart and your mind. This is the real stuff.”

Even now, as we still elect leaders who are old enough to need to explain their whereabouts in the Vietnam years (as a young man, President Trump reportedly received multiple deferments, including one for bone spurs in one of his feet), the subject remains an argumentative, open fissure in American society — a “war begun in secrecy [in the 1940s],” intones the film’s narrator, Peter Coyote. “It ended 30 years later in failure, witnessed by the entire world.” The nation’s relationship to the war is “like living in a family with an alcoholic father,” observes Marine veteran Karl Marlantes.

Although our preferred means for ripping into one another these days lean heavily on the Civil War (the subject of Burns’s 1990 documentary, which remains his defining masterpiece), a great deal of our national anxiety in 2017 follows a straight line from the 1960s and early ’70s. Burns and Novick’s film doesn’t come out and say so in a blunt way, but you’d be a fool not to pick up on the echoes.

The Vietnam War is never truly over (and at times it will feel to a viewer like “The Vietnam War” is never over, either), but, as Bao Ninh, a writer who fought for the communist North Vietnamese army, thoughtfully observes in the film’s opening moments: “It has been 40 years. . . . In war, no one wins or loses. There is only destruction. Only those who have never fought like to argue about who won and who lost.”

In that spirit, “The Vietnam War” is a mighty attempt to get one’s arms around the whole hideous, tangled history of it — perhaps with a sense that it can be finished, or at least converted to the past, despite its ability to cling to the present.

The experience of watching “The Vietnam War” includes terror, horror, disbelief, discovery, disgust, marvel, pride, ambivalence and tears. You’ll lose count of how many times you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor — even when the facts ring vaguely familiar.

“We thought we were the exceptions to history — the Americans,” says journalist Neil Sheehan, whose 1971 reporting for the New York Times of the Pentagon Papers helped a nation comprehend the decades of deception and delusion that fed the war. “History didn’t apply to us. We could never fight a bad war, we could never represent the wrong cause — we were Americans. [Vietnam] proved that we were not an exception to history.”

Some viewers will remember the war like it was yesterday. Those of us who came later absorbed its many lasting lessons, sounds and images: Eddie Adams’s photo of South Vietnam’s national police chief shooting a Viet Cong captain point-blank in the head; Nick Ut’s photo of the naked girl burned by Napalm running down a paved road in search of relief; American teenager Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller, a Kent State student shot dead by the Ohio National Guard. Young or old, viewers will probably find a wealth of new insight here, as well as the thing Burns, Novick and their team have always done best: context.

What’s most striking — immediately and throughout — is the filmmakers’ determination to find people and stories that illustrate the war from both sides. There are numerous, deeply personal interviews with men and women who fought in the North Vietnamese army or the Viet Cong, those who fought in South Vietnamese forces, and other citizens. Their memories and humanity supply a missing piece in our usual narrative of the war — even in upsetting moments, such as when Northern veterans gloat about how “tall and slow” American soldiers were and how easy they were to track and kill. (They left trails of cigarette butts everywhere, one North Vietnamese veteran explains in Episode 5. They were easy to pick off in the field because of their sworn duty not to leave behind their wounded or dead, observes another.)…

Continue to read this sterling review here – and don’t miss the Museum’s special and always highly anticipated program.

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