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August 28, 2013

The Sun Sets on the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion

imas_pavilion_deinstall

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:

Goodbye Texas, Hello New York! Part 1

Goodbye Texas, Hello New York! Part 2

Where Will the Pavilion Go Next?

Center Stage at Headley-Whitney

For more information about the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, contact affiliates@si.edu.

February 26, 2011

where will the pavilion go next?

The Smithsonian’s magnificent Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion will end its visit to Flushing Town Hall in New York City in September 2011.  Would your Affiliate like to be the next stop on its tour through America?

The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion is a 1:5 scale replica of the Wan Chun Ting pavilion that stands in the Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City in Beijing.  An example of classical Chinese architecture, the Pavilion was carved in China in 2007 by artisans of the China Red Sandalwood Museum, who then donated it to the Museum Conservation Institute at the Smithsonian.  Demonstrating traditional Chinese techniques of carving, the richly-detailed Pavilion is made of 3,000 hand-carved pieces of red sandalwood, one of the hardest woods in the world, and is constructed using mortise-and-tenon joinery.  There are no nails holding this magnificent model together.

Students learn from the Pavilion in Peoria, IL

The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion has already made three stops in Affiliateland.  After its exhibition at the Smithsonian in 2007, it traveled to the Lakeview Museum in Peoria, Illinois.  Accompanied by Chinese-specific programs including calligraphy classes, tai chi and tea ceremony demonstrations, and exhibits of Chinese art, the Pavilion drew a truly international audience, including the Chinese Ambassador to the United States.  (Read more about its Peoria life in The Affiliate newsletter article.)

It then traveled to the Irving Art Center in Irving, Texas, where it was stunningly displayed in the museum’s lobby.  In October, the Pavilion traveled to Flushing Town Hall in Queens, located in one of New York City’s largest Asian communities.  Complemented by a wide range of Asian-specific performances and art exhibitions, the orchestrated construction of the Pavilion by Smithsonian conservator Don Williams and his team of volunteers is a show unto itself.  This spectacular artifact will be ready to travel to a new location in September 2011.

an overhead view in Irving, TX

If you are interested in pursuing a loan of the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, here’s what you should know:

– The Pavilion is approximately 10’ wide x 10’ deep  x 10’ high.
– The Pavilion weighs 1.5 tons when assembled.
– The Pavilion comes in 14 large, specially-designed cases which must be stored during its installation.
– Text panels in English and Chinese accompany the Pavilion.
– The Pavilion must sit on a simple platform (12-18” high) which is usually built on-site.

– Contact your National Outreach Manager as soon as possible to discuss logistics!  affiliates@si.edu

Complete information about the Pavilion, including text from the panels and images, can be found at http://www.si.edu/MCI/pavilion/pavilion.html.

its current home in Flushing, NY

October 26, 2010

*amazing* loans at Affiliates this fall

More than 25 amazing and unique artifacts are on the move from the Smithsonian to Affiliates in six states,  from September to November this year.  This concentration of extraordinary activity gives testament to months (and sometimes years!) of hard work and planning by Smithsonian and Affiliate staffs alike. 

“Americans unable to visit the Smithsonian in Washington now have an opportunity to see some amazing Smithsonian artifacts from our collections in their own communities,” said Harold Closter, Affiliations Director.  “Something special happens when an artifact returns to its location of origin or joins an exhibit where it can be seen in a new context. Thanks to our Affiliates, the Smithsonian has a strong, visible presence in every part of our country.”

From the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY:

Lexington's skeletal head, next to its image while alive.

The fall season kicked off in Kentucky, site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.  The International Museum of the Horse borrowed the complete skeleton of Lexington, the most famous 19th-century American racehorse, returning him to his birthplace 160 years later.   Read more about this amazing loan in the upcoming Fall 2010 edition of The Affiliate newsletter. 

Isn’t Monopoly the way most of us learned about finance and economics?  A solid gold, jewel-encrusted Monopoly game from the Museum’s gem collection was unveiled with great fanfare in October at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street in New York City.  While students competed in a Monopoly tournament, the artifact’s creator, jeweler Sidney Mobell, spoke about this one-of-a-kind artwork.   

From the SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM:

Barthe's almost 3' Blackberry Woman

Artist Richmond Barthe’s bronze sculpture Blackberry Woman will soon be on view at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi for the inaugural exhibition in its new African American gallery.  Barthe grew up in Mississippi, and was inspired by the women he encountered there in his childhood.  How elegantly appropriate for this sculpture to return to the genesis of its inspiration!

In November, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico will display three paintings from SAAM’s Vidal Collection by legendary 18- 19th-century Puerto Rican Old Master, José Campeche.  These inclusions in a definitive retrospective of Campeche’s work represent the first loans ever between these two important art museums, a signficiant accomplishment.

Likewise, SAAM’s painting by Charmion von Wiegand “Nothing that is wrong in principle can be right in practice” will be part of the Rubin Museum’s Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-inspired Contemporary Art exhibition, the Museum’s first loan to this NYC Affiliate.

 From the ARCHIVES CENTER at the National Museum of American History:  

Detail from the illustrated sheet music, Oh! You Babe Ruth

The Archives Center is making a significant contribution to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music’s Sousa and His League of Players: America’s Music and the Golden Age of Baseball exhibition, marking the 100th anniversary of the Sousa Band’s World Tour.  With 11 baseball cards (including Ty Cobb’s) and several examples of illustrated sheet music (including Oh! You Babe Ruth and Stars of the National Game music), this exhibition will be the core of the University’s 2010 American Music Month Celebration.

From the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN:

In an unexpected request, the Museum has loaned a 19th-century Sioux flute and hide scraper from the Dakota Territory to the National Museum of American Jewish History.  What’s the connection?  When NMAJH opens its brand new building on Independence Mall this November, part of the history it will tell is the western expansion of Jewish Americans, and the kinds of peoples and objects they encountered along the way.   

And from the MUSEUM CONSERVATION INSTITUTE:

Within the Emperor's Garden - on view at Flushing Town Hall

MCI’s extraordinary object, the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, made its way between two Affiliates this fall, from Texas to Flushing, New York.  Flushing Town Hall is located in one of New York City’s largest Asian communities, a perfect context for this 1:5 scale model replica from the Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City in Bejing.  Read more about the deinstallation and NYC installation of this object.

THANK YOU to all of our Smithsonian colleagues for their work on these loans, and for our Affiliate friends who so consistently collaborate with us to bring the Smithsonian to their neighborhoods.

October 14, 2010

on the road in New York

It’s a chilly, rainy, autumn day along the east coast, but that’s not stopping Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager Jennifer Brundage!  She’s on her way to visit our Affiliates in the New York- New Jersey area and participate in some really exciting events this weekend.  A golden Monopoly set, a Chinese pavilion, and a Tibetan Shrine Room are among the fascinating things she’ll be reporting on as she travels. You can follow her journey on Twitter at @SIAffiliates. Here’s a look at some highlights along the way:

Tomorrow, Jennifer will be on-hand when the Museum of American Finance in New York City unveils the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In the afternoon, the museum will host Monopoly tournaments for children and adults to go along with the unveiling! Look for #Monopoly posts as Jennifer tweets during the day.

While she’s in the city, Jennifer will visit the Tibetan Shrine Room currently on view at the Rubin Museum of Art. On loan from the Alice S. Kandell Collection and organized by the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Shrine Room provides visitors an extraordinary opportunity to experience Tibetan Buddhist art in context. 

On Saturday, Jennifer will close her journey with the opening reception for the Within the Emperor’s Garden: Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion exhibition at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, New York. Based on the original Wan Chun Ting pavilion that stands in the Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City in China, this highly detailed 1:5 scale replica is made of red sandalwood and constructed using mortise-and-tenon joinery. The exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, with assistance of the China Red Sandalwood Museum and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Also on her road trip, she’ll be stopping-by these Affiliates too:

Known for their rich history of African American jazz and pop music, the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District /Museum of African American Music in Newark, New Jersey, captures the energy, spontaneity, and spirit of African American music through a combination of live performance, physical artifacts, audio-visual media, interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Most recently hosting the SITES exhibition Legacy of Lincoln, Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island is one of New York City’s most unexpected and extraordinary destinations. Set within an 83- acre National Historic Landmark district, the center is a place where history, architecture, the visual and performing arts, and environmental science all come together to provide a rich and powerful learning experience.

Don’t forget you can follow Jennifer’s journey on Twitter at @SIAffiliates and look for #Monopoly posts tomorrow during the Monopoly tournaments! And keep checking the Smithsonian Affiliates Flickr photostream in the next week for photos from the road.

September 27, 2010

coming up in affiliateland in october 2010

October is a busy month in Affiliateland!

PANAMA:
The  Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá will open Panamanian Passages, an exhibit developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama City, 10.1.

from SITES' Lasting Light exhibition. Photo by Gary Ladd.

ARIZONA:
National Museum of American History Curator Larry Bird lectures on WWII posters at Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, in Bisbee, 10.02.

ILLINOIS:
SITES’ Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography, opens at the Dixon Historic Center in Dixon, 10.02.

A teaspoon of farm soil contains up to 1 billion bacteria in more than 4,000 species. From Dig It!

NEBRASKA:
National Museum of Natural History’s Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, opens at the Durham Museum in Omaha, 10.02.  

The Durham Museum welcomes educators  presenting lessons from Dig It! and Lincoln at Smithsonian Teachers Night in Omaha, 10.08.

NEW YORK:
The Museum of American Finance will display an 18-karat gold gem studded Monopoly board on loan from the National Museum of Natural History in New York, 10.15.

The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute will display the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion at the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts in Flushing, 10.16.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
Miami Science Museum, Smithsonian Affiliations, and ASTC will host GirlsRISE, a three-day science institute in Washington DC, 10.20-23.

GEORGIA:
National Museum of American History Curator Shannon Perich speaks about Western imagery in photography at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, 10.22.

CONNECTICUT:
SITES’ Native Words, Native Warriors opens at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, 10.23.

Portrait of Ella Baker, freedom sister. Photo by Charmian Reading.

MARYLAND:
SITES’ Freedom’s Sisters opens at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore, 10.23.

NATIONWIDE:
25 Affiliates take part in AAM’s Universal Design: Beyond ADA webinar featuring Smithsonian Accessibility Program’s Beth Ziebarth, 10.27.

July 27, 2010

Goodbye Texas…Hello New York! The 10,000 Springs Pavilion is on the move

Special thanks to Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute Conservator Don Williams for this guest post.

Two weeks ago found me in Irving, Texas, along with Groopsters Bob Klein and Bill Ferguson from the Professional Refinisher’s Group (aka “Groop”), dismantling the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion at Smithsonian Affiliate, Irving Arts Center.  We’re packing it for travel to its next temporary home in Flushing, NY, at Affiliate, Flushing Town Hall. Thus far Groop members have donated over 75 man-days toward the installation and de-installation of the exhibit, which could not be accomplished otherwise. Here’s a peek at the de-installation:

The setting for the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion in the lobby of the Irving Arts Center was truly spectacular, exposing the magnificent artifact to tens of thousands of patrons.

Bill (l) and Bob (r) were real troopers. This was Bill's second rodeo with me, and Bob's fifth(!).

We were joined in our endeavor by the skilled and burly crew for the Irving Arts Center when it came time to handle the really heavy and awkward stuff.

The building crew for the Irving Arts Center was an amazingly helpful and professional group. The gigantic roof portions had to be hand carried a few hundred feet through the building to get reunited with the crates.

Not too surprisingly, it comes apart much faster than it goes together.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Bill got the honors this time of removing the impossibly ornate carved finial.

All packed up with somewhere to go.

 The project went smoothly and quickly.  I had allotted three full days of work, but we were done by late  afternoon of day two. It was truly a delight to spend productive time with these two Groop brothers and the fellowship it entailed.

Next stop is Flushing, New York, where the local logistics will require a sunrise Sunday beginning.  The exhibit will open October 16, 2010.

About the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion
The structure is a 1 to 5 model of the celebrated and intricate classic Chinese pavilion that stands within the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. The model of the pavilion was gifted to the Smithsonian by Dr. Chan Laiwa and the China Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing. Dr. Chan founded the museum to preserve and perpetuate the ancient Chinese art of red sandalwood carving.

Made by Chinese artisans using traditional Chinese carving and fine furniture techniques, the model captures the beauty of the original pavilion, and is an outstanding example of traditional Chinese carving. Artisans at the China Red Sandalwood Museum constructed this model of red sandalwood, treasured for its dark glossy color and musty floral fragrance. No nails are used; the entire structure is put together with mortise-and-tenon joinery. Currently, nearly 60 percent of red sandalwood carvers are women. Red sandalwood was highly prized in imperial China, and was used to create intricately carved furniture and decorative objects. Because of the demand for this wood, the tree nearly disappeared in China – along with the art of carving it.

The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion is one of the 20 or so structures that are part of the private pleasure grounds for two dynasties of Chinese emperors. The Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City was a retreat for the emperor and his family allowing quiet contemplation of nature and communion with the spiritual world. 

 

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