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August 24, 2012

Kudos Affiliates! September 2012

As summer heats up, so too do Affiliate accomplishments!

The Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) received a new grant from the Asian Cultural Council, New York City, to establish a partnership between the Michigan State University Museum and Yunnan Nationalities Museum, in Kunming, China. The $12,000 grant is aimed at creating new resources online that can be used to access Chinese folklife and ethnographic collections by scholars, museums and the public.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, Ohio) will receive a $1.8 million grant over three years as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing program. The three-year grant will be used for programs to increase student and public awareness and understanding about the history of racial oppression in this country.

The GAR Foundation has awarded a $30,000 grant to the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, Ohio), for educational programming at Hale Farm & Village.

Three Affiliates received Smithsonian Community Grants program sponsored by MetLife Foundation as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Services (SITES):

  • Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas) received $5,000 to fund programming that fosters self-identification and pride for dual heritage African-Native Texans. The grant will support honoraria for several scholars, craft and educational materials, and the marketing and advertising of events related to the themes of IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas.
  • San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, California) was awarded $3,750 to fund the honoraria of Native American skate industry professionals who will participate in a panel discussion. The grant will also support the marketing of programming related to the themes of Ramp it Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America.
  • Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum (McMinnville, Oregon) will receive $2,160 to fund the busing of economically disadvantaged and minority youth in the regional Portland area to view Black Wings: An American Dream of Flight.

A technology upgrade for Ellen Noel Art Museum (Odessa, Texas) is the result of a Permian Basin Area Foundation $5,000 grant. This technology upgrade will help support the museum’s existing website and social media sites.

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of their 2012 Leadership in History Awards Winners including the following Affiliates:

  • Arizona State Museum (Tucson, Arizona) for the exhibit Many Mexicos: Vistas de la Frontera
  • Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, Indiana) for the exhibit 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana.
  • Montana Historical Society (Bozeman, Montana) and Montana Office of Public Instruction Indian Education for All Divisions for Best Practices in Museum Education: Museums and Schools as Co-Educators.
  • North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina) for the exhibit The Story of North Carolina.
  • Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, Ohio) for the exhibit Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See; for the Ohio as America Online 4th Grade Textbook; and for the Ohio History Service Corps-AmeriCorps Program.

April 13, 2011

NASA + Smithsonian + Smithsonian Affiliates = Blissful retirement for space artifacts

Space Shuttle Endeavour is moments away from touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, bringing to a close the STS-113 mission to the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

On April 12, 2011 NASA announced new homes for three space shuttles soon to be retired from the space program at the end of this summer. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center   will receive the Discovery and the California Science Center  a Smithsonian Affiliate in Los Angeles, California,  will receive the Endeavour.  

But NASA isn’t just retiring the gigantic shuttles.  Hundreds of space artifacts are also included in the retirement plan and several more Smithsonian Affiliates will have the honor of exhibiting them.   

 These NASA objects join Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) artifacts already on long-term loan to these Affiliates and enjoyed daily by museum goers across the country.

The Saturn V Rocket at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

  • At the Adler Planetarium, visitors can see the Gemini 12 Space Capsule flown by Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin in 1966.
  • The Aerobee 350 Sounding Rocket has recently been conserved at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and will be on view for visitors to the museum soon. 
  • From space food to drawings to space suits, The Museum of Flight has delighted visitors to the museum with NASM artifacts for many years.
  • The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is home to the Saturn V Rocket and many other artifacts such as space instruments and technical devices.

 Of course, the history of the American space program and many more historic artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum can be can be seen in numerous Smithsonian Affiliate museums from Portage, Michigan to San Diego, California.  There are 168 Smithsonian Affiliates in 40 states, D.C., Panama and Puerto Rico.  More than 1,000 artifacts are currently on view at Affiliates across the country just waiting for visitors to experience the Smithsonian in their own neighborhood.  Visit a Smithsonian Affiliate in your community today!

Gemini 12 at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Photo courtesy Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.

August 25, 2010

Affiliate collections on View at the Smithsonian

With more than an estimated 137 million artifacts, 19 museums, galleries and the National Zoological Park, one may think that there’s not a lot that the Smithsonian doesn’t have.  But Smithsonian curators and researchers frequently reach out to other experts, borrowing objects to complement Smithsonian exhibitions.     

Smithsonian Affiliations promotes the mutual sharing of ideas and expertise; and Smithsonian Affiliates are proud to help when called upon.  Currently, five Smithsonian Affiliates have objects and images from their collections on view in Smithsonian exhibitions.  So what’s out there?

Elvis at Three by Howard Finster on display at the National Portrait Gallery. High Museum of Art

At the National Portrait Gallery, One Life: Echoes of Elvis commemorates the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth.  The High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA) lent two paintings by Howard Finster to tell the story of this iconic American, as popular today as he was during his lifetime.  The exhibition’s curator, Warren Perry, explains the importance of the High’s contribution: “The mission behind our Elvis show was to find works that paid tribute to Elvis since his death.  Howard Finster’s work—he began painting images of Elvis shortly after Elvis died—fit the bill exactly, if not to the extreme.  Finster believed that Elvis was an emissary of God and often he painted him as such, as we see in the High Museum’s portrait of Elvis with angel’s wings.  The composition of these pieces is wonderful; Finster’s appreciation of Elvis exudes from them both. I am really grateful to the High Museum for making these works available to us.”

Objects related to the "Spruce Goose" from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, on view at the National Air & Space Museum

Objects from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (McMinnville, OR) help tell the story of another legendary American, Howard Hughes.  The Hughes H-4 Hercules aircraft (nicknamed the “Spruce Goose”) was built during World War II to transport materials.  As wartime rations limited the use of metal, the massive aircraft was mostly built of wood; its wingspan is still the largest of any aircraft in history.  While the “Spruce Goose” is on display at the Evergreen in Oregon, objects related to its groundbreaking construction are on view at the National Air and Space Museum.   Chris Moore, Museum Specialist in the Aeronautics Division at the Air and Space Museum said, “The exhibit includes objects related to the aircraft’s manufacture. We don’t have any artifacts from the aircraft in our collection, so borrowing them allowed us to tell a story we could otherwise not have told.”

The Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) lent three artifacts to The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946, organized by author and guest curator, Delphine Hirasuna“The Japanese American National Museum was pleased to lend artifacts from its extensive permanent collection to the traveling exhibition, The Art of Gaman,” stated National Museum President & CEO Akemi Kikumura Yano. “Delphine Hirasuna’s work in exploring the cultural connections between the objects and art created in the camps by the inmates helps to illuminate the spirit of those falsely incarcerated. As an Affiliate, the Japanese American National Museum was delighted to collaborate with this show and the Renwick Gallery, since all parties seek to explore and share this important chapter of U.S. history.”

Mother in Jerome Camp, 1943 by Henry Sugimoto, who was also interned in Jerome, Arkansas, on view at the Renwick Gallery. Japanese American National Museum

At the National Zoo, the Center for the History of Psychology (Akron, OH) shared its collections — permanently — by giving a gift of early 20th century IQ tests to the Zoo.  “Think Tank interprets animal thinking and the challenges of measuring human and animal intelligence.  The gift of the artifacts from the Center for the History of Psychology helps us to interpret this topic for our visitors,” says Lisa Stevens, Curator of Primates and Giant Pandas.

Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX) works to document the multicultural  history of the state of Texas.  Their photo archives supplied images to the Anacostia Community Museum’s latest exhibition, Word, Shout, Song: Lorenzo Dow Turner Connecting Communities through Language.  The exhibition documents the historical journey made by people from Africa to the Americas.  “It’s a great pleasure and privilege to share our resources with the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum,” said Tim Gette, executive director of the Institute of Texan Cultures.  “We have nearly 3.5 million historic images of Texas and Texans, including the Black Seminole or Gullah peoples and their descendants.  This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase a unique culture whose influence can be felt throughout the Southern States.”

Each of these collaborations highlight the best part of the Affiliate relationship – museums working together to share knowledge and ideas with visitors.

 

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