Richard Kurin serves as the Smithsonian Institution's Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, with responsibility for most of its museums and many of its educational programs. He is an anthropologist and cultural historian, a former Fulbright fellow with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including
Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem, and his scholarship and museological work have been recognized by the International Council of Museums, UNESCO, and Harvard's Peabody Museum. Awarded the Smithsonian Secretary's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, he represents the Smithsonian on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the White House Historical Association, and numerous other boards.
An entertaining and well-researched history of the Hope diamond Since its discovery in seventeenth-century India, the Hope diamond, a glimmering deep blue gem weighing over 45 carats, has been shrouded in mystery and steeped in intrigue. In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Richard Kurin goes beyond the speculation to reveal the truth behind a legendary stone. Kurin, a cultural anthropologist, spent more than a decade on the trail of the legendary gem. But the 'curse' that surrounds it, which Kurin puts to rest once and for all, is only one small piece of a long and lustrous story that moves between ancient religion and modern magic, royal power and class rivalry, revenge and greed. Richly illustrated, Hope Diamond works in a grand historical tradition: depicting the specific to reveal the universal.