February 25, 2014
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.
January 28, 2014
November 22, 2013
It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving break. We’re all excited about seeing friends and family and taking a little break from school and work. So here are a few ideas for including the Smithsonian in your holiday plans from our Affiliate partners across the country:
The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurt, Illinois, hosts Modern Designer Jewelry from the Smithsonian, an exhibition that features jewelry from American Jewelry designers from 1960 to 2009 from the collections of the National Museum of Natural History.
Take an in-depth look at Pennsylvania’s significant role during the Civil War at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. In its new major exhibition, Pennsylvania’s Civil War, you can find a tintype camera and portable printing press on loan from the National Museum of American History.
Apollo Boilerplate Command Module on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.
More than 21 artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum are on view at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamagordo. Get an up-close look at an Apollo Boilerplate Command Module and see the training coveralls worn by New Mexico astronaut, Harrison Schmitt, the only scientist to walk on the moon.
If you’re in San Antonio, the Institute of Texan Cultures is currently displaying two exhibitions from the National Museum of the American Indian and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Native Words, Native Warriors tells the story of soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages while in service in the U.S. military. Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America celebrates the vibrancy, creativity and history of American Indian skateboarding culture.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the rich tradition of gathering together at harvest time and celebrating the abundant joys of the season. At Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, visitors can learn all about the settlement of the Plymouth Colony in the 17th century.
Go on safari at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, North Carolina. Fourteen specimens—from a tiny eastern mole to a mountain gorilla—are on loan from the National Museum of Natural History.
The Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, includes five works of art from the National Air and Space Museum collection in its exhibition Paintings of the Space Age.
The Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida, has Earl Cunningham’s painting Seminole Indian Summer Camp on view from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in its Earl Cunningham gallery.
Seminole Indian Summer Camp, ca. 1963, Earl Cunningham, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Michael and Marilyn Mennello.
Arizona State Museum, in Tucson, celebrates the creative work of American Indian directors, producers, writers, and actors during the Native Eyes Film Showcase, in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian and many others.
If you’re in California, visit the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and see I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story. Created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and organized for travel by SITES, the exhibit tells the story of how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history.
Check out the San Diego Air and Space Museum where you can see nearly 30 space-related artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.
Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Find an Affiliate here.
October 29, 2013
July 20, 2013
July 18, 2013
Spend your summer at a Smithsonian Affiliate! Check out these events in your neighborhood in July and August.
Kevin Gover, National Museum of the American Indian and Harold Closter, Smithsonian Affiliations, attended the public announcement of the Abbe Museum as a new Smithsonian Affiliate in Bar Harbor, 07.05.
Gabrielle Tayac (Piscataway), National Museum of the American Indian curator of the IndiVisible exhibit will give a public lecture on the similar histories of African-Native Americans and Acadian/Wabanaki relations at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, 7.10.
Lindsay Bartholomew, science curator at the Miami Science Museum, presented as part of the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access online webinar, Do It Yourself Astrophotography: Applications for the Classroom and Beyond, along with Mary Dussault, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Washington, D.C, 07.10.
The B&O Railroad Museum collaborated with the Smithsonian Science Education Center for a Science Education Academy for Teachers workshop, in Baltimore, 07.10.
Warren Perry, National Portrait Gallery curator, will guest jury the exhibition Humor Me! at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, in Solomons, 08.07.
National Outreach Manager Aaron Glavas will be speaking at the public announcement of the Telluride Historical Museum as a new Smithsonian Affiliate in Telluride, 7.29.
The Idaho Museum of Natural History will host the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibit Native Words, Native Warriors in Pocatello, 07.20.
The American Jazz Museum will host SITES’ American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, in Kansas City, 08.01.
The USS Constitution Museum will host a teacher workshop featuring a lecture by Sidney Hart, Senior Historian from the National Portrait Gallery, in Boston, 07.26 and 08.09.
Ten Affiliates are hosting student interns as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program, through 08.02—Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Musical Instrument Museum, California Science Center, Museum of Latin American Art, Chabot Space and Science Center, Miami Science Museum, Museum of Flight, and the International Museum of Art and Science.
Four Affiliates are participating in a Smithsonian EdLab teacher workshop, Connecting Classrooms, throughout July and August —the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre; the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, Texas; the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan; and Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum in Arizona.
LAST CHANCE! See these exhibitions in your community before they close!
The SITES’ exhibit Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America closes at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, in Mashantucket, 07.21.
Within the Emperor’s Garden: The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion exhibit closes at the International Museum of Art and Science, in McAllen, 08.18.
SITES’ exhibit IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas closes at the Abbe Museum, in Bar Harbor, 08.04.
May 16, 2013
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Summer is upon us, which means the baseball season is literally in full swing. Nothing says America more than a sunny afternoon at the ballpark with a hot dog and ball cap, cheering on your favorite team.
Now baseball fans can share their passion outside the ballpark too, with a new initiative launched by the National Museum of American Jewish History, our Affiliate in Philadelphia. The museum is inviting fans of all ages and backgrounds to submit artifacts, photos, and memorabilia that illustrate their connections to the game. This collecting effort and national conversation will support a major exhibition opening at the Museum in spring 2014 called Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America.
Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax during the 1966 World Series
This exhibition (which is expected to travel around the country) is the first major exhibition to weave together the history of American sport, leisure and national identity with the story of Jewish immigration and integration into American life. The exhibition will also tell the stories of other minority groups – including African-Americans, Latinos, Italian and Japanese immigrants – for whom baseball provided an important sense of belonging and pride.
The public is invited to share stories and memories of how baseball has affected generations of fans and their communities through the Museum’s site – chasingdreamsbaseball.tumblr.com. Here, fans can post images of their memorabilia and share their stories with the Museum’s curators and fellow baseball aficionados.
Sandy Koufax’ glove, on view at NMAJH, 2010-2012
Those who have visited the National Museum of American Jewish History in the past have likely seen Sandy Koufax’s glove, on loan from the Smithsonian and on view in Philadelphia when the Museum opened in its current location in 2010.
For more information on the exhibition or public collecting initiative, please read the press release, or visit the Museum’s website at www.nmajh.org.
Just think, here’s something else you can do during the seventh inning stretch!