August 26, 2015
Congrats to these Affiliates making news! 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.
Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, VA)
1-YEAR-OLD Birthplace of Country Music Museum reflects on success, but work ahead
“Our goal going forward is to make sure we’re reaching different audiences in different ways. “I think we need to serve a broader public. One of our goals is to reach audiences who don’t think they’re interested in the Bristol Sessions.”
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX)
Exhibition in Texas Depicts The Legacy Of Sikhs & Punjab
“We’ve been in America for over 100 years,” Singh says. “Yet no one knows or has heard about us.” In hopes of changing that, Singh partnered with UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures to help bring an updated version of the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit, Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab, to San Antonio.
The Wolfsonian (Miami, FL)
Wolfsonian exhibit explores the artistry and social implications of the Newcomb Pottery Enterprise
The traveling exhibition, organized by the Newcomb Art Gallery in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), also features jewelry, metalwork, needlework, linoleum prints and bookbinding. A lavish and scholarly catalog complements the ample wall texts and typically elegant presentation in the sixth-floor galleries. The Wolfsonian has contributed a fine audio guide, collateral programming and its own American Arts and Crafts-style artisan display tables.
PinPoint: On Newcomb Pottery at The Wolfsonian, Florida International University
Women, Art, and Social Change is an exciting complement to The Wolfsonian’s core collection, with the lifespan of Newcomb Pottery aligning closely with the collecting period of the museum,” stated curatorial and exhibitions assistant Whitney Richardson, who is organizing The Wolfsonian’s presentation of the exhibition.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Where the Wild Things Aren’t: Cats Avoid Places Coyotes Roam
“Domestic cats are estimated to kill billions of birds and small mammals each year,” says lead author Roland Kays, a zoologist with NC State’s College of Natural Resources and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. “Knowing where they hunt helps assess the risk to wildlife.” The study is part of the eMammal project, which enables citizen scientists to collaborate with researchers at the Smithsonian Institution and NC State University to document animal activity. Co-author Robert Costello is with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Tavis Forrester, Megan C. Baker and William McShea are with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Smithsonian exhibit sets out how Pittsburgh region propelled war victory
As a part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, the Heinz History Center will host guest speaker Dr. Jeremy Kinney. The curator from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will discuss the Pittsburgh area’s integral aeronautics contributions to the Allied Forces victory.
We Did It! History center looks back at WWII
Memphis Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum (Memphis, TN)
Housing History: Memphis Music Hall of Fame opens its doors on Beale Street
“We’re almost there,” says John Doyle, executive director of the Smithsonian-[affiliated] Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, which has overseen the development and creation of the Hall. “We’ve got a few more touches and final things to get ready, but it’s almost a reality.”
National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
Richard Avedon: Family Affairs
Additions to the NMAJH show include a photograph of a 12-year-old Avedon with his colleagues in the YHMA Camera Club; an Avedon self-portrait as a teenager with classmate James Baldwin, both reflected in a mirror; Avedon with his large format camera, photographed by Ginsberg; an installation photo from Avedon’s 1962 exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution;
National Inventors Hall of Fame (US Patent And Trademark Office) (North Canton, OH)
Smithsonian to host innovation festival at National Museum of American History
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will host an innovation festival September 26 and 27 as a signature event of the collaboration between the Smithsonian and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thirteen companies, universities, government agencies and independent inventors, selected by a juried panel, will participate in the festival, which will explore how today’s inventors are creating the world of the future
Allen Ginsberg’s Family, Paterson, New Jersey, May 3, 1970. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation. From the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Gift of the American Contemporary Art Foundation, Leonard A. Lauder, President, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC)
Innoskate spotlights Greenville’s skateboard culture
The aim of Innoskate is “to change perceptions about skateboarding, to educate people about the science and the innovation behind the sport, and also, to really think about skateboarding as a way to bring life back into communities that are in need,” Halverson said.
Innoskate at the Children’s Museum (VIDEO)
Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS)
Old MHP command bus could end up in Smithsonian
South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
Sioux horse effigy returned to Cultural Heritage Center
“We wanted to do something special to mark the return of the effigy to South Dakota,” said Jay Smith, museum director for the State Historical Society. “We are designing a new display for the effigy that will include loaned effigies from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the National Museum of the American Indian.”
July 28, 2015
Congrats to these Affiliates making news! We were on a hiatus during our Conference season, but we’re back in action highlighting 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.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Clewiston, FL)
Florida Fontiers: Seminole museum offers a place to remember
“We want this to be the source for tribal history and culture for people,” said director Anne McCudden. “We want this to be the place where people can come to get the correct information, to meet tribal members, and to really experience tribal culture one-on-one.”
South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
State Historical Society’s Sioux Horse Effigy Returned
We are designing a new display for the effigy that will include loaned effigies from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science (Las Cruces, NM)
Kids ‘Capture the Colorful Cosmos’ in new exhibit
It’s a workshop fusing the worlds of art and science. Using software provided by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, students will learn about astronomy, remotely control a telescope to take an image of a celestial object, and process the image for visual impact. Students will then use the image as the basis of an art project,” explained Kimberly Hanson, education curator for the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science, which is hosting the project.
National Inventors Hall of Fame (North Canton, Ohio)
Smithsonian Innovation Wing Opens at National Museum of American History
The experience begins in the Johnson-Louis Gateway to Innovation where “Inventing in America,” in collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, displays early patent models, trademarks and inventions of National Inventors Hall of Fame members.
Daniel “Chappie” James, became a flight leader for a fighter squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines in the late 1940s. James flew 101 combat sorties in Korea in P-51 Mustangs and F-80 jets. He also flew in Vietnam and later became a four-star general. Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan)
Air Zoo exhibition ‘Black Wings,’ looks at history of blacks in U.S. aviation
“The Smithsonian’s ‘Black Wings’ exhibit so poignantly tells the stories of the trials and triumphs of some of our country’s most heroic aviators and space pioneers. The Air Zoo is honored to bring these extraordinary heroes to life for all our guests from Southwest Michigan and beyond,” said Troy Thrash, president and CEO of the Air Zoo.
New traveling Smithsonian exhibit opens at the Air Zoo
“This is really the perfect tie-in that really shapes what we’re trying to do at the Air Zoo; really tell these stories about famous aviators and astronauts as well, but also not-so-famous aviators and astronauts, who have done some amazing, remarkable, heroic things that many people don’t know about,” said Air Zoo President and CEO Troy Thrash.
National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
New director Amy Hollander brings fresh start to embattled industrial history museum
“If I were to design a dream job, it would be to be the executive director of the National Museum of Industrial History, a Smithsonian affiliate in a local, engaged community that is passionate about saving the vanishing landscape, which is how this appears to me,” Hollander said. “This is the classic historic preservation success story.”
Chuck Liddy-NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
NC State study finds coyotes help limit carnage from cats
This study describes some of the first results to come out of the “e-mammal” citizen science project led by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution. Volunteers set up cameras in their backyards, along trails, in urban forests, and in parks and nature preserves. They also helped identify the animals captured in photographs.
History Colorado (Denver, CO)
Roots run deep for Latinos in Colorado
Eduardo Diaz, the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, said he could not emphasize enough the importance of this exhibit and its message about the impact the Chicano movement has had on civil rights and justice issues across the nation.
Irving Arts Center (Irving, TX)
New Executive Director at Irving Arts Center in Texas
Todd Eric Hawkins has been named the Irving Arts Center’s executive director
Mennello Museum of American Art (Orlando, FL)
Reports: Mennello Museum names new director
Shannon Fitzgerald will be the new director of Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art, according to several media reports.
July 27, 2015
May 26, 2015
The 2015 Affiliations National Conference mobile app will have conference activities at your fingertips. Access all the information you need during the conference on your smartphones and devices.
The app will include an online agenda and a notes section that allows attendees to take notes inside the app and email the document to save or share with colleagues.
Speaker bios are linked to conference sessions for easy planning during the event.
Meeting locations have been formatted in a google map so users can easily get directions from any location around the National Mall.
The app is loaded with time saving information and tools right at your fingertips!
Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference app will be available in your app store in early June.
Stay tuned for updates so you can download it before the Conference.
Support for the mobile app generously provided by
May 4, 2015
Special thanks for this guest post to Amy Henderson, National Portrait Gallery’s historian emerita. Amy is a cultural historian specializing in “the lively arts”—particularly media-generated celebrity culture. Her books and exhibitions run the gamut from the pioneers in early broadcasting to Elvis Presley, Katharine Hepburn and Katharine Graham.
In the late 1980s, I met writer-director Garson Kanin at a Washington dinner party, and he set the stage for one of my happiest adventures as a cultural historian at the National Portrait Gallery. When I discovered that Garson, who wrote and directed all of the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy movies, lived next door to Herself in New York, I whined until he promised to give me her address. My excuse? The Portrait Gallery needed a fine portrait of the iconic actress!
Garson’s introduction worked, and I got to know Miss Hepburn in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. I would have coffee and cookies with her when I traveled to New York, and we always went on an exploration of all the portraits she kept in her townhouse; there were a lot, since she had known artists her entire life.
She mentioned “all the costumes” on the upper floor, but I never got a glimpse. Now, thanks to the Durham Museum in Omaha, the costumes are on full view. “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen” is drawn from the Kent State Museum’s Hepburn Costume Collection, and features more than 35 costumes worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions—and some of her private life clothes.
Mick Hale, Director of Education at the Durham, heard that I had curated a 2007 Portrait Gallery exhibition celebrating Hepburn’s centennial, and invited me to speak about her life in conjunction with the Durham’s costume show. I eagerly accepted, and spoke at this Smithsonian Affiliate in April. Talking about her life, I focused mainly on Hepburn’s remarkable ability to fashion her own image, even in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system when studios configured their stars to reflect their own particular movie “brand.” E.g., Warner Bros. had a “Murderers’ Row” of gangsters, while MGM boasted “all the stars in the heavens.”
The Durham has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2002, and Mick Hale estimates that they have hosted 25 or so traveling exhibitions such as the Hepburn costumes. Other recent speakers have included Mike Neufeld from the National Air and Space Museum, who spoke about the Apollo 8 mission during the Durham’s “1968” exhibition; and Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Richard Kurin, who shared his stories about 101 Smithsonian artifacts last Fall when the Durham hosted the Franklin Institute’s traveling exhibit “Identity: An Exhibition of You.”
My visit was enormous fun. First, the museum itself is lodged in what had been a stunning Art Deco train station that opened in 1931; lofty ceilings and a sense of bustle create an instantly uplifting “wow” museum experience. Second, for me it was great to see the costumes Hepburn wore during her long stage and screen career. Her waist was TINY—20”—and it was fascinating to see costumes from such landmark performances as the Broadway version of the Philadelphia Story. I also lingered over the section that spotlighted her impeccably tailored tan slacks, of which she had dozens.
My visit came at the end of Mick Hale’s tenure as education director at the Durham. After ten years, he is heading toward new challenges, directing a leadership initiative in Lincoln. But his dynamic partnership with the Smithsonian will remain firmly rooted at the Durham. “The museum and I are very proud of what we have done with the Smithsonian,” he told me, “and I know the quality work and collaboration will continue for a long time.”
All photos courtesy of the Durham Museum.
April 22, 2015
March 24, 2015
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