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August 25, 2011

SITES’ corner

By Ed Liskey, Senior Scheduling & Exhibitor Relations Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

We’d like to share some of the great experiences Affiliate museums have had hosting SITES exhibitions this past summer.  When will you get your SITES on? 

Native Words, Native Warriors at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, WI) is hosting SITES’ Native Words, Native Warriors, from July 23- October 2, 2011. It’s the remarkable story of Indian soldiers from more than a dozen tribes who used their Native languages in the service of the U.S. military.

Museum Educator Wendy Lutzke reports that the museum has made  interesting historical connections between the exhibition and its World War II submarine, the USS Cobia.  The Cobia is the largest artifact in the museum’s collection, and is moored right outside the gallery.  “While researching the history of the Code Talkers in the Pacific, intern Nick Oswald found that both the Code Talkers and the crew of the USS Cobia had a direct impact on the outcome of the battle of Iwo Jima.  Code Talkers revealed deceptive Japanese communications that mimicked those sent by the Allies, while the crew of the USS Cobia destroyed two Japanese vessels, one of which was carrying tanks intended for Iwo Jima.” 

Native Words, Native Warriors at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum

In September, the museum will feature Oneida Nation historian Loretta Metoxen, to speak on the Oneida’s contribution to the Code Talker Program.  A medal recognizing the Oneida individuals involved in the program will be struck by the U.S. Mint later this fall. 

The Charlotte Museum of History (Charlotte, NC) hosted SITES’ Becoming American:  Teenagers & Immigration exhibition April 23 – July 17, 2011, and visitors loved every minute of it.  Photographer Barbara Beirne’s images capture first-generation immigrants and children of immigrants, revealing a diverse array of teenage responses to the immigrant experience.

Becoming American installation at The Charlotte Museum of History

 Exhibits Manager Lee Goodan reported that “the Museum actively works to engage the diverse community of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, home to many immigrants from other areas of the world and transplants from around the country. The stories of Becoming American reflect the diverse make-up of the area, and provide compelling examples of finding identity with migration. As we explore the theme of home within our institution, this exhibition illustrated the challenges and opportunities of finding and remembering ‘home.’ The focus on teenagers provided us the opportunity to create a successful program for high school students. Based on visitor feedback, the content resonated with our visitors who identified with the stories or found the exhibition insightful on a topic with which they were not personally familiar.”

Becoming American high school program at The Charlotte Museum of History

 Ms. Goodan continued:  “It was an excellent exhibition- compelling, thought-provoking, and directly presented. The primary strength of the exhibition was that it seemed to be very effective at evoking responses- either intellectual or emotional- from visitors. Based on comments left in the exhibition response book, we received more comments of a personal or substantive nature than usual. Some included political or social commentary, some shared personal experience with immigration, and some simply noted that they had been touched or affected by the stories.”

Farmers, Warriors, Builders a the South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium (Bradenton, FL) is currently hosting Farmers, Warriors, Builders:  The Hidden Life of Ants, on view through October 9, 2011.  More than 140 guests got buggy with entomology family fun on Saturday, August 6 at a “Family Night” program at the museum.  Hands-on crafts, a cartoon movie about the critters, and a scavenger hunt through the museum including the Farmers, Warriors, Builders exhibition all made the event a huge hit.

The museum team is thrilled about another exhibition-related event with Dr. Mark Moffett, the world-renowned ant expert, award-winning photographer, and Smithsonian Research Associate whose work is featured in the exhibition.  On September 29, he will present “Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions” based on his newest book of the same title. “We are thrilled to bring such a witty, experienced, renowned scientist and real-life adventurer to our community,” said Brynne Anne Besio, Executive Director. “This fascinating exhibition and the chance to meet Dr. Moffett represent such a unique opportunity for our members and the general public to learn from a modern-day explorer.”

Please visit our website to learn more about all of our exhibitions that will help you get your SITES on.

The Affiliate flag in the Becoming American installation at the Charlotte Museum of History

 

 

 

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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