While researching his family history, Todd discovered that one of the most famous slave artisans of the antebellum South had been owned by his family. He traveled from his home in Manhattan to South Carolina, where he sifted through records of slavery, rebellion, and war to uncover Dave's stirring story. Carolina Clay: The Life and Legend of Slave Potter Dave was published in October 2008 by W.W. Norton and was recently reviewed in the October 20, 2008 edition of Newsweek. His Brown Bag lecture will unveil the story of how he discovered his ties to Dave the Potter, the history of Dave's life, and the impact and significance his pottery had on antebellum art.
Todd is also the author of Squaring Off, a novel for young adults, published by Viking Penguin and optioned for a feature film. An earlier young adult novel, The Best Kept Secret of the War, was published by Alfred A. Knopf and optioned for a television special. Both books were set in areas of the South that Todd knew well when he was growing up. Other fiction publications include short stories in Cosmopolitan and elsewhere. An original screenplay, Honkytonk, was optioned for a movie musical.
His nonfiction publications include Trash Can Toys & Games, a recycling book for children, published by Viking Penguin. Prototypes of the toys he designed for the book were exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in a long-running show. He has published articles in Travel & Leisure and other travel publications, has covered architecture in Mexico, oysters in Ireland, golf in Morocco, and beaches on Mykonos.
Todd graduated from Yale College and from the Yale School of Art and Architecture. He is a former Fulbright Scholar to France. He has been a resident at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and now resides with his wife in Edgefield, South Carolina.
The Brown Bag History Series is an educational lecture series provided monthly by the Augusta Museum of History, and is an ideal lunch-time break for downtown professionals, retirees, and students. The lectures are free to members and $3 for non-members. Participants should bring a lunch and the Museum provides beverages and dessert. Refreshments are served beginning at 11:30 a.m.; the lecture runs from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m.