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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.

 

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