IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Curating philanthropy: the material culture of giving in America

24 March 2021, 2:00 pm–3:15 pm

Giving in America exhibition. Image: Courtesy of Smithsonian

This webinar will explore the Philanthropy Initiative at the Smithsonian Institution and the idea of exhibiting philanthropy for a public audience.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Georgina Brewis

In 2015, the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest complex of museums and research centers (whose founding 175 years ago owes to the generosity of British scientist James Smithson), launched the Philanthropy Initiative. 

The initative was launched to collect, research, document, and exhibit materials relating to the history of American giving and to convene important conversations about philanthropy’s impact across a wide spectrum of issues.

Dr Amanda Moniz joined as the first curator of philanthropy in late 2016 with a mandate to build the new philanthropy collection. Over the past four years, she has been working to define philanthropy as a collecting area and to promote public and scholarly interest in the material culture of giving. In addition, she has re-curated the long-term exhibit, Giving in America, several times.

Beginning with an overview of the Philanthropy Initiative and its origins, she will discuss the emerging collection, share her experience curating the exhibit, and reflect on the opportunities and challenges of engaging museum audiences in exploring the history of philanthropy through objects.

This event is organised by the ‘Archiving the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain project, led by Georgina Brewis from the UCL Institute of Education.


  • Dr Amanda Moniz (David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of America History)


Image: courtesy of Smithsonian