Across America there are forgotten links to our history. Family heirlooms and found objects with unexpected value and amazing stories just waiting to be discovered. Each episode of America’s Lost Treasures will follow our team of two hosts on their quest to find these treasures, uncover their stories, and choose one item that deserves to take it’s place in a museum. The chosen object each episode will be on loan to the National Geographic Society’s special exhibition of America’s Lost Treasures, and the object owner will receive a $10,000 award.
Our two cast members bring energy and excitement to the search, along with a solid base of historical knowledge. Curt Doussett is a historian and a genealogist . Kinga Phillips has a degree in Anthropology and a background in Journalism that has taken her around the world. As the two hosts travel from city to city, they have a friendly competition to see which will discover each week’s treasure.
Over the course of the 10-hour series, our cast will visit ten different museums across America. Each episode starts with an Open Call, where local people bring in family heirlooms, yard sale bargains, found objects and other personal treasures to be evaluated by our Curt and Kinga, with some assistance from museum staff and local experts. We meet dozens of everyday people, hear their personal stories, and watch as Curt and Kinga decide which objects to select for further investigation. By the end of the Open Call, each cast member will have selected a handful of objects to explore more thoroughly.
Curt and Kinga will then head out to local experts to uncover the hidden stories behind their selected objects, and build a case for including their favorite object in National Geographic’s exhibition. As they uncover the unique history of their objects, Curt and Kinga tie the object’s story into a larger historical context. We get a fresh take on familiar stories, and illuminate little known aspects of our past. We go behind the scenes at local museums, into research facilities with advanced equipment to help authenticate items, to special collections that aren’t open to the public. Curt and Kinga will head to local historical sites, where the objects truly come to life.
Throughout the investigation, the experts and historians we meet reveal tips and tricks for identifying historic objects yourself, how to tell authentic artifacts from fakes, and how to preserve and care for your own treasures at home.
Each episode culminates with a grand Presentation. Back at the museum, Curt and Kinga present their best objects to a representative of National Geographic, who will ultimately select the one item that will join the Special Exhibition. The object owners learn the true story behind their treasured objects, and Curt and Kinga reveal the value of each treasure. At the conclusion of the presentations, the National Geographic representative announces which item will join the America’s Lost Treasures exhibition in Washington D.C. The object owner takes home a $10,000 award, and the chance to share their personal treasure with the entire nation!
Tune in to the series premiere of America’s Lost Treasures, when Kinga and Curt visit Austin, TX, on Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4th at 9P et/pt