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April 17, 2014

adventures with affiliations!

Special thanks for this guest post to Rachel Brummond. Rachel interned with the Affiliations office this spring and helped us build our e-marketing for the Smithsonian Affiliations Membership Program. Rachel is wrapping up her Junior year at Luther College in Iowa with a Major in Management/Political Science. Many, many thanks for everything Rachel!

My Dream: Living in DC with the Smithsonian in one hand and the Capital in the other!

My Dream: Living in DC with the Smithsonian in one hand and the Capital in the other!

I have dreamt of being a part of the Smithsonian Institution since I was a little girl on her first vacation to Washington, D.C. After that, when others wanted to be princesses, ballerinas, firefighters and policemen, I wanted to grow up to be THE curator of THE Smithsonian Museum. Little did I know that the Smithsonian is actually a network of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoo, and nine research facilities, each with their own curators, directors, membership staff, and programs.  I also had no idea that the Smithsonian is a living organism that includes a nationwide partnership program that consists of more than 180 Affiliates in more than 40 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. That first trip marked the beginning of a remarkable journey to where I am today—an intern learning from the same organization that I ooh’d and ahh’d about as a child.

This spring I had the incredible opportunity to join the D.C. intern-pack as a membership communications intern at Smithsonian Affiliations, leading to some Seriously Amazing opportunities through the Smithsonian and specifically with the Affiliations office. I have visited countless museums, had private tours, attended share-fairs, and been thoroughly immersed in the culture and collaboration that the Smithsonian embodies. The Affiliations office has brought me a much better understanding of the nationwide partnerships that we facilitate, and of course has led to an extensive growth of my photo collection that documents my life in the nation’s capital!

Two of my favorite museums: The National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum!

Two of my favorite museums: The National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum!

Being an intern for the Smithsonian has been such a learning experience! Smithsonian curators and researchers have important and serious work to do, so it’s always fun to see a lighter side of their jobs from time to time. For instance, every April Fool’s day the National Museum of American History hosts a “conference on stuff” with a lighthearted theme for all Smithsonian staff and visitors. Harold Closter, director of our very own Affiliations office, emceed this year’s salt-themed event and had some very “punny” quips for the audience. It was so fun to see the Smithsonian staff operating in an off-the-cuff, fun, but still well-researched way! I was also encouraged to explore the Smithsonian in-between projects, so I took “museum Fridays” and went to discover as many Smithsonian museums as possible while I was here. I saw 12 of the 15 museums that are currently open and in D.C.—a considerable success that appeals to the learning buff in me!

One of the most memorable experiences was the arrival of The Nation’s T.Rex. To me, this loan really shows the amazing partnerships that the Smithsonian creates with Affiliates across the country. The Wankel T.rex was discovered in Montana and lived at the Museum of the Rockies, a fabulous Smithsonian Affiliate, for the past two decades. It was so fun to participate in the social media plan by crafting tweets to talk about the dino’s arrival and about its 50-year vacation to the National Museum of Natural History. What a fantastic way to outline the network and partnership program that the Affiliations office facilitates. I am so proud to have been a part of an Institution so committed to the increase and diffusion of knowledge—even if their audience doesn’t always live in the DC area.

That’s what the Affiliations office is all about, bringing the Smithsonian to people around the country in order to create access to the incredible collection of knowledge, artifacts, and amazing culture that embodies the Institution. It’s been an adventure to say the least, and I am so grateful that the Affiliations office was willing to have me as a part of their team!

Here it is! The Wankel T.Rex was one of my favorite projects. Special shout out to Museum of the Rockies!

Here it is! The Wankel T.Rex was one of my favorite projects. Special shout out to Museum of the Rockies!

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

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.

 

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