Geraldine Brooks. Photo: Randi Baird

Smithsonian Associates presents an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks Monday, June 27, at 6:45 p.m. ET. The event will be held live to a limited-capacity audience at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue N.W. and simulcast on Zoom. Brooks will share the true story of the remarkable 19th-century racehorse and America’s greatest stud sire, Lexington, that was the basis for her newest novel, Horse.

Brooks braids three time periods in the narrative, starting in 1850s Kentucky, where an enslaved groom named Jarret and the bay foal forge a bond of understanding that carries Lexington to record-setting victories across the South, to New York City in the early 1950s, where a gallery owner becomes obsessed with a 19th-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance. And finally to the Smithsonian in 2019, where a scientist from Australia and a Nigerian American art historian find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other using the portrait to uncover the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

In an exclusive interview with Rebecca Boggs Roberts, curator of programming at Planet Word Museum, Brooks will offer fascinating insights into a novel that explores art and science, the bond between people and animals, and the continuing story of race and injustice.

Tickets for the Smithsonian Associates’ in-person and online program are $25 for general admission and $20 for Smithsonian Associates members. To register, the public may visit or call (202) 633-3030.

CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines in effect at the time of the program will be followed. View additional guidelines for visiting the Smithsonian. 

For over 55 years, Smithsonian Associates has produced vibrant educational and cultural programming that brings the Smithsonian to life. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections and exhibitions nearly 1,000 public programs spark creativity and excite learning in people of all ages each year.