Bundt cakes, ’30s films and fish

Katrina Sargent

Katrina Sargent

Have you ever wanted to eat lunch in a museum?

The 20th Annual Brown Bag Lecture Series begins Feb. 12 at 12 p.m. in the Agricultural Heritage Museum.

“The Ag. Museum designed this lecture series as a local audience program. It is held during a time of year when travel is restricted because of weather, so local daytime programming is appreciated by many,” said Carrie Van Buren, curator of the Agricultural Heritage Museum. “The topics for the lectures are purposely chosen to be entertaining as well as educational.”

The first lecture is called “Bundt Cake Bliss: Delicious Desserts from Midwest Kitchens.” Susanna Short will talk about bundt cakes, which are ring-shaped cakes.

According to a press release from SDSU’s University Relations, Short will talk about the history of the Bundt pan and will be selling and signing her book after the lecture.

The second presentation will be an evening program. Charles Vollan, a professor with the SDSU history department, will be showing and discussing the 1930s films “The Plow that Broke the Plains” and “The River.” This lecture will be held in the Dairy Microbiology building at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21.

The third Brown Bag Lecture will be back at the museum at 12 p.m. and will involve fish. Charles Berry, a professor at SDSU, will discuss the history of fisheries and fishing in the state.

March will be kicked off with a lecture from John Jay from the USD visual arts department. At 12 p.m. on March 4, he will talk about Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA program’s effect on art and architecture in South Dakota.

The final lecture will be from Joanita Kant, an independent scholar with the speakers’ bureau for the South Dakota Humanities. She will discuss quill and beadwork of South Dakota’s Sioux Indians at 12 p.m.

According to Van Buren, an average of 30 to 35 people attend each lecture. The number varies depending on the topic and weather conditions at the time.

“People seem to enjoy the variety of topics and the informal setting of the programs,” she said. Van Buren compiles a list of possible speakers throughout the year. She finds them in newspapers, newsletters, from publishers, the South Dakota Humanities Council Speakers’ Bureau and suggestions from visitors and museum members.

Past speakers and topics include: John Miller, who spoke about history on Highway 14; and Greg Latza, who gave a presentation about his books.Other topics were collecting Cracker Jacks Prizes and insects of South Dakota.

This year, Van Buren said she is looking forward to Short’s talk about bundt cakes. “The cookbook is fun, and the recipes are delicious,” she said. “Everyone is welcome to bring a sack lunch, listen to the speaker and leave whenever they need to.”

Call the museum at 605-688-6226 for more information.