Scholar who helped establish Polish Jewish museum wins Dan David Prize

Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, a professor of Jewish studies who played a leading role in the launch of a museum dedicated to the history of Poland’s Jews, are among the recipients of the prestigious 2020 Dan David Prize.

Bunch and Kirshenblatt-Gimblett were recognized for their contributions in the field of cultural preservation and revival, the prize organization announced Wednesday.

Bunch was appointed in November as the Smithsonian’s 14th secretary, overseeing 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and various research and education centers. He is the first historian and first African-American to hold the position. Prior to assuming the post, Bunch was the founding director of the African-American History Museum.