G. Wayne Clough
G. Wayne Clough is secretary emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution. Clough, who currently lives in Atlanta, directed the Smithsonian from 2008 to 2014 and was president of the Georgia Institute of Technology from 1994 to 2008.
Things New and Strange: A Southerner's Journey Through the Smithsonian
Things New and Strange chronicles a research quest undertaken by G. Wayne Clough, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution born in the South. Soon after retiring from the Smithsonian, Clough decided to see what the Smithsonian collections could tell him about South Georgia, where he had spent most of his childhood in the 1940s and 1950s. The investigations that followed, which began as something of a quixotic scavenger hunt, expanded as Clough discovered that the collections had many more objects and documents from South Georgia than he had imagined. Clough interweaves memories of his own experiences, such as hair-raising escapes from poisonous snakes and selling boiled peanuts for a nickel a bag at the annual auction of the tobacco crop, with anecdotes from family lore, which launches an exploration of his forebears and their place in South Georgia history.