Special thanks to Monica Reardon, Smithsonian Affiliations summer intern, for authoring the 2013 Smithsonian #MuseumDayLive! blog series.
A donation in 1963 to The University of Texas marked the beginnings of the museum Frontiers of Flight, now located in Dallas, Texas. The collection of artifacts and archival materials of George Haddaway, an aviation historian and the publisher of “Flight” magazine, became the “History of Aviation Collection.” The collection then moved from Austin to The University of Texas at Dallas in the late 1970’s. Eventually, The Frontiers of Flight Museum was formed as an organization in 1988. From there, it grew into what it is today.
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:
“As a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Native American communities, we’re delighted to welcome a creation like this one that represents a living tradition among the Wampanoag,” says Kevin Gover (Pawnee) Director, National Museum of the American Indian.
So what is a mishoon? During the 17th century, the mishoon—a traditional Native American canoe—was the most common boat in North American waters. A typical 17th-century mishoon was created from a giant tree and capable of carrying 40 men. The mishoon being accepted into the NMAI collection isn’t quite that large—it’s 16 feet long and can fit up to 3 people—but it was created in the traditional way.
Photo courtesy Plimoth Plantation.
Photo courtesy Plimoth Plantation.
So how does one create a mishoon? Picking the tree is the first step of course. With the help of Gurney’s Lumber Yard in Freetown, Massachusetts, WIP selected a white pine. The tree was burned down by wrapping clay around the trunk and burning the roots. It was then brought to Plimoth Plantation’s Wampanoag Homesite, where the log was worked with fire. By burning into the widest point of the tree a natural keel is created, where the bottom of the boat is thicker than its sides. Historically, mishoons were burned 24 hours a day, since the longer the fire was maintained the hotter it would get. Typically, it would take about 10-12 days for mishoons to be created in the 17th century. Although this seems like a long time, trees during this period were typically over 150 feet tall and 6 feet wide, capable of creating the mishoons that could carry 40 men.
“It’s an honor that the Smithsonian will accept it, and we enjoy doing new work—it keeps the job challenging,” said Darius Coombs, Associate Director of the Wampanoag Indigenous Program. “It has been a fun and educational experience. The mishoon is an invaluable piece that will add depth to the Smithsonian’s already rich representation of Northeast Native life.”
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.
Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM)—April 2014—is just around the corner. Affiliates have the opportunity to participate in FREE Media Training/Networking webinars organized by The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA). The JJA program will help Affiliate organizations use JAM as an opportunity to broaden their outreach to local communities and media outlets and to network with local jazz influencers.
Poster art designed by Fritz Klaetke, art director for JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology.
Three online webinars will discuss the use of social media and on working with local online and traditional media to
Increase local awareness of JAM and the institution’s JAM-related events.
Build the institution’s ongoing social media presence.
Reach under-served local communities.
Connect with other local institutions and individuals involved in jazz and related cultural production.
Special thanks to Monica Reardon, Smithsonian Affiliations summer intern, for authoring the 2013 #MuseumDayLive! Affiliate blog series.
Patent model, Smith & Wesson Magazine Lever Action Pistol. AF*251055. Image provided by Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West had its start as a log building in Cody, Wyoming, resembling Buffalo Bill’s TE Ranch house. Mary Jester Allen intended the museum to be a national shrine and memorial to her uncle, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and to the early pioneers of the American West. The collections grew and so did the Museum, with the intent of preserving and conveying the “Spirit of the American West.”
The Smith and Wesson Lever Action Patent Model was the first lever action prototype firearm designed by Smith and Wesson. Smith and Wesson’s original company, The Volcanic Repeating Arms Co. was actually named after the nickname for the pistol, the Volcanic pistol. However, this patent did not bring them financial success and they sold the rights to a shirt manufacturer named Oliver Winchester. Winchester would go on to use this patent; his lever action rifles becoming synonymous with the American West.
Revolver, patent model. Colt Paterson Revolver. AF*251084. Image provided by Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
The Colt Patent is connected to Samuel Colt, another name famous in the American West, particularly for revolvers. Colt’s revolver is the first successful percussion firearm ever patented. The design from this model would go on to be the production type Colt Paterson. As noted by Ashley Hlebinsky,Firearms Curatorial Resident, “You pretty much cannot see a Western film without seeing a variation of a Colt Revolver and a Winchester Lever Action.”
Hlebinsky would like visitors “to not only see some amazing firearms and representations of engineering ingenuity, but to understand the people who made the firearms and who owned and used them.” She hopes that the “artifacts are able to convey a story about the people involved in the process – from the trial and error methods of the patent process (some patent models were never produced, while others became infamous) to the experiences of those who owned the guns.”
Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Find out which other Affiliates are participating in #MuseumDayLive on September 28, 2013, here.
Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines. If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.
CALIFORNIA Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California) Carlos Bulosan poem inspires US exhibit The exhibit, titled “I Want the Wide American Earth,” will end its run at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on Aug. 25. It will open next at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 14 and run until Dec. 1.
GEORGIA Booth Western Art Museum (Cartersville, Georgia) Booth Western Art Museum celebrates 10 years “As far as the museum community goes, becoming a Smithsonian affiliate and also joining the Museums West consortium, those were two certainly highlights in the museum achieving some recognition within the field and being recognized by our peers,” Hopkins said.
Researchers creating database of bones from every known arctic bird, mammal, fish “…Known as the Virtual Zooarchaeology of the Arctic Project, or VZAP, the database pulls together data from universities and museums around the world. The Burke Museum, Smithsonian Institution and Canadian Museum of Civilization have partnered with Maschner to offer their considerable collections. The database can be seen online through Idaho State University, where Maschner teaches and acts as the director for the Idaho Museum of Natural History.”
The olinguito was announced Aug. 15, 2013, as the world’s newest species. The team of scientists that discovered the small carnivore included Roland Kays, a professor at North Carolina State University.
NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina) NC scientist part of team that discovers new species “N.C. State professor Roland Kays, who also serves as director of the Biodiversity Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, helped uncover the existence of the olinguito…”
OKLAHOMA Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) Oklahoma History Center receives oral history grant from the Smithsonian “We are honored to be one of ten Smithsonian Affiliates to receive this grant which will engage students with history and help us fulfill our mission to collect, preserve, and share the history and culture of Oklahoma and its people,” said Leah Craig, curator of Education at the Oklahoma History Center.”
SOUTH DAKOTA South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, S.D.) State Historical Society Announces New Teacher’s Workshop in Collaboration with Smithsonian “Working with Smithsonian EdLab through this workshop is a great first step in building our capacity to provide new learning opportunities for students in South Dakota,“ commented Jay Smith, museum director. “We will build on this experience in developing future programming opportunities with some of the museums in the Smithsonian system to further capitalize on our new affiliation.”
(left to right) Deb Smith, an English teacher at Lyman High School in Presho, and Alyssa Anderson, a 7th grade language arts and 8th grade journalism teacher in Chamberlain, work on their mission plans for the upcoming school year. Allison Jarrell/Capital Journal
Viewing museums, technology as educational resources “Recently, the Cultural Heritage Center became a Smithsonian affiliate. As such, the museum had the opportunity this summer to host a week-long Smithsonian workshop aimed at teaching educators mission-based learning techniques and how to better utilize museum and technology resources.”
WYOMING Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, Wyo.) Smithsonian Firearms in Cody (VIDEO) “… It’s a chance to see firearms that are typically only on display at the Smithsonian Institution in the Nation’s Capital. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West will be home to those 64 artifacts for three years.”