July 27, 2011
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s affiliation with Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center. My, what a decade it’s been!
Annmarie Garden is currently home to more artwork loans from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum than any other Affiliate, with a total of 27 sculptures on long-term loan. This impressive record is the result of a true partnership. Annmarie Garden has consistently been willing and able to help the Smithsonian conserve, care for and preserve these works. Beautifully arranged in a .25 mile meandering path through woods and open space, the first loan dates from 2003. With the opening of a beautiful new art building in 2008, Annmarie Garden has also featured indoor sculpture from the Smithsonian’s collections.
Our collaboration extends beyond art works. Annmarie Garden was one of only 5 Affiliates chosen to participate in a pilot project of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The Center’s popular “Spark!Lab” activities were transformed into traveling kits, and adapted by participating Affiliates to complement and highlight their own collections and programming.
The Smithsonian and Annmarie share expertise as well. A Smithsonian expert is a regular feature on juries for the Garden’s highly creative invitational exhibitions. Past participants have included an associate director from the National Zoo judging works for the Wild Things exhibition; the Smithsonian’s director of mobile strategy choosing works for a teen exhibition called text/message, and a Postal Museum curator judging portraits for the About Face exhibition.
Happy anniversary to Annmarie Garden, and may our creative collaboration continue to flourish in the next decade!