Today, September 6, 2013, Smithsonian Affiliate Plimoth Plantation delivered a traditional Mashpee Wampanoag #mishoon to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. (What is a mishoon? Read our previous blogs here and here) In a special ceremony at the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland, Plimoth, Wampanoag, and Smithsonian staff came together and celebrated the gift of the mishoon to the collection.
September 6, 2013
March 26, 2013
Each month we’re highlighting Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines. Congrats to these Affiliates making news this month! If you have a clipping you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.
New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, N.M.)
Apollo Capsule Lands at New Mexico Space Museum
Space history museum will become Smithsonian affiliate
New Mexico Museum of Space History First State Museum to Obtain Smithsonian Affiliation
Governor Proclaims “New Mexico Museum of Space History Day”
NMMSH now a Smithsonian affiliate; gets Apollo boilerplate 1207
Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Let’s Learn From the Past: Apollo 8 mission
History Colorado (Denver, Colo.)
Thomas Jefferson’s Bible Coming to Denver
History Colorado Center offers rare glimpse of Thomas Jefferson’s Bible
Thomas Jefferson’s Bible Coming to Denver’s History Colorado Center
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Film fans gather at Palm Springs annual Native FilmFest
Littleton Museum (Littleton, Colo.)
`Ramp It Up’ offers glimpse of culture
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History (Kennesaw, Georgia) and the National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, Pa.)
Southern Museum Executive Director to Speak at National Civil War Museum
February 22, 2013
March is coming in like a lion with events all over Affiliateland!
The Littleton Museum will host SITES’ Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America featuring 28 artifacts from the National Museum of the American Indian, in Littleton, 3.2.
History Colorado will host an exhibition on Jefferson’s Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth featuring four artifacts on loan from the National Museum of American History, in Denver, 3.22.
Douglas Baldwin, educator at the National Air and Space Museum, will give a talk on “Time and Navigation;” Douglas Herman, geographer at the National Museum of the American Indian, will give a talk on “Celestial Navigation by Pacific Islanders” as part of Night Fest at St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum in St. Augustine, 3.2.
Virginia Mecklenberg, curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will give a gallery talk on the Harlem Renaissance at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, 3.23.
Affiliations director Harold Closter will lead a workshop on “Developing a Museum Budget” at the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos, as part of their annual professional development training series for museum professionals, in Gurabo, 3.9.
October 24, 2011
The National Museum of Natural History’s David Hunt will be the keynote speaker at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Spurlock Museum’s 100th anniversary celebration in Champaign, 11/1.
The City of Las Cruces Museum System will host SITES’ NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration in Las Cruces, 11/4.
Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden speaks about his book, Falling to Earth, at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, 11/4.
The Sonoma County Museum will host SITES’ Singgalot: The Ties that Bind in Santa Rosa, 11/12.
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture will host two SITES exhibitions - IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas and Beyond Baseball:The Life of Roberto Clemente, opening in Baltimore, 11/5.
The National Museum of American Indian’s Dennis Zotigh will present a workshop and lecture at the Charlotte Museum of History in Charlotte, 11/5.
The Greensboro Historical Museum will host a lecture from the Smithsonian Associates in Greensboro, 11/7.
The Anniston Museum of Natural History celebrates its 10th Anniversary as a Smithsonian Affiliate in Anniston, 11/10.
Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden speaks about his book, Falling to Earth, at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, 11/11.
Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, Culture, will present a lecture about the Hope Diamond at the Museum of American Finance in New York, 11/15.
May 24, 2011
Thanks to Raj Solanki of the National Museum of the American Indian for the guest blog post.
The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) received a loan request from Smithsonian Affiliate Riverside Metropolitan Museum in California for their exhibition Beyond Craft: American Indian Women Artists. Curated by Dr. Brenda Focht, this exhibition includes four contemporary Native artists Anita Fields, Pat Courtney Gold, Teri Greeves, and Margaret Wood.
What was so compelling about the exhibit, is the relationship that the Museum and Dr. Focht developed with each artist. Each artist was a co-curator to the exhibition and had a hand in developing content and programming. Because of this, NMAI eagerly said yes to the loan request of a Margaret Wood work titled Ribbon Shirt Quilt (NMAI 26/5800).
In March, I couriered the quilt and oversaw the installation at Riverside Museum. As a courier, I get to “see the behind the scenes” before a show goes up, and I was impressed by the objects chosen for the exhibit. Some objects came directly from the artists and private collectors. Other works were lent by other Smithsonian Affiliates – the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and Michigan State University Museum in East Lansing. I wished I could have stayed longer to see their “Meet the Artist” Program, which took place in April. However, the objects spoke for themselves.
Each artist has a way of conveying a story in her medium. The Riverside Museum allowed space for each artist to tell her story whether it was family history or Native identity in today’s context. Displayed prominently is Margaret Wood’s Ribbon Shirt Quilt, which was inspired by the meaning of a ribbon shirt as a symbol of ‘Indianness’. Explained on her website, Margaret writes “The origins of the ribbon shirts harkens to the fringed leather shirts of the Plains Indians…When woven cloth and ribbons became available as trade items, Plains women used the new materials to create facsimiles of the original leather shirts. There are some tribal styles and characteristics and a lot of variety and originality displayed in the ribbon shirts being made. They are worn by men, women, babies, elders and teenagers.”
The Riverside Metropolitan Museum is in the heart of Riverside, CA and is part of the city’s effort to revitalize the area. The façade of the building is under renovation. But don’t let the scaffolding fool you. It is not closed! This little building offers some great exhibits on natural history of the area, history on the Native population as well as the community that settled in the area and its continuing growth.
The Riverside Museum was a recipient of the 2010 National Museum of the American Indian’s Indigenous Contemporary Arts Program.
Look for Raj at the 2011 Affiliations’ National Conference Resource Fair on Tuesday afternoon, June 14. The first five Affiliate staff members to mention this blog post win a prize!
March 26, 2011
In November 2010, the Sonoma County Museum (Santa Rosa, CA) opened the SITES exhibition Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 and was ecstatic with the positive response within the local community. The museum was able to share the bracero story so well in part due to curator Eric Stanley’s participation in the Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program. Eric was able to meet with and learn from the Smithsonian curators who had planned programming for the original show, which inspired some facets of the installation at the museum, including a hands-on table at which visitors could try out some of the tools braceros used. In all, Eric met with more than 30 Smithsonian experts during his residency and said, “The time I spent with those individuals, each one knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and warmly receptive of my presence, was a tremendous benefit to me and my institution.” Read Eric’s guest blogs about the exhibition and his visiting professionals experience at the Smithsonian.
How can you apply for the Affiliations Visiting Professionals Program?
- If you are a full-time Affiliate staff member looking to gain more experience in a certain area of interest for your museum, you’re eligible.
- NEW THIS YEAR!- To help you coordinate your schedule with your sponsoring Affiliate museum, selected candidates have the opportunity to complete their program during any consecutive two-weeks beginning October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.
- Affiliate organizations are still not responsible for providing a stipend!
- Click here for application requirements.
- Apply online by August 1, 2011!
And perhaps you have an intern you’d like to recommend to spend a summer at the Smithsonian working on an area of interest for your museum? In 2010, the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (Miami) recommended Annette Shumway for the Affiliations Intern Partnership Program. Once accepted, Annette spent the summer at the National Postal Museum cataloging and digitizing the Postmaster General collection. During the second part of her internship back at the Frost, she piloted a digital imaging project involving the permanent collections, made recommendations for turning digitizing projects into programs at the Frost, and researched elements to include in an emergency management plan for the digital collection—all skills she was able to further practice after spending the summer at the Smithsonian. And even better…Annette was HIRED by the National Postal Museum at the end of her internship and is now a staff member continuing her work on the Postmaster General collection! Read Annette’s blog about her internship experience at the Smithsonian.
How can you recommend an intern for the 2012 Intern Partnership Program?
- If you have an established relationship with a college or graduate student (prior/current intern or volunteer perhaps) and a specific project in mind for the intern to work on during the second half of their internship back at the Affiliate organization, direct them to apply online!
- Interns will work in a more general area of interest while at the Smithsonian and on a more specific project back at the Affiliate organization during the second half of their program.
- NEW! Affiliate organizations are no longer responsible for any of the intern stipend. Interns will receive a modest stipend from the Affiliations office for D.C. commuting expenses.
- Interns can apply online! Note- Online registration for the 2012 summer program will not open in October 2011.
- Click here for application requirements.
Who can you contact with questions? Elizabeth Bugbee, External Affairs and Professional Development Coordinator- (202) 633-5304, BugbeeE@si.edu.
March 24, 2011
More and more museums are exploring ways to use food and foodways as an extension of their missions, and as an additional pathway to community engagement. (Here’s an example, and what some Affiliates are doing.) Whether exploring historic and cultural traditions around food or promoting an agenda of sustainability, food is increasingly appearing in the repertoire of museum programming. And we know this issue carries national importance, as the American Association of Museums recently announced its collaborative proposal for Let’s Move Museums and Gardens as a way to address the First Lady’s focus on healthy, active lifestyles that incorporate good food.
At the National Museum of the American Indian, the Mitsitam Café (mitsitam means “Let’s Eat” in the local Piscataway and Delaware languages) is a prime example of how food allows visitors to “experience Native cultures and indigenous foods in ways that appeal to all the senses, transcending the limits of a museum exhibition,” according to Museum Director, Kevin Gover. Mitsitam Executive Chef Richard Hetzler researched indigenous foodways from five general cultural landscapes in North and South America as represented in the Museum’s collections. The result is a seasonal menu (the entire café changes some of its dishes 4 times per year) that reflects the food available to Native Americans, and their attitudes toward preparing it. Visitors see their tamales being made by hand and salmon roasting on an open fire pit – both ancient Native techniques. The menus are updated and refreshed for the 21st century palette, but the food also finds its way to interpretative carts, festivals and public programs. One cannot help feeling the connection to native culture that flows uninterrupted from the galleries to the café.
Using food as an interpretation tool will be the topic of a session at the annual Smithsonian Affiliations Conference this year, and what better time to do it than over breakfast? NMAI Chef Richard Hetzler will prepare a dish from his internationally-acclaimed Mitsitam cookbook, while discussing the Museum’s philosophy toward foodways education. Other Affiliates who are exploring this topic are welcome to share their programs at the session as well. And of course, we’ll all enjoy a buffet of Native breakfast foods to get our creative juices flowing.
To see the full agenda and to register for the 2011 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, click here.