A detail from the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
A detail from the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

From small towns to the nation’s capital, our country is dotted with thousands of monuments and memorials. Chuck Tampio has spent years exploring different perspectives and understandings of monuments and has discussed them in presentations at Academy Village and around the country.

His most recent investigations shed light on the features of monuments that make them meaningful markers of achievement, of heroism, and of loss. At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 20) in the Academy’s Great Room, Tampio will take us on a monument journey starting in his own home town and ending again in the nation’s capital with some foreign stops in between

In this new talk, “American Memory in Stone and Steel: National Monuments of Tragedy and Triumph,” he addresses the more universal features or elements of what he calls American civic art, including shape, color, size, symbols, text, and representation. He analyzes how these features give monuments their meaning—how they combine to tell a story, establish a period, define a place.

Chuck Tampio
Chuck Tampio

This will be Tampio’s fourth appearance at the ASA. Each time he builds a strong but different case for why we should appreciate the lessons that monuments teach. Tampio has an ideal background for tackling these subjects. He spent decades in Washington D.C., first as an anchor person for CSPAN television, then as a vice president of a not-for-profit and later as president of an environmental education organization in D.C. He has done extensive research on educational materials about national monuments and memorials and has organized tours of D.C. for teachers from around the country.

In this forth ASA talk he will offer unfamiliar perspectives on very familiar images from roadside memorials to the Korean War memorial. He will illuminate how monuments tell future generations: “Something happened here—and it mattered.”

Written by Brack Brown, Academy Village Volunteer

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Monuments Trace America’s Triumphs, Tragedies: April 2016
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