October 5, 2010
Special thanks to Alma Douglas, Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager, for this post.
It took several years of negotiations to determine the feasibility of loaning a 135 year-old skeleton of a horse to the International Museum of the Horse in Lexington, KY, but it finally happened in August.
Thomas J. Scott, Portrait of Lexington, 1888, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, sight 24 1/8 x 34 3/8 in. (61.3 x 87.4 cm.). Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection. This portrait is on view at the Headley-Whitney Museum, another Smithsonian Affiliate in Lexington, KY.
Lexington, a beautiful bay, was one of America’s and some would say one of the world’s greatest racing champions. He was born in 1850 as Darley and renamed in 1853. He won six races out of seven in addition to what was considered to be the greatest match race of the 19th century. Lexington was also raced against the clock to produce a speed record that held for over 20 years — four miles in seven minutes, 19 ¾ seconds. Forced to retire because he was going blind, Lexington was a leading sire who produced a record number of champions over the course of 16 years. After his death, Lexington’s bones were donated to the Smithsonian and placed on exhibit.
In 1998, Carlene Stephens, a curator at the National Museum of American History, related the significance of horse racing, where races are won by tenths of seconds, to the subject of time while working on the Timex sponsored “On Time” exhibition. Lexington was featured in the exhibition. When “On Time” was de-installed, the skeleton went back into storage.
Interest was rekindled in bringing Lexington back to Kentucky by William Cooke, Executive Director of the International Museum of the Horse. Kudos to the team, headed by Linda Gordon, Collections Manager, Department of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History; Ed Ryan, Assistant Registrar and Carol Slatick, Outgoing Loans Coordinator, National Museum of American History, who worked seamlessly together to coordinate the loan.
Lexington's skeleton, fully assembled, at the International Museum of the Horse. Photo by James Shambhu.
Lexington stands as an iconic symbol for Bluegrass Country. His image is found throughout Lexington, KY in celebration of his greatness. Packed and crated gently for the long ride, the skeleton is now on display at the International Museum of the Horse, along with a full view of his portrait. As thousands of horse enthusiasts from across the country and around the world visit Kentucky for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Lexington will be “in the house.”
September 20, 2010
On Saturday, September 25, 2010, Smithsonian Affiliates across the country will participate in the sixth annual Museum Day, presented by Toyota on behalf of the redesigned 2011 Avalon. More than 90 Smithsonian Affiliates will open their doors free of charge to all visitors who download the Museum Day Ticket from Smithsonian.com. Find a participating Affiliate in your neighborhood!
And check out the Around the Mall blog to learn where you can find Smithsonian artifacts at an Affiliate near you during Museum Day.
Here’s a sample of what a few Affiliates are doing to bring the Smithsonian to their neighborhoods on Museum Day:
Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, North Carolina) will host The Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater’s traveling show, African Roots, Latino Soul, a vibrant play that explores what it means to grow up in the American melting pot. Filled with laughs and surprises, and written with the Young Playwrights’ Theater, the play is a look into the triumphs of today’s multicultural kids. There will be two performances at the museum on Museum Day. The performance will highlight their new permanent exhibition, Voices of a City, which emphasizes the expression of voice and their multicultural local story.
Rayna Green, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH), will give a series of talks at two Affiliates over the weekend. At The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm Trust (New Milford, Connecticut) on Friday, September 24, she’ll discuss her experiences as co-curator of the Julia Child exhibition at NMAH, followed by a reception featuring some of Child’s favorite desserts, prepared by The Silo Cooking School. Next, Rayna travels to The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, New York) for an evening “Dinner with Julia” event on Saturday, September 25. She’ll speak about Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian and its acquisition. On Sunday, September 26, to complement their exhibition of America’s Kitchens, organized by the New England Historical Association, she’ll discuss her experience with the Smithsonian’s Julia’s Kitchen exhibition during a public lecture on the social history of kitchens.
Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, Virginia) will be presenting a series of special Smithsonian films in the Walker Lecture Hall on Museum Day. The programs to be shown are part of the Stories from the Vaults series presented by Smithsonian Networks. In the series, host Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”) takes you on an entertaining insider’s tour of the private rooms, high-tech vaults, and cutting edge labs of the Smithsonian Institution, revealing some of the amazing artifacts and rarely seen treasures that visitors can’t see.
Challenger Space Center (Peoria, Arizona) opens their new exhibition, An Astronaut’s Life: Articles Flown In Space, including 23 items on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Nineteen of the artifacts have flown in space on Gemini 8, Skylab 2, and several STS (Shuttle) missions. The artifacts tell the story of how astronauts live in space. Included are personal hygiene items such as a Gemini Survival Kit, a washcloth from the first Space Shuttle, STS-1 Columbia, clothing and bio-belt worn on Skylab 2 by astronaut Paul Weitz, space food from STS-27 Atlantis, and an actual heat shield fragment from Gemini 8 which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott into orbit on March 16, 1966. Photo: Spacecraft Model, Gemini. Courtesy National Air & Space Museum. Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009. Last year, two million visitors logged on to Museum Day’s website to learn more about the program.
August 27, 2010
Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!
Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, GA)
The Georgia Aquarium is officially the world’s largest fish tank…READ MORE
The Georgia Aquarium is officially the world’s largest, after a certificate presentation by Guinness World Records Sunday…READ MORE
National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)
For jazz fans, nothing could be more tantalizing than the excerpts made available by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem of newly discovered recordings from the 1930s and ’40s…READ MORE
Q&A: National Jazz Museum Director on the Newly Discovered Trove of Jazz Greats- The director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem discusses new music by Count Basie, Lester Young, and others…READ MORE
Audio Exclusive: Eight Never-Before-Heard Clips from America’s Jazz Greats- The National Jazz Museum shares part of its new treasure trove with NEWSWEEK…READ MORE
Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI)
Several nonprofit organizations, a state agency and three local counties have been awarded $3.3 million from a state land preservation fund to protect 753 acres on the Big Island, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu…READ MORE…and MORE
Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)
Annie Oakley has been portrayed in popular culture as everything from a rough tomboy to a preening princess, but 150 years after her birth, one historian says a more nuanced look at the famed sharpshooter shows her to be a complex woman who defies categorization…READ MORE
Center for the History of Psychology (Akron, OH)
Students, researchers and the general public soon will be able to experience the history of psychology in a museum setting at The University of Akron’s (UA) new Center for the History of Psychology (CHP), which opens to the public Aug. 30…READ MORE
National World War II Museum (New Orleans, LA)
Construction of the $35 million U.S. Freedom Pavilion: Land, Sea and Air will be formally announced Friday as part of the museum’s overall $300 million expansion…READ MORE
July 2, 2010
Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!
Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)
As many as 38 Wyoming cultural and heritage projects and sponsoring organizations will benefit from $542,017 in grant awards from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund…MORE
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (Bristol, TN)
… the Tennessee Arts Commission announced its grant recipients for fiscal 2010-11…MORE
Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
…there are a number of locations around the country that look to preserve these for future generations. One of these is the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix, Arizona…MORE
Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (Shreveport, LA)
State Rep. Wayne Waddell will take the helm as director of Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on Aug. 2… MORE
Museum Director Retires
National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore, MD)
…The annual celebration honors supporters and friends who help the Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, in its mission to celebrate the history the dentistry and to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health in a healthy life…MORE
Exterior of the new $40 million expansion of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque.
The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium(Dubuque, IA)
…”Dubuque’s already on the map,” said Jerry Enzler, executive director of the facility, “but this really puts us on the global map”…MORE
River museum gets bigger, better
American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO)
Greg Carroll is CEO of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City. In collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and the Mattie Rhodes Center, the museum is holding an exhibition of large-scale photographs and artifacts that reveals cultural connections between Africa and Latin America…MORE
The Center for Jewish History (New York, NY)
The Center for Jewish History, dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Jewish history, culture and experience across countries and generations, has received an $860,092 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation…MORE
Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa , TX)
The Ellen Noël Art Museum has been accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution…MORE
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Since the 1970s, the Agua Caliente Band and the city have been partners in the economic development of Palm Springs…also is the site of the future Agua Caliente Cultural Museum…MORE
November 20, 2009