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April 25, 2012

The Loan Clinic: Unlock the Mysteries of Sharing Collections

How did nearly 20 fossils return on long-term loan to the Tellus Science Museum? How did the Senator John Heinz History Center manage to negotiate the loan of a piece of the Star Spangled Banner?  What kind of research did the Frost Art Museum have to undertake to find the perfect paintings for its upcoming exhibition on Seminole portraits? Affiliate guest speakers and Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Managers answer these questions and troubleshoot Affiliate loan questions during the session The Loan Clinic: Unlock the Mysteries of Sharing Collections, at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference on June 14, 2012.  

We know from our Affiliate Satisfaction Survey that our Affiliate partners want access to Smithsonian loans. We also know that the process can be daunting. So we want to discuss the big questions together—“What could have been done differently?” “How do I anticipate what is needed?” “Am I asking the right questions?” Three Affiliate speakers will present case studies using their loan experiences as a model for tackling the Smithsonian loan process. 

Ladds Quarry fossils on loan from the National Museum of Natural History to the Tellus Science Museum.

With experience working with the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and National Air and Space Museum, Amy Gramsey, Collections Manager, Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, Georgia) will discuss the power of thinking ahead and recognizing the differences in each Smithsonian museum. Her examples will include the successful loan of the Ladds Quarry fossils from NMNH. Ladds Quarry, an abandoned limestone quarry in Cartersville produced a goldmine of fossils in the 1960s. These fossils were able to return to the Cartersville community to inspire and educate visitors to the Tellus Science Museum through a long-term loan from NMNH. 

Bantam Jeep on loan from the National Museum of American History to the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Anne Madarasz, Museum Division Director, Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) has had success organizing loans from the National Museum of American History (NMAH), National Portrait Gallery, and National Postal Museum and is currently investigating loans from National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of African Art.  A firm believer in having every History Center exhibition include a Smithsonian artifact, Madarasz’s success in obtaining loans comes from her strategy of not limiting her request to just one Smithsonian museum and having a solid back-up plan. Her case studies will include the successful loan of the Bantam Jeep, which has been on loan from NMAH since 2003, and a fragment of the Star Spangled Banner which is currently included in the History Center’s exhibition Stars & Stripes: An American Story. 

Annette Fromm receives a Certificate of Award for her participation in the 2011 Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program. (L to R) The Honorable Sam Johnson (TX-03), Smithsonian Affiliations Director Harold Closter, Annette Fromm, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough.

A Smithsonian Affiliations Visiting Professional in 2011, Annette B. Fromm, Assistant Professor/Museum Studies Coordinator, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University(Miami, Florida), is well-versed in advanced planning to anticipate what surprises may occur along the way. Working in conjunction with the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Clewiston, Florida, to secure portraits of Seminoles from the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Fromm will touch on how to anticipate what costs may be to avoid big surprises after a proposal is secured. Her Visiting Professional residency at NMAI, NPG and the American Art Museum proved the importance of pre-arranged researching to find the best fit

for her exhibition. 

Join us at the 2012 Affiliations National Conference, June 12-14!

Register today! 

View the 2012 Conference Agenda

Book your hotel room at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel. 

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.

Museum Evaluation Conference Call

Filed under: General — Laura Hansen @ 12:44 pm

Do you have questions about museum evaluation?  Join us!

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies (SCEMS) assists the museum community in acquiring and strenthening its understandings and practices of museology. One of their most valuable resources available to the Smithsonian community is professional development on evaluation which can help museum professionals achieve more successful projects. Evaluation data can also support grant applications and inform long-term planning.

If you have questions about evaluation, both generally or as related to a specific project, please join us for an informal disussion, Monday, May 24 from 2-4pm (EDT.) Please call (218) 632-0550 (access code 573864#) to participate.

To receive materials prior to the call, please rsvp to: Melissa Wadman at SCEMS. 

 

New National Youth Summit

Building on the success of the National Youth Summit: 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides program in 2011, Affiliates will again be invited to partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities, PBS, and National Museum of American History.  Scheduled for October 15th, the next Youth Summit coincides with the broadcast of Ken Burns’ documentary, “The Dust Bowl” and will include Affiliates as the locations for funded programming and interactive conversations about this historic event.  (Affiliate partners will be able to apply for $5000 grants to support programs!) 

Considered one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in American history, environmental issues are detailed in the new documentary and are relevant to us today in unexpected ways.  Smithsonian and Affiliate programming will focus on the question of individual freedom versus the common good, an ongoing tension in our democracy. 

In the coming weeks, watch for more information about applying for funds to host a “viewing party” and complementary programming for the webcast, originating at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.  Ten Affiliates will be asked to pair with their local PBS station for help with technology.  The Affiliates will host middle school students, tape their questions, and make them available to a panel in Washington for discussion. Affiliates are also encouraged to conduct locally-specific programming of their own to explore how the topic relates to their communities.  For more information, please contact Aaron Glavas, national outreach manager, Smithsonian Affiliations: glavasc@si.edu

April 24, 2012

kudos Affiliates! may 2012

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) $17 million in grants for 208 humanities projects, including the following Affiliates:

  • City of Las Cruces Museum System (Las Cruces, New Mexico) received $1,000 to host the NEH traveling exhibition Bison.
  •  Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages (Long Island, New York) was awarded $286,014 for the installation and interpretation of the exhibitions-Carriage Museum’s Streets of New York and Carriages for Sport and Pleasure-about the social and economic history of horse-drawn transportation in New York City circa 1900.
  •  Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin (Odessa, Texas) will receive $1,000 to host the NEH traveling exhibition Grass Roots.
  •  Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, Wyoming) was awarded $40,000 to develop a traveling exhibition- Enduring Legacies of the Great Plains: The Paul Dyck Collection- a view on Plains Indian cultures as documented in a collection of materials from the pre-reservation and early reservation periods.

The Grammy Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) to restore and preserve about 600 hours of Bob Wills’ music recorded in the 1940s.

The McAllen City Commission approved plans for a nearly $277,000 facelift for the International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, Texas). Under the plan, McAllen would re-orient the museum’s loading docks, build a new steel-and-concrete walkway and install blue lights to illuminate the building at night.

A collection of early textile machines at the American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachusetts) has been recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for its historic significance to 19th century engineering and technology.

 

April 20, 2012

a new face at SEEC!

In 1988, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center was founded, in part, to demonstrate the tremendous learning potential of museums on very young children, and to share those lessons as broadly as possible.  Dr. Sharon Shaffer, SEEC’s founding director, has grown the organization to three centers on the National Mall and an ambitious outreach program that has trained thousands of educators, including many Affiliates.  Sharon has made an indelible mark on the Smithsonian community, enriching our understanding of early childhood education.  She leaves big shoes to fill upon her retirement later this year. 

SEEC's new executive director, Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl

In July, SEEC will welcome Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl, its new executive director.   Kim currently serves as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer and Senior Vice President for the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio.  Of her many accomplishments at COSI, Kiehl was responsible for the physical and programmatic design of little kidspace®, a 12,000-square-foot “museum-within-a-museum” designed specifically for young children.  She has also been a faculty member at Ohio State University, teaching early childhood education and development courses, and running the University’s laboratory school for children under 6.  Kim earned her doctorate degree in education from Pennsylvania State University. 

the new early childhood space at the B & O Railroad Museum

Affiliates have a long successful history of working with SEEC.  The B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore consulted with SEEC when developing their dedicated spaces for early learners.  SEEC has conducted trainings and workshops for the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, MS among others.  In January 2012, four Affiliate representatives from the California Science Center, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas and the Miami Science Center all came to Washington, D.C. to participate in a planning session for a National Symposium on Early Learning in Museums, currently under development.

We look forward to continuing the Affiliate-SEEC collaboration for the benefit of our museums’ youngest visitors, in thanking Sharon for the foundations she has laid, and welcoming Kim as a new partner in education.

Look for SEEC at the Resource Fair at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, June 12-14.  And for more, check out the latest issue of the Journal of Museum Education, guest edited by Sharon Shaffer and focusing on early learning.

 

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