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Lee Sandstead Speaks at American Art Museum and Dallas Museum of Art this Week

Art Fortune | News

WASHINGTON, DC.- When you think of extreme sports bungee jumping and rock climbing may immediately come to mind, but definitely not art history! At least that's not until you meet Lee Sandstead who will speak at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 and the Dallas Museum of Art on Friday, July 17, 2009.

Sandstead is--without a doubt--the world's most fired-up art historian.

Of all the things that you can say about Sandstead, the most important is that he loves art. With "the help of a beautiful French woman," he discovered art in his early 20s, and ever since, he has been on one amazing art adventure after another. Lee has developed a national reputation as an exciting and dramatic speaker and has expressed his passion for art at over 50 major institutions including: Harvard, Yale, New York University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sandstead's most recent art adventure has led him to host an art appreciation program called "Art Attack" for the Travel Channel. "Art Attack" takes viewers on an exciting journey through the world's coolest art museums without pretentiousness or snobbery. In each episode Sandstead spotlights the top five must-see pieces at one iconic art space such as New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sandstead's talks weave his strong command of art with passionate storytelling and surprising facts. His lecture at the museum is titled, "I'm Having an Art Attack!"

The talk takes place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Wednesday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the museum's McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level. Then again Friday, July 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Auditorum.

Lee Sandstead
When Lee Sandstead stood in the lobby of his college’s agriculture building looking at the couch that could either be used for sitting or artificial insemination practice, he never thought his life would change forever. But that was the very building where he took his first art-history class; a class that showed him a world he never knew existed. Ever since, Lee has been on one grand art adventure after another, scouring the world for great art.

But this past Fall, Lee started what maybe his grandest art adventure of all—the first season of “Art Attack with Lee Sandstead” aired on the Travel Channel. And as Lee promises, this first season is one heck of a raucous ride through America’s top museums. The premise of “Art Attack” is to visit museums and look at five must-see pieces in a high-impact, high-energy fashion. Upbeat music, quick cuts, great camera moves—the show has it all.

When asked what this means to a small-town Southern boy, Lee laughs: “When growing up, I never saw myself as TV show host—let alone one about art! I was raised in a house trailer, and we were certainly not sitting around talking about art and high culture. We were wondering if the water pipes were going to freeze during the winter or if an open oven door was a satisfactory work-around for a broken furnace!”

But, as Lee explains, with the support of a beautiful French girlfriend he met in college, he not only discovered art, he turned it into his career and highest passion. “Looking at art is not one of the ‘coolest’ things a young man in Middle Tennessee could be doing with his time. And when my friends would visit my house, I would catch quite a bit of flack—because I covered the walls from floor to ceiling with prints of famous art works. Yep, down came the NASCAR posters and up went the Rembrandts! And that’s where the support of my French girlfriend helped—she told me it was okay I was such a complete dork!”

And ever since, Lee has been entertaining his university students with these early stories from his life to persuade them to give art a chance. Here’s where “Art Attack” comes in. It is his own blue-collar, country background that Sandstead hopes will draw the average American and get them out to the museums.

Will the viewer like every single artwork on the show? “Heck no!” exclaims Sandstead. “But tune in, give art a chance, and I guarantee that I can get you fired-up for art!”

And all this from a guy, who doesn’t even own a TV.


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