Sometimes the best laid plans change. If you need to connect with new audiences, bring back regular visitors, or generate press coverage, the following traveling exhibitions, all with complete promotional , registrarial, and educational support, are available soon:
Photo courtesy Donald E. Hurlbert / Smithsonian Institution.
On April 28, 2014, the National Museum of Natural History’s Fossil Hall closed to the public to begin a 5-year renovation. The Hall will undergo the largest and most complex renovation in the Museum’s history. The new exhibition will showcase the Museum’s unrivaled fossil collection and present the most current scientific research.
New fossil displays and scientific stories, informed by the most current research, will give fresh meaning to ancient life. And new techniques for fossil display and collections management enable researchers to tell new stories with historic specimens. Visitors to the new hall will explore how life, environments, and ecosystems have interacted to form and change our planet over billions of years.
Many museums are in similar situations when determining how to upgrade a popular exhibition space. Meeting 21st-century technology demands, presenting the most current scientific research as well as incorporate the latest educational programs in an inviting and accessible way are all things to consider when reinvigorating an exhibition space.
At the 2014 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, Affiliate attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the NMNH staff organizing and executing the Fossil Hall renovation. Those in attendance will share their own experiences and take away ideas for reshaping a new story in old exhibits.
The session, The Evolution of a Fossil Hall: Bringing a Modern Lens to an Ancient Story, takes place at the National Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, June 25. All registered Affiliate attendees are welcome to join.
The panel consists of:
Kara Blond, Director of Exhibitions, National Museum of Natural History
Kathy Hollis, Paleobiology Collections Manager, National Museum of Natural History
Steve Jabo, Fossil Preparator, National Museum of Natural History
There’s still time to register to attend the Affiliations National Conference and discover something new!
The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, or have an application in progress and would like to attend the Conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.
This exhibit sketch featuring a Triceratops and soaring pterosaur brings the world in which the T. rex lived to life, and is just one possibility of what visitors could see after the museum’s largest, most extensive exhibition renovation is complete. (Courtesy Smithsonian Institution)
The era of the space shuttle may have drawn to a close, but shuttles are finding new life in education at museums across the country. The retirement of the shuttle fleet presents unique educational and collaborative opportunities for a greater community of organizations to explore space history through STEM programs.
The Smithsonian and Smithsonian Affiliations community represent, in collections and educational programs, the entirety of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program, from its inception, through the history of its flights, to the commemoration of its triumphs and tragedies. The National Air and Space Museum is home to Discovery, Smithsonian Affiliates California Science Center hosts Endeavour, and The Museum of Flight displays a full scale test shuttle to its visitors. Several more Affiliates have significant collections related to the shuttle program; five are home to Challenger Learning Centers.
As so many Affiliates are working to interpret space history and the shuttle program, we’re facilitating projects to bring this group together to encourage sharing information and materials. To begin, we’re hosting a session at the Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums conference, April 11-14, 2014. In this session, three museums will present case studies demonstrating unique exhibition and educational plans for the retired space shuttle fleet with the goal of sharing experiences and resources that would benefit other museums interested in using the space shuttle program in their educational offerings.
California Science Center will discuss plans for the new facility that will house Endeavour and the immersive experiences intended to encourage creativity and innovation. The Museum of Flight will share the hands-on experience (not possible with decommissioned orbiters) that visitors have when they climb into the three-story full-body trainer at the museum. The National Air and Space Museum will talk about the installation and exhibition of Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Center. We hope a lively discussion at Mutual Concerns will lead us to future collaborations. We’d like to hear our Affiliates ideas on how to connect: should we support a trip to Washington or connect digitally? Is this a topic that would resonate with museum visitors or spark imaginative school programming? Please contact us to take part, or join us June 23-25, 2014 at the Smithsonian Affiliations conference to continue the discussion.
Celebrate your special connection to the Smithsonian. SITES is offering Smithsonian Affiliates first dibs on booking these BRAND NEW exhibitions before we market them widely. Contact us today to reserve your preferred booking period.
Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
Credit: Flip Shulke, South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, June 1973. DOCUMERICA Photography Project. National Archives.
Images of everyday life in 1970s America: disco dancing and inflation, protests and bell bottoms, gas shortages and suburban sprawl. At a time when war and scandal wore on the national psyche, a burgeoning movement to protect our natural environment was gaining force.
In 1971, inspired by the Farm Security Administration’s photography project of the 1930s and 40s, the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the DOCUMERICA Photography Project to document environmental troubles and triumphs across the country. About 70 photographers, including Flip Schulke, John Corn, Danny Lyon, and John H. White, were urged to capture “the human connection” to the environment, from small towns in coal country to urban streetscapes. What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America. Capturing a rapidly changing world with surprising resonances to the present, DOCUMERICA culls some of the most striking photographs from a trove of thousands.
This unique exhibition is a collaboration between SITES and the National Archives and Records Administration which now holds the original DOCUMERICA photographic materials. You can browse through thousands of DOCUMERICA images on their website and Flickr.
90 color photographs, text panels, labels, and video
$7,000 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
Approximately 350 running feet
Tour begins: As early as February 2015
Contact: Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160
Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard
Benton Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, circa 1950. Archives of American Gardens
The suburban backyard is so familiar it feels like a permanent fixture of American life. But it’s actually an invention of the 1950s that grew up along with the Baby Boomers. Produced in partnership with the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens, Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard is a fun, retro look at the concept of “outdoor living” that was created in post-World War II America. From the mid-century rise of the suburbs and changes in home design to the popularity of DIY, barbecues, and tiki parties, the exhibition explores trends in society that were reflected in the typical American backyard. Topics include post-war garden design such as the Western, New Canaan, and Japanese styles, and the role of female landscape architects and tastemakers. Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard documents the new technologies and materials that led to inexpensive home pools and aluminum patio furniture, as well as the use of chemicals such as DDT and the resulting nascent environmental movement. From Levittown to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, don’t miss your chance as an Affiliate to reminisce about the American backyard.
Six double-sided, freestanding structures with reproductions of garden designs, vintage photographs, advertisement art, and text
$5,500 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
1,000-1,500 square feet
Tour begins: March 21, 2015
Contact: Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation
A celebration of Hindu marriage vows renewal. Photo: Preston Merchant.
From builders of the first railroads in the American West to leaders of the digital economy, immigrants from the subcontinent of India and their descendants have made deep and lasting contributions to the American story. Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, created in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center, explores the Indian American experience and this community’s vital political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life. Weaving together stories of individual achievement and collective struggle, the exhibition uses photography, vibrant color and design, narrative prose, and engaging interactives, to tell this uniquely American story. Beyond Bollywood is an inspirational look at the history and contributions of this community that merges India and America. This exhibition tour is a wonderful opportunity for SI Affiliates to educate, honor, and engage this burgeoning population across the country!
24 wall-hung panels with text, photographs, charts, maps and graphics; display thalis; audio station; videos on DVD; traveling trunk
$2,400 per 10-week slot plus outgoing shipping
150 running feet
Tour begins: May 2, 2015
Contact: Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142
We hope you’ll take advantage of these early-bird notices only for Smithsonian Affiliates- another benefit of your being a partner to the Smithsonian!
Today, September 6, 2013, Smithsonian Affiliate Plimoth Plantation delivered a traditional Mashpee Wampanoag #mishoon to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. (What is a mishoon? Read our previous blogs here and here) In a special ceremony at the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland, Plimoth, Wampanoag, and Smithsonian staff came together and celebrated the gift of the mishoon to the collection.
These amazing guys from the Wampanoag Indigenous Program at Plimoth Plantation created the mishoon that was gifted to the Smithsonian.
The IMAS team de-installs the Pavilion. Photos courtesy Don Williams.
After 5-years on the road visiting 5 Affiliates in Illinois, Texas, New York, and Kentucky, a team of experts packed-up the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion at the International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, Texas) at the end of August. The Pavilion reached nearly 150,000 visitors while on view at Peoria Riverfront Museum, Irving Arts Center, Flushing Town Hall, The Headley-Whitney Museum and IMAS. We’re grateful to Don Williams from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute who traveled to each Affiliate with a team of volunteers to help install and de-install the Pavilion.
Feeling nostalgic? Wander down memory lane through these past posts from The Affiliate Blog:
Gemini 11, which is currently on loan from the National Air and Space Museum to the California Science Center in Los Angeles
Smithsonian Affiliates are spotlighting their Affiliation on websites and visual communications. As so many museum visitors log onto a museum’s website before they come through the doors, this is an amazing way to emphasize your ongoing partnership with the Smithsonian to your community and visitors. We wanted to share some great examples and let you know how you can highlight your Smithsonian partnership!
The California Science Center mentions the ongoing projects with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum that even precede their Smithsonian Affiliation. They describe the collaboration that has led to their hosting many space history objects, including Gemini 11.
The Mexican Museum’s enewsletter with the tagline, “In Association with the Smithsonian Institution.”
Several Affiliates, such as The Freedom Museum and the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History use the Smithsonian Affiliations logo to discuss the Affiliation. Only Smithsonian Affiliates may use the logo in these ways so be sure to take advantage of this and shout your Affiliation partnership! We have recently updated our logo, which can be found here on a new page with several easy-to-download files in different formats. All logo uses must be approved by your National Outreach Manager, who can help with logo and tagline guidelines.
Use the logo and tagline!
Finally, we can also help with press releases for Smithsonian Affiliate collaborations by providing examples and suggestions, or boilerplate that can be included on every press release you send out. We found Affiliates doing this wonderfully: here’s the Berkshire Museum and Denver Museum of Nature and Science.