S2 E10 Luxury Foregone and Fantastical with Pat Cooke

What are your feelings about receiving luxury objects as gifts? Do you take pleasure in these possessions or new experiences? Do they define new rituals that organize your day differently than before? And when have you felt compelled to give an object of great value as a gift to someone else?

These are some of the ideas I will tackle today with my guest, historian and curator Pat Cooke who is based in Dublin, Ireland as he opens a bottle of fine and very rare Irish Whiskey, a Midleton from 1996.

Pat has been instrumental in shaping the modern Irish experience around cultural events. Among other roles, he was the curator of Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the Pearce Museum. Warning! Chatting with someone so deeply steeped in Irish history brings up a lot of stories about wars, and jails, and prisoners.

For two thirds of his career Pat Cooke was a museum curator in Ireland, caring for sites and collections associated with Ireland's struggle for independence from British rule (Kilmainham Gaol and the Pearse Museum). He spent the last third as director of the Master program in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at University College Dublin, retiring in 2020. In 2021 his book The Politics and Polemics of Culture in Ireland, 1800-2010  was published by Routledge.