CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE QUINCENTENARY (1492-1992).
Mr. Laufer spent the period from 1984 through 1992 traveling the world researching the contributions of Christopher Columbus and the controversy surrounding his expeditions and then sharing this information with audiences of all ages. He has impersonated the discoverer in costume, and has tackled a variety of subjects dealing with him, including his nationality, where he landed, his treatment of the Native Americans, his Catholicism, the details of his four voyages, and his legacy.
NEW PROGRAM - 2010
CELEBRATING CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
This is a 100-slide Power Point presentation/lecture which focuses on the manner in which Joe Laufer was able to take center stage during the U.S. celebration of the Columbus Quincentenary in 1992 and gain recognition as a Columbus expert, networking with Columbus scholars worldwide, gaining access to events, symposia, commissions and marketers through a well-calculated self-promotional plan. Laufer traveled worldwide to Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Bahamas, visiting sites related to Columbus' life and explorations. He wrote and published a popular Quincentenary newsletter, "Discovery 500", portrayed Christopher Columbus in parades, at events, in the national media and in schools throughout the country and became a spokesperson for an international events organization called New American Crossings based in California under the sponsorship of a Japanese Art collector. The lecture includes the motivational theme Joe delivered in all of his activities during the Quincentenary, based on his assessment of the impact of Columbus, despite the negative image created by revisionist historians during the Quincentenary. The audience will walk away with a better understanding of Columbus, his vision and his achievements while at the same time being entertained and inspired by the story of Laufer's skills at positioning himself through travel, networking and marketing as a Columbus expert.
THE LONGEST DAY: D-DAY, THE SIXTH OF JUNE, 1944
Joe Laufer was only nine year's old when the Allies landed at Normandy. However, in 1984 and again in 1994, Joe visited the Normandy landing beaches in France during the 40th and 50th anniversary years of the historic event. Using a unique comparison of the coast of Normandy with the Atlantic coast of New Jersey, and his own slide collection, Joe provides the audience with clear insights into the strategies, timing and heroism of the undertaking. Related Links:
HALLEY'S COMET: THE THIRTIETH RECORDED RETURN
Halley's Comet returns to the vicinity of Earth every 75 years. When it returned on its 30th recorded visit (Winter,1985-Spring, 1986), Joe Laufer put together a chronology of its visits throughout history and the reaction of earthlings to each return. Not a lecture on Astronomy (but it does include astronomical data), it delves more into the historical and human dimensions of the phenomenon.
The link below contains articles from Joe's international publication: "The Halley's Comet Watch Newsletter." It also includes what Joe calls his Halley's Comet Odyssey, a chronicle of his international tours to discover the images of Halley's Comet in Art throughout History. It is a unique perspective on the fascinating story of Halley's Comet which includes visits to the archives of Canterbury Cathedral, The Museum of the Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux, France, the Chapel of the Scrovegni in Padua, Italy, and Edmond Halley's studio and tomb in Greenwich and Lee, England.
ARTIST FOR A DEMOCRACY: EMANUEL LEUTZE - 1816-1868
Emanuel Leutze is best known for his painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. But Joe Laufer discovered him through his interest in Christopher Columbus. Leutze created eight masterpieces dealing with Columbus. Another of his famous works appears as a mural in our nation's Capital in Washington, D.C.: "Westward Ho!" Laufer uses a 10' x 12' mural of Leutze's The Departure of Columbus From Palos in 1492" and other illustrative material in this fascinating lecture which blends art and history.
Related Link: Emanuel Leutze
THE HOLY SHROUD OF TURIN: AFTER THE TESTING
In 1988, Carbon-14 dating showed that the cloth on which the scorched image of a crucified man appears was made between 1260 and 1390 A.D. Many thought that this would put an end to the speculation that the shroud was the burial cloth of Christ and that the image on the cloth was indeed the image of Christ Himself. However, despite the dating, the mystery remains -- how did the image get on the cloth? Is there still a spiritual message associated with the Shroud of Turin? Can anyone still believe it is authentic? Joe Laufer has studied the shroud and its mysteries for over 45 years and has visited Turin Italy, where the shroud is kept rolled up in a narrow silver casket behind the main altar of a major church there.