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May 27, 2015

Press roundup for June 2015

Lots of Affiliates in the news around the country!

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamagordo, NM)
Restoration Project For New Mexico Museum Of Space History
“The Smithsonian takes artifact conservation very seriously, as do we here at the museum. Our goal is to make sure that when an artifact undergoes this process that everything is taken into account – from the present condition of the artifact to long term conservation goals and the facilities at Holloman where the restoration will take place. The plan we put together goes step by step through the entire process. The Smithsonian was very pleased with our plans and partnership with the 49thWing,” said Taylor. “I think the best part about this, though, is the excitement of the teams on base and their commitment to an authentic restoration of the boilerplate.”

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA)
American Fighter Aces Fly Into History – Once Again: Pilots recognized with Congress’ highest civilian award
Seattle’s Museum of Flight is home to the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) and an extensive collection of artifacts, documents and exhibits that tell the legendary stories of the Fighter Aces. It supports more than 700 “Friends” of the Aces in AFAA chapters across the country who are dedicated to championing the stories of these brave pilots, preserving and sharing their legacy.

US Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)
Movers & Shapers, May 2015
Dr. Deborah Barnhart serves as Gov. Robert Bentley’s appointee to the Alabama Space Authority Task Force and was recently appointed to the Smithsonian Affiliations Advisory Council. She is a recipient of NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.

"Gramps," on view at the Heinz History Center, on loan from the National Museum of American History

“Gramps,” on view at the Heinz History Center, on loan from the National Museum of American History

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
‘We Can Do It!’ at Heinz History Center looks at homefront, battlefront
One of the stars of the show is the 1940 model military reconnaissance car designed and constructed in 49 days by the American Bantam Car Co. in Butler. The prototype jeep, known as “Gramps,” is on loan to the history center from the Smithsonian Institution. Behind Gramps is a 10-foot-tall photo mural of the vehicle surrounded by the engineers, managers and workers who built it.

History Center Exhibit Exploring Pittsburgh and World War II Opens Tomorrow
We Can Do It! WWII is the title (playing off the famous Rosie the Riveter poster) of the new Senator John Heinz History Center exhibit exploring wartime Pittsburgh, during the 1940s.

Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore,MD)
Baltimore’s Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry
[Photo Gallery] The Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, which opened in 1996, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution that is operated by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. The museum’s extensive and fascinating collection includes thousands of items such as drills, extractors, antique mouthwash bottles, toothpaste tubes and antique dental chairs.

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals (Hillsboro, OR)
Smithsonian forges partnership with Rice Museum
“It’s a big feather in the whole community’s cap,” Gray added. “To be affiliated with the Smithsonian says a lot for the community support we’ve enjoyed for decades, and being rewarded with this prestigious affiliation brings awareness of our museum to a broader area and will bring more tourism into the area.”

South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC)
State Museum Celebrates Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope
[VIDEO] On Friday viewers may see live streaming from the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as exhibits of sidewalk astronomy.

June 2015 kudos to Affiliates

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!

FUNDING

surfacing July 10-12, 2015!

surfacing July 10-12, 2015!

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has given the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) a $39,500 grant for their first annual submarine festival, Sub Fest. The festival will be July 10-12.  During the festival, visitors will see a Naval Art Collection, film showings, and interactive exhibits. Sub Fest was created to celebrate the community’s ship building history and educate others about the area’s lasting legacy.

Union Station Kansas City Inc. (Kansas City, MO) announced a $360,000 gift from the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation toward a $7.5 million expansion and improvement project. The initiative aims to modernize the streetscape around the station, add a bridge to connect cars and pedestrians to a parking garage and expand the Science City attraction inside Union Station.

The National Park Service announced the recipients of the National Maritime Heritage Grants including the following Affiliates:

Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT)  The Seaport received $199,806 to restore the 1908 steamboat Sabino, one of two surviving excursion steamers in the US and the only one on the East Coast.
USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA)  The Museum received $50,000 to create a multi-media experience to welcome and introduce audiences to the history and significance of the USS Constitution.
Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)  The Society received $25,000 for the Discovery and Excavation of the Steamboat Heroine, an exhibit and education program on western steamboat travel and the history, discovery, and excavation of a western river steamboat.

The National Endowment of the Arts has awarded their Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships grant awards to the following Affiliate projects:

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) received $30,000 to support the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeships and Heritage Awards Program.  The Arts Apprenticeship Program will support master artists in their instruction of apprentices in various traditional arts. The Heritage Awards Program will provide public recognition of the master artists and demonstrations/performances by the artist and apprentice teams at the Great Lakes Folk Festival.  A gallery in the MSU Museum and a website will provide information about the artists and traditions celebrated and perpetuated through these programs.
American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) received $20,000 to support the 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival. The one-day indoor and outdoor festival will feature ticketed performances by jazz and blues artists on multiple stages. Musical offerings are supplemented by educational programming including jazz storytelling, a workshop, and lectures. Additional accompanying project activities may include performance opportunities for local youth jazz ensembles and a public master class with the festival’s artist-in-residence.

a new exhibition in South Carolina, supported in part by the NEA

a new exhibition in South Carolina, supported in part by the NEA

Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) received $15,000 to support a residency by Japanese anime artist Makoto Shinkai to coincide with the museum’s hosting of the exhibition Hello from Japan. The residency activities will include students from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and will incorporate art-making workshops, lectures, and an anime film festival. The residency and the exhibition, organized by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, will promote education about Japan’s anime tradition through direct engagement and learning.

The Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, NM) will present two touch screen interactive exhibits thanks to a $7,500 Hubbard Foundation grant. The award will be used to enhance the wagon exhibits and offer more detailed information to visitors.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS and RECOGNITION

Dr. Dennis A. Casey, educator at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA) was elected District VIII Director of the National Science Teachers Association.

The State of Connecticut named Mystic Seaport (Mystic,  CT) President Steve White the 2015 Tourism Leader of the Year. The award honors an individual who has made a singular contribution to the advancement of the tourism industry in Connecticut.

 

LEADERSHIP

Kate Vengrove has been named interim director of Hunt Hill Farm Trust (New Milford, CT).

Amy Hollander has been named the new executive director at the National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA).

What to see while you’re in town for the National Conference

While you’re in D.C.,  don’t miss the opportunity to see what’s new at the Smithsonian! We know that it can be daunting to choose among all the museums and exhibitions, so here are a few suggestions, tailored to your time at the Affiliations conference.

Monday, June 15, 12:15 pm, Freer Sackler Gallery of Art
Before the conference starts, take advantage of a tour of Darren Waterson’s Filthy Lucre, a remix of the iconic Peacock Room (details here).

A decadent ruin collapsing under the weight of its own creative excess, Filthy Lucre forms the centerpiece of an unprecedented exhibition that highlights the complicated tensions between art and money, ego and patronage, and acts of creative expression in the nineteenth century and today. It’s a way to see Whistler’s Peacock Room in a completely new light.

Filthy Lucre

Tuesday, June 16, 5:30 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Mingering Mike: SICKLE CELL ANEMIA, 1972. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mingering Mike: SICKLE CELL ANEMIA, 1972.
Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Head to the Smithsonian American Art Museum a little ahead of Congressional Night at the Smithsonian to catch a tour of the Mingering Mike’s Supersonic Greatest Hits exhibition.  If you’ve seen the retrospective documentary Searching For Sugar Man, you will love Mingering Mike, the soul superstar nobody has ever heard of. Learn about him and his visionary collection of fabricated music ephemera with Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art. She will discuss the artist’s influences, share how the museum came to own the collection, and guide you through a collection of over 150 works of art.

Wednesday, June 17, 1 pm, Haupt Garden
Why not spend your lunch break learning “What Makes a Victorian Garden Victorian?”  Join one of the Smithsonian Gardens’ knowledgeable horticulturists who will describe the various features of the Enid A. Haupt Garden, including its plants and flowers, the Asian-inspired moongate garden, and the Moorish-inspired fountain garden.  Meet outside in the Haupt Garden, near the south entrance doors to the Smithsonian Castle.  Click here for complete information.

And if you can, take a peek at these new and exciting exhibitions:
Hear My Voice: Alexander Graham Bell and the Origins of Recorded Sound, National Museum of American History
In this new exhibition, see documents, recordings, laboratory notes, and apparatus from the Volta Laboratory. Learn about the early history of sound recording in the United States. Hear some of the earliest sound recordings ever made including the only known example of Graham Bell’s own voice, thanks to sound recovery techniques developed by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Museum.

Photographer Zack Brown shooting dapper men in Harlem, c. 1937 by Eliot Elisofon, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Photographer Zack Brown shooting dapper men in Harlem, c. 1937 by Eliot Elisofon, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African American History and Culture gallery at the National Museum of American History
The much anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to officially open its doors in 2016. Check out what all the excitement is about right now!  A new exhibition at the National Museum of American History offers a preview of the artifacts and moments chronicled in the collections.

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, National Museum of African Art

Yinka Shonibare MBE How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Gentlemen) 2006 Sindika Dokolo Collection, Luanda Photograph by Axel Schneider ©Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt

Yinka Shonibare MBE
How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Gentlemen) 2006  Sindika Dokolo Collection, Luanda
Photograph by Axel Schneider
©Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt

Right down the hall from conference sessions in the Ripley Center, you will find The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists exhibition.  A combination of new commissions and recently produced works of art come together in this exhibition to demonstrate the ongoing global relevance of the themes addressed in Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Forty of the best known and emerging artists from 18 African nations and the African diaspora working in media as diverse as video projection, installation, painting, sculpture and textiles explore diverse issues of politics, identity, faith, and form. In so doing, they reveal that each person’s vision of heaven, purgatory, or hell is unique.

Shirin Neshat: Facing History, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Grab lunch nearby and walk to the Hirshorn Museum to stroll the gardens.  Then, go upstairs to the second level to see the Shirin Neshat: Facing History exhibition. In her mesmerizing films and photographs, Shirin Neshat examines the nuances of

Shirin Neshat, I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah), 1993. Photo: Plauto. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat, I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah), 1993. Photo: Plauto. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

power and identity in the Islamic world—particularly in her native country of Iran. Shirin Neshat: Facing History presents an array of Neshat’s most compelling works, illuminating the points at which cultural and political events have impacted her artistic practice.

 

For a complete list of all the events and exhibitions at the Smithsonian, click here!

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2015

Even though we’ll see many Affiliates in DC for the Affiliations National Conference, some will be home leading this great roster of events.

MASSACHUSETTS
Dr. Libby Haight O’Connell (Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, History Channel and A+E Networks, and Alumnus of the Board of the National Museum of American History) presents The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, a time-traveling dinner program at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, 6.4.

Attendees at the Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, WV will hear Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

Attendees at the Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, WV will hear Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

WEST VIRGINIA
The Heritage Farm Museum and Village will live stream Smithsonian Folkways recordings during its Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, 6.6.

FLORIDA
The Wolfsonian at Florida International University opens SITES’ Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise exhibition in Miami, 6.12.

The Tampa Bay History Center opens SITES’ Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard exhibition in Tampa, 6.20.

PENNSYLVANIA
A team of textile conservators from the National Museum of the American Indian will be touring and consulting with the U.S.  Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, 6.16-18.

CALIFORNIA
The Museums of Sonoma County opens SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth exhibition in Santa Rosa, 6.20.

NATIONWIDE
Twelve Affiliates will welcome interns from the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program from June 29-July 31.  Thank you to the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL); California Science Center (Los Angeles,  CA); Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA); Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX); History Colorado (Denver, CO); Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA); Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ); Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA); and the Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX).

 

May 26, 2015

Our app is back !

Preview of the appThe 2015 Affiliations National Conference mobile app will have conference activities at your fingertips. Access all the information you need during the conference on your smartphones and devices.

The app will include an online agenda and a notes section that allows attendees to take notes inside the app and email the document to save or share with colleagues.

Speaker bios are linked to conference sessions for easy planning during the event.

Meeting locations have been formatted in a google map so users can easily get directions from any location around the National Mall.

The app is loaded with time saving information and tools right at your fingertips!

Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference app will be available in your app store in early June.

Stay tuned for updates so you can download it before the Conference.

 

 

 

Support for the mobile app generously provided by http://www.crowdtorch.com/about-us.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2015

Katharine Hepburn at The Durham Museum

Special thanks for this guest post to Amy Henderson, National Portrait Gallery’s historian emerita. Amy is a cultural historian specializing in “the lively arts”—particularly media-generated celebrity culture. Her books and exhibitions run the gamut from the pioneers in early broadcasting to Elvis Presley, Katharine Hepburn and Katharine Graham.

In the late 1980s, I met writer-director Garson Kanin at a Washington dinner party, and he set the stage for one of my happiest adventures as a cultural historian at the National Portrait Gallery. When I discovered that Garson, who wrote and directed all of the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy movies, lived next door to Herself in New York, I whined until he promised to give me her address. My excuse? The Portrait Gallery needed a fine portrait of the iconic actress!

Garson’s introduction worked, and I got to know Miss Hepburn in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. I would have coffee and cookies with her when I traveled to New York, and we always went on an exploration of all the portraits she kept in her townhouse; there were a lot, since she had known artists her entire life.

She mentioned “all the costumes” on the upper floor, but I never got a glimpse. Now, thanks to the Durham Museum in Omaha, the costumes are on full view. “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen” is drawn from the Kent State Museum’s Hepburn Costume Collection, and features more than 35 costumes worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions—and some of her private life clothes.

image001

Mick Hale, Director of Education at the Durham, heard that I had curated a 2007 Portrait Gallery exhibition celebrating Hepburn’s centennial, and invited me to speak about her life in conjunction with the Durham’s costume show. I eagerly accepted, and spoke at this Smithsonian Affiliate in April. Talking about her life, I focused mainly on Hepburn’s remarkable ability to fashion her own image, even in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system when studios configured their stars to reflect their own particular movie “brand.”  E.g., Warner Bros. had a “Murderers’ Row” of gangsters, while MGM boasted “all the stars in the heavens.”

The Durham has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2002, and Mick Hale estimates that they have hosted 25 or so traveling exhibitions such as the Hepburn costumes. Other recent speakers have included Mike Neufeld from the National Air and Space Museum, who spoke about the Apollo 8 mission during the Durham’s “1968” exhibition; and Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Richard Kurin, who shared his stories about 101 Smithsonian artifacts last Fall when the Durham hosted the Franklin Institute’s traveling exhibit “Identity: An Exhibition of You.”

image002

My visit was enormous fun. First, the museum itself is lodged in what had been a stunning Art Deco train station that opened in 1931; lofty ceilings and a sense of bustle create an instantly uplifting “wow” museum experience. Second, for me it was great to see the costumes Hepburn wore during her long stage and screen career. Her waist was TINY—20”—and it was fascinating to see costumes from such landmark performances as the Broadway version of the Philadelphia Story. I also lingered over the section that spotlighted her impeccably tailored tan slacks, of which she had dozens.

My visit came at the end of Mick Hale’s tenure as education director at the Durham. After ten years, he is heading toward new challenges, directing a leadership initiative in Lincoln. But his dynamic partnership with the Smithsonian will remain firmly rooted at the Durham. “The museum and I are very proud of what we have done with the Smithsonian,” he told me, “and I know the quality work and collaboration will continue for a long time.”

image003All photos courtesy of the Durham Museum.

April 22, 2015

coming up in affiliateland in may 2015

The 2015 class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The 2015 class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Affiliations director Harold Closter will give remarks at the Affiliations announcement at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, 5.7.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (headquartered in North Canton, OH) will host a series of innovation events at the Smithsonian to celebrate the 2015 class of inductees – 14 trailblazing inventors.  The induction ceremony will be held at the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum, 5.12.  Innovation Echo, a panel discussion with inductees, co-hosted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, will take place at the National Museum of American History, 5.13.

MARYLAND
College Park Aviation Museum will host From Queen Bee to Drone Fever: The Strange Evolution of Unmanned Aircraft, a public lecture by National Air and Space curator Roger Conner in College Park, 5.14.

Dig_It_poster_300NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will open SITES Dig It: The Secrets of Soil in Raleigh, 5.16.

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