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"To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama" at the Gilcrease Museum

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's ST, we are talking about an exhibit now on view at Gilcrease, "To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama." This show, which runs through January 15th, 2012, spotlights the museum's little-seen collection of pre-Columbian gold and related ritual ceramics. These pieces, which were acquired by Thomas Gilcrease in the 1940s, are all small yet striking ancient artifacts --- there are more than 200 of them --- that were originally used in the ritual practices of the people of Gran Cocle (in what is now known as central Panama). Our guest is Dr. John W. Hoopes of the University of Kansas, a professor of anthropology and archaeology who served as a consultant for this exhibition, and who also contributed an essay to its catalogue / companion book. (For more about this show, please see http://gilcrease.utulsa.edu/exhibits.aspx#Gold.) Also on our program today, commentator Barry Friedman takes a long look at a group of elderly people who're sitting around complaining about their aches, pains, and ills --- and then proclaims, rather insightfully: "Here are your tax dollars at work."