top of page


One might expect a film about Sanderson to bleed into the temporal realm of, say, Ken Burns, who wouldn't have trouble filling an extended series of episodes with tangential stories and backstories related to a man in love with history's minutiae and a wide variety of hobbies.

But Karen Kuder, a Wilmington filmmaker, managed to pack into a tight, fascinating 30 minutes much of what made Sanderson (1882-1966) such a strangely busy and happy man. A peek into Sanderson's collection -- it includes a piece of the rock on which the American flag was hoisted at Iwo Jima, a vial of sand from the 1945 blast of an atomic bomb and a piece of bandage that covered President Lincoln's fatal bullet wound -- often leads the museum's visitors to ask more questions. How did he get this? Why did he keep it? How do we know it's the real thing?

Kuder's film touches on all of those questions, and although it is a portrait of Sanderson himself, it becomes clear that to separate the man from his pursuits would be a folly. She filmed interviews with:

Thompson, who led the daunting effort to organize Sanderson's collection. He then wrote his biography, and continues to maintain the museum.

Andrew Wyeth, the painter who in his youth acted as chauffeur while his family's close friend spun tales of Revolutionary War battles and sketched maps later would include in portraits of Sanderson; the late Ann Wyeth McCoy, a musician, painter and elder sister of Andrew; and several other friends and students.


Andrew Wyeth, Karen Kuder,

Helga Testorf

bottom of page