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April 1, 2014

affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight 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.

National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana)
World War II Museum’s exhibit shows Japanese Americans behind barbed wire and in combat
For “From Barbed Wire to Battlefields,” Guise said the museum has borrowed items from the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of World War II in Boston and private collections.

 Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers from the "Wizard of Oz."Credit Smithsonian Institution

Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers from the “Wizard of Oz.” One of the iconic artifacts in Dr. Kurin’s new book. Credit Smithsonian Institution

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Smithsonian expert to discuss local artifacts at Heinz History Center
Mr. Kurin estimated that about a dozen of the objects covered in his history have connections to Western Pennsylvania.

A History of America in 101 Objects and Pittsburgh’s Contributions
In his book, History of America in 101 Objects, author and Smithsonian curator Dr. Richard Kurin chronicles and pinpoints these national treasures by focusing on key objects in the vast collection. Here are some of Kurin’s favorite objects related to the Pittsburgh region:

Frost Museum of Science (Miami, Florida)
Frost Museum’s new chief scientist talks about innovation
Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham recently arrived in Miami from Panama to head up science operations at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. Bermingham was director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City. He spoke to the Business Journal about his transition and how he met the Frosts, who donated $35 million to build the new South Florida museum.

Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, North Carolina)
Get antsy at Schiele Museum
All creatures big and small can be seen at The Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia. A traveling Smithsonian exhibit of super-sized ant photographs gives visitors an up-close view of the world of ants.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, Illinois)
Lizzardo Museum Showcases Smithsonian Gem Collection in Special Exhibit
As a Smithsonian affiliate, the Lizzadro Museum is able to co-curate special exhibits from the Smithsonian collections. The Modern Designer Jewelry exhibit is on loan from the gem vault of the National Museum of Natural History. Russell Feather, the Smithsonian’s gem curator, and Dorothy Asher, the museum director at the Lizzadro, worked together to create this exhibit.

Affiliations Director Harold Closter takes his first #MonsterSnake selfie at the opening of Titanoboa in Nebraska.

Affiliations Director Harold Closter tweets his first #MonsterSnake selfie at the opening of Titanoboa in Nebraska.

University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Smithsonian Snake
The Smithsonian is a very prestigious name to many people who may not be familiar with our own museum, and may not realize that they have a “Smithsonian-style” museum right here in Lincoln. This is the result of investments by Nebraskans since we were founded over 140 years ago. I think having the Smithsonian name associated with our museum will help our Friends group to offer Smithsonian Affiliate memberships that will not only raise the museum’s visibility, but will be a great source of pride for Nebraskans that they have the Smithsonian affiliation right here in Lincoln.

Titanoboa takes over Morrill Hall
If you have a fear of snakes, the latest exhibit at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall might make your skin crawl. The exhibit doesn’t feature a replica of what most people would consider a “normal snake.” Rather, it features a realistic, full-scale replica of Titanoboa, the world’s largest snake…

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
T-Rex being sent off to the Smithsonian
“This is a remarkable moment for all of Montana.” said Sheldon McKamey, Executive Director of Museum of the Rockies. “The Wankel T. Rex will become the most viewed T.rex skeleton in the world, and that’s something everyone in the state can be proud of.”

trex-jpg

March 31, 2014

Coming Up in Affiliateland, April 2014

Spring has sprung and Affiliate collaborations are in full bloom in April! 

FLORIDA
American Art Museum curator E. Carmen Ramos gives a talk on What is Latino About American Art? at the Frost Art Museum. The talk coincides with the opening of the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibition, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, in Miami, 4.2.

PUERTO RICO
National Postal Museum educator Kim Harrell leads a workshop on designing educational materials at the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos in Gurabo, 4.5.

WASHINGTON
The Museum of History and Industry participates in the National Museum of American History’s Let’s Do History, a program which supports teachers in using museum objects in their classrooms in Seattle, 4.7.

MARYLAND
The College Park Aviation Museum welcomes volunteers from the National Postal Museum for a behind-the-scenes tour in College Park, 4.8.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Staff from California Science Center (Los Angeles) and the Museum of Flight (Seattle) will join National Air and Space Museum’s Michael Hulslander and NASA educator, Jennifer Kennedy at a session during the Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums conference to discuss collaborative possibilities related to space shuttle history, 4.14.

trexMONTANA
The Wankel Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil specimen travels to the National Museum of Natural History from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, 4.15.

TEXAS
National Museum of American History curator Dwight Blocker Bowers gives a talk on “That’s Entertainment!” at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth, 4.17.

NEBRASKA
National Museum of Natural History Director Kirk Johnson gives a lecture on From Fossils to Freeways and Shovel-tuskers to Cornhuskers: Nebraska’s contribution to the great story of life on Earth at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, 4.23.

VIRGINIA
The Virginia Museum of Natural History opens SITES’ Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants exhibition in Martinsville, 4.26.

NEW YORK
Loren Schoenberg, Artistic Director of New York City Affiliate, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, will give a talk on Painting Jazz at the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages in Stony Brook, 4.27.

 

January 27, 2014

affiliates in the news

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight 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.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
Museum of the Rockies T. rex to arrive at Smithsonian in April
The T. rex unearthed in Montana in 1988 will arrive at the National Museum of Natural History on April 15 on a 50-year loan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Smithsonian is planning a new, 31,000-square-foot dinosaur hall that is scheduled to open in 2019.

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies.

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies.

American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachussets)
American Textile Museum Receives Major Gift
The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA has received a major gift of $1 million from the late G. Gordon Osborne and his wife, Marjorie, who passed away last year.

September 24, 2013

coming up in affiliateland in october 2013

NEW YORK
Smithsonian Regent David Rubenstein will be featured in the Titans of Industry seminar at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, 10.2.    

VIRGINIA 
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens will host a field trip and sessions as part of the International Museum Theater Alliance Global Conference in Mount Vernon, 10.8.   

FLORIDA
The Polk Museum of Art opens Paintings of the Space Age, featuring five paintings on loan from the
National Air and Space Museum, in Lakeland, 10.12.  

SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota State Historical Society will host a special webcast of the National Air and Space Museum entitled Star Trek’s Continuing Relevance, in Pierre, 10.13.

D.C.
wankel-rex-is-comingJack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT) comes to Washington to discuss the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex which was excavated near the Museum, but will be coming to the Smithsonian in 2019, in Washington, 10.16.  

Affiliations’ staff takes part in Smithsonian Teachers Night, distributing digital, educational materials from more than 15 Affiliates across the nation in Washington, 10.25.   

CONNECTICUT
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum hosts a conference on 17th Century Warfare, Diplomacy & Society in the American Northeast featuring James Ring Adams, a historian from the National Museum of the American Indian, and a historical theater presentation by Plimoth Plantation, in Mashantucket, 10.18-19.  

TEXAS
The Institute of Texan Cultures opens the Native Words, Native Warriors  (SITES) exhibition in San Antonio, 10.19.    
 

July 16, 2012

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2012: Dinosaur Dig

Special thanks to Smithsonian Affiliations intern, Neema Amadala (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada), for this guest post.

In contrast to the University of Illinois’ cool, canopied hard-court, Lisa and I stumbled back in time to a dinosaur dig. It was a 100 degree day (or 38°C for those of us metrically inclined) and perhaps an inopportune time to be outside digging for dinosaurs. In my opinion, the best part of being a Smithsonian Affiliations intern is meeting the Affiliates: seeing the dedication they have to their projects is wonderful. For this reason, I hoped to meet a celebrity of sorts, Dr. Alan Grant of Jurassic Park fame. Not the fictional character but Dr. Jack Horner on whom Sam Neill’s character in the trilogy was the partial inspiration for and paleontological advisor to. To my chagrin, Dr. Horner had left the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival but there were still dinosaurs to discover.

Visitors watching intently at the preparation of a specimen. Photo courtesy Smithsonian Affiliations.

On this particular dig, we were under the cover of the Museum of the Rockies (MOR), a Smithsonian Affiliate in Bozeman, Montana. I watched as children and adults wandered in, fascinated as always, by these prehistoric creatures who we discover anew every day. Festival goers could choose to conduct their own dinosaur dig, learn how casting a fossil works, watch a member of the Field Crew prepare a specimen for the lab or just learn more about Montana’s prehistoric past. Everyone on the dig was engaged and the wealth of experience and excitement MOR brought to the Folklife Festival was visible on the faces of all who passed through on the dig.

Lisa Lundgren, with MOR’s educational team, helped visitors learn about the history not just beneath the soil of Montana’s badlands but visible in its multicolored sedimentary strands. Explaining MOR’s own connection and contribution to fossil history Lisa and I were introduced to Maiasaura or ‘good mother lizard’: a giant dinosaur that unlike its contemporaries raised and fed their hatchlings. There were plenty of tactile and visual aids to keep us engaged and connected to the subject matter and like the children around me, I relished my time with the dinos.

Smithsonian Affiliations intern Lisa Hung with Lisa Lundgren from Affiliate, Museum of the Rockies. Photo courtesy Smithsonian Affiliations.

This time travelling experience showcased the expertise and knowledge that Affiliates can bring to the Smithsonian. Being an Affiliate can be about more than the loaning of artifacts, there can be an exchange of programs and expertise along with interaction with the community at large. Not only did the Festival provide exposure to visitors about Montana’s primordial past, perhaps embedding MOR as a potential stop on a future trip, but also enriched the learning experience that the Smithsonian seeks to provide to all.

June 22, 2011

see for yourself: a conference adventure

Many thanks to Natalie DeRiso, Community Programs Manager at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for this guest blog post. 

As I sat down to write this blog post about attending my first annual Smithsonian Affiliations Conference, I tried to take mental stock of all the amazing things I wanted to talk about. I hemmed and hawed for a few days trying to decide what would be the most interesting to everyone reading. I thought about all I had learned just from the other attendees: the absolutely marvelous space camp program at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson; or the fact that Museum of the Rockies in Montana has one of the best dinosaur collections in the world including 12 T-Rex skeletons. There is a fabulous new facility, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, with a hands-on room that allows artists of all levels to try out instruments from around the world; and that the Las Cruces Museum System in New Mexico is way ahead of schedule in creating a new LEED-certified facility for their Science and History Museum. In fact I could probably fill multiple posts talking about all of the creative, brilliant people I met at the conference.

I could also go on for ages about the conference itself. The Smithsonian’s focus on education was invigorating, especially for a community program manager in the education department of her museum, the Heinz History Center. Every session I attended gave me something new to chew on, and pushed me to move out of my comfort zone when thinking about education in my community programs. I had a light bulb go off at one point on the most basic aspect of my job, and was slightly embarrassed that I hadn’t thought of it before!

Behind the Scenes in the paleobiology department in the National Museum of Natural History

In the end though probably the coolest thing I got to do was go behind the scenes at the National Museum of Natural History. The session itself was about the loan process for the museum. It was great to hear the insiders’ view of the loan process, and also to see that all institutions, big and small, are facing the same issues when it comes to their artifacts and archives. But for a kid who dreamed of being an archaeologist or paleontologist from a young age (I wasn’t picky, I just wanted to dig stuff up, preferably in the desert), it was mind-blowingly cool to have Kathy Hollis, Collections Manager for the Paleobiology Department, casually point out the triceratops skull we were passing.

Sometimes, in the day-to-day of museum life, we can lose track of what makes our jobs so cool. Budgets, strategic plans and meetings, while important, have a tendency to weigh heavily on us and keep us up at night. It’s easy to lose perspective, but looking into the skull of a dinosaur can certainly knock you back down to earth. We get the chance to work with amazing collections, to hear and tell remarkable stories and sometimes, on those most treasured days, it really is like being Indiana Jones.

Conference attendees snap pictures of a kited salmon at breakfast at the National Museum of the American Indian

So in the end, that’s what my blog post is all about. The conference helped breath new life into me; it gave me the much-needed opportunity to remember why I went into this field. Maybe that’s a little cheesy but what else would you expect from a girl whose ring tone is still Raiders of the Lost Ark ?

 

April 26, 2011

coming up in Affiliateland, May 2011

Sliding into summer with lots of activity!

FLORIDA:
The South Florida Museum opens SITES’ Hidden Life of Ants in Bradenton, 5/7.

PENNSYLVANIA:
Smithsonian researcher Warren Perry presents a lecture on “William E. Doster’s Defense of the Lincoln Conspirators” at the Historic Bethlehem Partnership in Bethlehem, 5/8.

MONTANA:
Dr. Rick Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program at the National Museum of Natural History will lead a workshop and lecture focused on human evolution at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, 5/13.

CONNECTICUT:
Hunt Hill Farm celebrates Steinway in May with Anna Karvellas, project director for the Steinway Diaries exhibition at the National Museum of American History, presenting a lecture on “The William Steinway Diary,” 5/14.  Smithsonian Scholar Robert Wyatt will speak on Steinway artists past and present in New Milford, 5/21.

CALIFORNIA:
Riverside Metropolitan Museum celebrates “Smithsonian Week” in Riverside, 5/19.

TEXAS:
The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future will display a painting by Lois Mailou Jones, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, in its exhibition, Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color in Dallas, 5/21.

 

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