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April 1, 2014

Batter Up! It’s Opening Day in Affiliateland

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game!”

Opening Day is a state of mind. Countless baseball fans recognize this unofficial holiday as a good reason to call in sick at work or be truant from school and go out to the ballpark for the first of the regular season games. Now, we’re not suggesting playing hooky or skipping school by any means, but if you can’t make it to the ballpark, catch some baseball history at the Smithsonian or in your own neighborhood at one of these Smithsonian Affiliates.

Photo courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society.

Photo courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society.

At the South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
Thanks to a donation from Aberdeen native Paul Gertsen, a collection of Northern League (1900-1971) baseball materials showcasing the history of baseball in South Dakota will open soon. “The Northern League was the highest level of professional baseball in South Dakota, and an important minor league system in the upper Midwest. So many great players were on those teams, such as Hank Aaron, Jim Palmer, Lou Brock and Willie Stargell. The league’s history is rich, and its South Dakota roots run deep. I am proud that the society is now home to the most complete and definitive collection of Northern League materials in existence. It is truly an honor to accept this collection, and it is very exciting for anyone interested in the history of South Dakota baseball,” commented Dan Brosz, curator of collections at the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society. Contact Jay Smith, Museum Director for more info 605.773.3798.

Sheet music for “Take Me Out to the Ball-Game” by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, 1908 Courtesy of Andy Strasberg

At NMAJH, sheet music for “Take Me Out to the Ball-Game” by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, 1908
Courtesy of Andy Strasberg

At the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American is on view through October 2014. The exhibition displays the central role baseball has played in the lives of American minority communities as they sought to understand and express the ideals, culture, and behaviors of their homeland—or challenge them. Programs for this show include talks with ESPN and major league baseball historians, and a summer film series featuring baseball.

The 1960s World Series display at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Photo courtesy of the Center.

The 1960s World Series display at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Photo courtesy of the Center.

At the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center will showcase artifacts from one of the greatest moments in sports history through May 1– Mazeroski Artifacts from the 1960 World Series. Fans will enjoy Mazeroski’s Pirates uniform and bronzed 35-inch Louisville Slugger bat accompanied by additional items from 1960, including the pitching rubber and first base from Game 7, shortstop Dick Groat’s jersey from his 1960 Most Valuable Player season, and a life-like museum figure of Mazeroski hitting the legendary home run.

Photo courtesy Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Photo courtesy Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library has made a number of important book and manuscript additions over the past few years. Babylon to Baseball: Recent Additions to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library will showcase over thirty new pieces. Collections and items to be highlighted range from a 4000 year old Babylonian clay tablet to scarce baseball reference works once owned by the American League President’s Office.

At the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, California)
Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game, on view March 29- September 14, explores the team’s storied past through four players and a Hall of Fame manager, each of whom made history in his own right: Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela, Chan Ho Park, Hideo Nomo, and Tommy Lasorda. From their original roots in Brooklyn to today’s home in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are trailblazers in the world of sports, on and off the field. The franchise is dedicated to supporting a culture of winning baseball, providing a first-class, family-friendly experience at Dodger Stadium and maintaining strong partnerships in the community.

Our amazing intern, Rachel, checking out baseball history at the National Museum of American History.

Our amazing intern, Rachel, checking out baseball history at the National Museum of American History.

At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
Baseball history can be seen throughout the American History Museum. Here you can see a WWII Secret Compartment Baseball (1942). In WWII, the U.S. Military Intelligence Service created “care packages” with the intent of assisting Allied prisoners’ escapes from enemy containment. Baseballs were often used to smuggle in different items to the prisoners through secret compartments. Before Jackie Robinson rocked the baseball world by becoming the first integrated baseball player in history, African Americans played in separate leagues. On view also in the American Stories exhibit is a Negro Leagues Baseball (1920-1945), signed by players of the Negro Leagues, which drew millions of fans during their height.

Newkirk High School Tigers. Photo by Oklahoma Humanities Council, Newkirk, OK.

Newkirk High School Tigers. Photo by Oklahoma Humanities Council, Newkirk, OK.

Through Museums on Main Street at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and possibly coming to a small town near you—Hometown Teams. Hometown Teams tells the story of sports as an indelible part of our culture and community. For well over one hundred years sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape our national character. Whether it’s professional sports, or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, the plain fact is sports are everywhere in America. Our love of sports begins in our hometowns–on the sandlot, at the local ball field, in the street, even. Americans play sports everywhere.

And last but not least, the exhibition may not be on the road anymore, but you can still view Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente through an online exhibition from SITES, based on an original exhibition from the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, a Smithsonian Affiliate. Clemente was born in the summer of 1934 in a house of concrete and wood on an old country road in Barrio San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico. He died on December 31, 1972, in a plane crash a few miles from his birthplace while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. In his thirty-eight years, RobertoClemente became a baseball legend in the United States, but in his homeland and throughout Latin America he became a national and cultural icon.

Do you know of baseball exhibits at Smithsonian Affiliates in your hometown? Let us know! Email us or tweet us @SIAffiliates and share your baseball stories!

November 3, 2011

SITES in your neighborhood this winter

Smithsonian Affiliates across the country are bringing Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions to their communities this winter. Here’s what’s opening at an Affiliate near you:  

In 1954, Clemente signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. “I didn’t even know where Pittsburgh was,” Clemente later admitted. This image was taken on the field in 1957. AP/Wide World Photo

November 5, 2011 – January 1, 2012
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture(Baltimore, Maryland)
Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente
The baseball diamond has produced legendary athletes who have broken records and shattered barriers. But for many, Roberto Clemente is the most inspiring of all. With a cannon arm and lightning speed, he was an outstanding ballplayer. But the Puerto Rico native was also a dedicated humanitarian.
Special programming in conjunction with the exhibition

  • On Sundays throughout the month of November, visitors to the museum can participate in SUNDAYS @ 2 FILMS series. Featured films are: Béisbol: The Latin Game, Third World California, From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, and Yo soy Boricua, pa’que tu lo sepas! (“I’m Puerto Rican, Just So You Know!”).
  • Raise Your Brown Black Fist: The Political Shouts of an Angry Afro-Latino (Book Talk) (Saturday, December 10, 2 p.m.) Through political commentary, author, screenwriter, activist and journalist Kevin Alberto Sabio addresses the unspoken African heritage of Latino culture, the exclusion of Afro-Latinos from mainstream American and Latino society and the hidden history of unity between the two. 

Radmilla Cody, Miss Navajo Nation, and her grandmother, 2006. Radmilla Cody became Miss Navajo in 1997. Although she proved her cultural knowledge, her selection was controversial in the Navajo community because she has mixed race heritage. © 2009 John Running

November 5, 2011 – January 1, 2012
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture(Baltimore, Maryland)
IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas explores historical and contemporary stories of peoples and communities whose shared histories are woven into the fabric of American identity but whose presence has long been invisible to many in the United States.
Special programming in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • Painted Gourd: Red and Black Voices (Saturday, November 5, 3 p.m.) Penny Gamble Williams, a descendant from the Chappaquiddick Band of the Wampanoag Nation of Massachusetts, examines the intercultural relationships between Native American and African Americans.
  • Genealogy Workshop: Researching Black Indian Ancestry East of the Mississippi (Saturday, November 19, 10:30 a.m.)Join author and blogger Angela Walton-Raji for a presentation on research methods of documenting African American and Native American family history.
  • Native American Dance Presentation (Cultural Program) (Saturday, November 26, 2 p.m.) Native American dancers with the Baltimore American Indian Center perform social dances that explain their history.
  • SUNDAYS @ 2 FILMS:  Black Indians: An American Story (Sunday, December 4, 2 p.m.) 

Filipino and other Asian immigrants were recruited as early as the mid-1800s to accommodate the agricultural demands of the West Coast and Hawai’i. Courtesy Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawai’i at West O’ahu

November 12, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Sonoma County Museum
(Santa Rosa, California)
Singgalot: (The Ties That Bind) Filipinos in America, from Colonial Subjects to Citizens
Today there are more than 2.5 million Filipino Americans in the U.S. Yet many, including Filipinos themselves, aren’t familiar with the details of their history in America: their experiences, rich traditions, and culture. Singgalot is their story.
Special programming in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • Film Screening: Remembering Our Manongs: Sonoma County’s Filipino History (Fri Dec 9, 2011 6:00pm – 8:00pm) A moving film documenting the Filipino presence in Sonoma County, produced with the help of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS).
  • Filipino-themed Family Day(Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:00am – 2:00pm) Activities will include dance and martial arts demonstrations, traditional Filipino children’s games, face painting, hands-on musical instruments, and more.

Salute to Matkatamiba. Photo by Kate Thompson

December 3, 2011 – February 26, 2012
Littleton Museum
 
(Littleton, Colorado)
Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography
Covering nearly 125 years of photographic history, the exhibition includes images of early photographers dangling from cables to get the perfect shot, their cumbersome camera equipment balanced precariously on their shoulders. More modern images are bold and dramatic, revealing the canyon’s capricious weather, its flora and fauna, waterfalls and wading pools, and awesome cliffs and rock formations. 

 

 

Untitled Still Life, Flowers, ca. 1936-1938. Oil on burlap. Courtesy Morgan State University and SITES.

December 24, 2011 – March 18, 2012
Mennello Museum of American Art
(Orlando, Florida)
William H. Johnson: An American Modern
A virtuoso skilled in various media and techniques, William Henry Johnson (1901-1970) produced thousands of works over a career that spanned decades, continents, and genres. Now, on view in its entirety for the first time, a seminal collection covering key stages in Johnson’s career. This exhibition of 20 expressionist and vernacular landscapes, still life paintings, and portraits explores the intricate layers of Johnson’s diverse cultural perspective as an artist and self-described “primitive and cultured painter.”  

Legendary New York Mets’ coach Yogi Berra shares his line-up with Clemente before a 1972 spring training game in St. Petersburg, Florida. AP/Wide World Photo

January 21 – March 18, 2012
Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, Florida)
Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente
The baseball diamond has produced legendary athletes who have broken records and shattered barriers. But for many, Roberto Clemente is the most inspiring of all. With a cannon arm and lightning speed, he was an outstanding ballplayer. But the Puerto Rico native was also a dedicated humanitarian.
Special programming in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • Steve Blass on Baseball: A Pirate’s Life (January 21, 2012 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm) Steve Blass, former teammate and close friend of Roberto Clemente, helps the History Center celebrate the opening of the exhibition with a showing of the rare 1975 film, Roberto Clemente: A Touch of Royalty, that chronicles the contributions of Clemente. 

Find a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood here.
Find more Smithsonian traveling exhibitions and programs here.

March 5, 2011

SITES in your neighborhood this spring

Smithsonian Affiliates across the country are bringing Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibitions to their communities this spring. Here’s what’s opening at an Affiliate in the coming months: 

This 1929 photo shows P.E. Allen of the White House police force, trainer Harry Waters, and some of the White House dogs, although not Herbert Hoover’s personal favorite, King Tut. Photo by Herbert E. French, National Photo Company. Library of Congress.

March 19- May 29, 2011
Orange County Regional History Center(Orlando, Florida)
The Working White House: Two Centuries of Traditions and Memories
Two centuries of stories and traditions are preserved in this exhibition, developed with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the White House Historical Association. Archival and contemporary images, videos, as well as fascinating oral histories of workers who have served presidents from William Taft through George W. Bush convey the occupational culture of this private yet public place.

Judith Jamison in “Cry,” 1976, Max Waldman (1919 - 1981), National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Carol Greunke, Max Waldman Archives.

March 26 – June 19, 2011
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
This inaugural exhibition of photographic portraits of African Americans explores the medium’s influential role in shaping public identity and individual notions of race and status over the past 150 years. The portrait subjects come from many sectors of the African American community, from Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Edmonia Lewis, to W.E.B. Du Bois, Lorraine Hansberry, and Wynton Marsalis.

Portrait from Becoming American: Teenagers and Immigration. Photographs © Barbara Beirne

April 23 – July 17, 2011
The Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Becoming American: Teenagers & Immigration, Photographs by Barbara Beirne
In many ways, ours is a nation of immigrants—hungry for freedom, peace, and the opportunity promised by the American Dream. The realities of that immigrant experience are most vividly read in the faces and words of young people who have made this journey. In this exhibition, each sensitive portrait is paired with excerpts from Beirne’s interviews with teens from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. All of their stories are unique, and we read in every quote—and in every face—the individual struggles and hopes of “becoming American.”

Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.

April 30 – July 10, 2011
South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium (Bradenton, Florida)
Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants
Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from our view. What if we could see into their world…on their level? What would we learn? What parallels could we draw between them and us? Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and photographer Dr. Mark Moffett, SITES and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History present the world of ants.

And you can still catch these exhibitions at an Affiliate in your neighborhood:

Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente, at Challenger Learning Center of Arizona (Peoria, Arizona), through April 17, 2011.

Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, at Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, Illinois), through May 1, 2011.

Find a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood here.
Find more Smithsonian traveling exhibitions and programs here.

 

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