February 27, 2017
Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (Strasburg, PA) has met a $50,000 matching grant challenge by the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, with funds designated for the preservation of five historic Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives.
The National Park Service (NPS) announced funding for 39 projects in over 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience, including the following Affiliate organizations:
- Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) $50,000
20th Century African American Civil Rights Movement in Ohio: Evaluating and Nominating Historic Properties
- Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) $49,557
African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island: The 20th Century
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL) $47,000
Preserving History, Building Community” project. This project will focus on the A.G. Gaston Motel as a case study for preservationists and the community to work in partnership to preserve and revitalize a historic civil rights site.
Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) in partnership with Lowell Community Health Center, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, City of Lowell Senior Center, Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School, and YWCA of Lowell has been selected to receive a 2017 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The Discover Lowell’s Urban Trails initiative will offer new outdoor recreational programming to Lowell’s canalway trails and will be targeted toward non-users in adjacent neighborhoods.
The Kenosha Community Foundation has awarded 26 grants totaling over $51,000 to 22 non-profit organizations and projects serving Kenosha County residents including funding to the Kenosha Public Museum Foundation (Kenosha, WI) to support its upcoming “Re-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to Matanzas Bay” exhibit, which features how contemporary art retraces the historical experiences of American Indian communities.
Former cable TV mogul John Sie and his wife Anna have donated $12 million for the construction of a new welcome center at the Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO). The new welcome center is part of the museum’s plans to renovate the North Building. When it’s completed, the new welcome center will include a restaurant, café, ticketing and orientation space, event space, underground art storage and the museum’s conservation lab.
16th Street Baptist Church near the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of a new Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
The Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) housed in Omaha’s Union Station was designated as one of 24 new National Historic Landmarks by the Department of Interior.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL) was recently designated by Former President Barack Obama as part of a new Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. Along with BCRI, other sites designated as the monument include the A. G. Gaston Motel, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, and Bethel Baptist Church.
The Hawaii State House of Representatives presented Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI) with a certificate of honor on its 40th anniversary for efforts to preserve local history and share Kona’s culture with residents and visitors.
California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) deputy director Naima J. Keith has been named the winner of the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Prize, which is awarded annually to a scholar or artist who has made a major contribution to African American art history.
January 30, 2017
Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers since January 1, 2017. If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you would like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee
High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)
High Desert Museum partners with Smithsonian
“We don’t have everything, and everyone is doing work that is complementary,” Closter said. “The natural history of Oregon is different than other parts of the country. For us, it’s having a first-class partner in that part of the world and being able to share the expertise of both organizations.”
The High Desert Museum Partners with Smithsonian
The High Desert Museum has been selected as a Smithsonian Affiliate, which will give it access to exhibits and artifacts from the world’s largest museum and research complex.
Oregon museum becomes Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Dana Whitelaw, executive director of the High Desert Museum near Bend, told the Bulletin newspaper that the Smithsonian affiliation will allow the wildlife and history museum to supplement its exhibits by borrowing artifacts from the massive Smithsonian Institution. It will also expand access to training and conferences.
visitors filter through Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum
Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum plays with the power of creation: Star Wars
You’re not coming just to look at costumes,” said project lead, Stefania Van Dyke. “We want you to think about all the creativity that went into it.”
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE)
Expert to explain ‘sheer weirdness’ of celestial wonders as part of new
Dussault is the project director for “Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists,” an exhibit that opened at the museum this month. More than 1,300 visitors attended opening day of the 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit, said Deb Hermann, marketing director at the museum. The exhibit offers visitors the chance to learn about black holes by exploring 13 stations, logging their progress on an explorer card. At one station, visitors can take a digital journey to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Expert to present interactive event on black holes
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum brings in Harvard-Smithsonian keynote speaker during its opening celebration of its new exhibit “Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists.”
College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)
College Park Aviation Museum Features Smithsonian Photography Exhibit
The exhibition is composed of 50 large scale photographs by Smithsonian photographer Carolyn J. Russo and explores the forms and functions of airport traffic control towers in the U.S. and around the world.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV) (VIDEO)
Scientist makes 3-D images of artifacts from Las Vegas museum to share online
We think that if we put things online, people won’t want to come to the museum, and what museum professionals find is exactly the opposite,” Hansen says. Seeing items online actually spurs their interest in visiting the museum, where they view the other collections as well.
Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Artyfacts: Mid-America Science Museum – 1.14.1
Creative Mind combines materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African American History Program, the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Centre and the Garland County Historical Society.
Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro (1846-1880) (Wikimedia Commons)
Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Murder, Marriage and the Pony Express: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo Bill
“This isn’t a simple case of a backwoodsman becoming a celebrity,” says Jeremy Johnston, the Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair and curator of Western history at the Smithsonian-affiliated Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “He was quite in tune with American society, American politics, and was very interested in using technology to tell the story of the American West.”
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Aurora, IL)
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University named as a Smithsonian Affiliate
“We are a small museum, but we’ve always thought big,” said Meg Bero, executive director of the Schingoethe Center. “The Smithsonian Affiliates designation is a wonderful way for us to build awareness among our students and the community of the museum as a resource.”
National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
What’s next for the National Museum of Industrial History
The museum, built out of Steel’s 1913 Electric Repair Shop, tells the story of the Industrial Revolution in America through more than 200 artifacts. It covers the steel, silk and propane industries and features machines that were part of a Smithsonian exhibit that celebrated the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
National Museum of Industrial History
National Museum of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), located on Bethlehem’s Southside, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. The first exhibit area, called Machinery Hall, includes 21 different artifacts from the Smithsonian Institute that had also been on display at the National Museum of American History.
Lehigh students design souvenirs for museum
And, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, are pieces from the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia and patented machines typical of what was on display there. The Lehigh students studied all those machines as they developed ideas for the souvenirs they designed.
The Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Historic ballots at Old Governor’s Mansion
Museum Director, Matthew Davis explained how the Mansion got their hands on the artifacts. “ The Governor’s Mansion is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. We are one of nine Smithsonian affiliates in Georgia and with that partnership it allows us to receive loans from the Smithsonian,” Davis said.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
Astronomers Discover an Entirely New Kind of Galaxy
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have identified a new class of ring galaxy. Named PGC 1000714, it features an elliptical core with not one, but two outer rings. It’s the only known galaxy of its kind in the known universe.
Kona Historical Society (Kona, HI)
Kona Historical Society Gets $28K for History Program
The community-based nonprofit and Smithsonian Museum partner Kona Historical Society (KHS) has received a $28,000 grant from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to expand its Hands On History program at Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook.
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum hires new executive director
The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum has hired Julia Bussinger, director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.
Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Ricker’s founders pledge $500K gift to Conner Prairie
The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged a major financial gift to Conner Prairie Wednesday night. The $500,000 donation was announced at their annual meeting and will help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.
October 27, 2016
Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makersÂ in October.Â If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science youâ€™d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contactÂ Elizabeth Bugbee
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Tamika Moore | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham Civil Rights District should be designated a national park
While I walked through NMAAHC and shared information with my two daughters, I was reminded of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s long connection with the museum. Before there was one brick in place, BCRI collaborated with NMAAHC on numerous projects, including showcasing one of its traveling exhibitions, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance,” back in 2009. Our staff has supported its efforts in planning, the securing of objects and community support.
Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH)
New Smithsonian museum has Dayton connection
A traveling exhibit â€œA Place for All Peopleâ€ is also designed to pique interest in the new museum. That show, a collection of posters, is currently on display at the Springfield Museum of Art. Ann Fortescue, the Springfield museumâ€™s executive director, says one of the many benefits of being a Smithsonian Affiliate museum is sharing whatâ€™s happening at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. with audiences in the Miami Valley.
“Star Wars and the Power of Costume” showcases not only the outfits that have become iconic, but the process behind the creation of the characters and their adornments. In the exhibition, you’ll see both concept art (left) and the final looks (right), including these of C-3PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” â€”Photo Â© & â„¢ 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization
Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Behind the Scenes of the DAM’s Upcoming “Star Wars” Exhibit
It’s been a few days since the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer was released, and it’s another two months until the film hits theatersâ€”but don’t despair. You can get your fill of the Star Wars world in the interim with Star Wars and the Power of Costume, which takes over the second floor of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) from November 13 through April 2.
New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Exhibit to Showcase Gene Roddenberryâ€™s Vision
But the smallest exhibit cases may be the ones that hold the real treasures, straight from the vault of the Smithsonian. The Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles, written by David Gerrold who will be a special guest on opening night, revolves around furry little critters that multiply at an incredible rate and who also have a serious dislike for Klingons. Although the Starship Enterprise was overrun by tribbles at the time, only a very few remain in existence today. The tribble visitors will admire inside its eight inch case was actually used in that episode and is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian.
National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
The Smithsonian Names the National Civil Rights Museum as an Affiliate Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum has been named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The Museum is the second Smithsonian Affiliate in Memphis, and seventh in the state of Tennessee.Â
Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)
National Museum of American History Examines Religion in America
Led by Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of Plimoth Plantation, the documentary theater program will explore the intersection of two musical traditions: hymns and psalms from the Church of England and Calvinist congregations and the sacred songs and dance of the Wampanoag, the indigenous people of Cape Cod, the Islands and southern Massachusetts.
Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL)
Peoria Fine Arts Society hosts lectures on new national African American museum
Author, lecturer and teacher John W. Franklin will speak at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Oct. 13 about the National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Researchers simulated a gannet plunging into water, capturing the process with a high-speed camera. (Image by Sunny Jung/Virginia Tech)
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
STUDY SHOWS HOW BIRDS DIVE SAFELY AT HIGH SPEEDS
To analyze the birdâ€™s body shape and neck musculature, the team used a salvaged gannet provided by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. They also created 3-D printed replicas of gannet skulls from the collection at the Smithsonianâ€™s National Museum of Natural History, which helped them measure the forces on the skull as it enters the water.Â
DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
Whatâ€™s Ahead for Chicagoâ€™s DuSable Museum (VIDEO)
The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1957 and it continues to showcase a rich and sometimes difficult history. Over the last year, two new executives have taken charge of the DuSable Museum. President and CEO Perri Irmer and chief curator Leslie Guy join host Eddie Arruza in discussion.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum (Las Vegas, NV)
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Introduces Worldâ€™s Largest Snake
Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the worldâ€™s largest snake will on exhibit at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum from Oct. 14 through Jan. 8.
Is the Smithsonian in your neighborhood? Probably so! These Affiliates are bringing the Smithsonian to communities across the U.S. in November!
From Clay to Copper: The Story of the Etowah Valley, a new exhibition at the Tellus Science Museum, includes 64 Native American artifacts and minerals from the National Museum of Natural History, in Cartersville beginning 11.5.
National Museum of American History features Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) in Waking the Ancestors: Recovering the Lost and Sacred Sounds of Colonial America, a public program at the museum on 11.5-6.
Daniel Piazza, curator at the National Postal Museum will present a lecture on communicating during the Revolutionary War at St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, in St. Augustine 11.10.
Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Warsâ„¢ and the Power of Costume opens at the Denver Art Museum, in Denver 11.13. The exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Civil War Museum, part of Kenosha Public Museums, will display Changing America:Â The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, an exhibition presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, in Kenosha 11.16.
Button for the 1941 March
National Museum of American History, gift of Rita Jaros
July 26, 2016
February 4, 2016
In Affiliations, we like to say that our partnerships are two-way streets. We learn as much from our Affiliates as we share. Our Affiliate partners lend ideas, energy and expertise not only to the Smithsonian, but to each other. They also lend artifacts, and often, the very best, rare ones they have in their collections.
Recently, I took an afternoon out of the office to visit the handful of loans currently on view from our Affiliate partners to the Smithsonian. What better pleasure to run in to our Affiliate friends across the country than by discovering pieces from their collections here in Washington?!
A case featuring inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame
My first stop on this walkabout was the National Museum of American History and its newly-opened innovation wing. The Inventing in America exhibition features a case that honors inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, our Affiliate in Canton, OH. Visitors can marvel at a selection of inventions made by some of the 500 men and women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and learn about inventions such as the first intravascular stent from 1984, 3M sticky notes, the first digital camera from 1975, and the 1976 Apple computer.
Descriptions of the inventions of Hall of Fame inductees
Notably, the case explains the invention of Kevlar, the high strength fabric (used for example, in bullet-proof vests) invented by Stephanie Kwolek in 1965 while she worked at DuPont. Luckily, our Delaware Affiliate, the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, has an extensive collection of material about Kevlar (including Kwolekâ€™s papers) and lent two artifacts from their collection to bring her story to life.
I wandered over to the National Portrait Gallery to see its Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs, 1859-1872 exhibition. At one time, Gardner worked for the famous photographer Matthew Brady before casting out as an influential documentarian in his own right. The profound Civil War-era images on view in these galleries are haunting still. Among them are important works from three Smithsonian Affiliates.
Field of Antietam photo book on loan from the National Civil War Museum
The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA lent a photographic book titled the Field of Antietam from 1962. Before photomechanical reproduction, books like this one were made by printing each of the original photographs by hand, adhering them to mounts, and binding them as a book. Knowing this process makes the book feel all that more special.
Our Affiliate in Indianapolis, the Indiana Historical Society lent chilling images of the executions of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. Notably, Alexander Gardner was the only photographer allowed to document the hangings, and his position on the wall of the prison grants a panoramic view that is searing and unforgettable.
Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the War, on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society
Finally, the Western Reserve Historical Society, our Affiliate in Cleveland, OH also lent several works to the exhibition, including what feels like an incongruous view of a picnic in the woods. Alas, one discovers its main subject is Walt Whitman, who lived in Washington, D.C. for part of the war, writing letters for injured soldiers. Itâ€™s an unsettling yet bucolic image among the battlefields represented on the walls around it. Another impressive loan is Gardnerâ€™s Photographic Sketchbook of the War in two volumes. This large-scale folio published in 1866 features 100 images from Gardnerâ€™s vast collection that successfully distill the chronological narrative of the war in a meaningful and emotional way.
Finally, I ended my excursion at the Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian. This retrospective â€“ her first major one â€“ traces the artistic journey of WalkingStick, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Emerging from the art world of New York in the 1960-70s, the show traces her 40+ year career from early figurative work through her famous diptychs to recent paintings of monumental landscapes with symbolic references to their Native links.
Three Affiliates are represented in this exhibition as well. One of our newest, The Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY lent a diptych, Letting Go/From Chaos to Calm from 1990. These rich paintings of mixed dry media on sculptmetal juxtapose the figurative and abstract, the visual and visceral in stimulating and thought-provoking ways.
Visitors can leaf through a touchable version of WalkingStick’s artist book, on loan from the Heard Museum
The Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ (where the show will travel after Washington) lent two works. One canvas, Cardinal Points from 1983-85, uses acrylic paint and saporified wax to achieve a textured and active surface that rewards prolonged study. Her artist book on loan from the Heard contrasts depictions of herself with the kinds of stereotypical comments about her identity that continue to plague Native people. (Flip through the book here.)
Finally, the Denver Art Museum lent a commanding diptych of a different style, Farewell to the Smokies from 2007. This oil painting on wood blends two views of a majestic mountain landscape, with silhouettes of figures walking across their base. Itâ€™s a powerful reminder of Native history, and at the same time, of the indelible legacy of Native peoples on the American landscape.
Thank you Affiliates, for all the ways that you enrich the Smithsonian!
Farewell to the Smokies, 2007. Oil on wood panel, 36 x 72 x 1 in. Denver Art Museum: William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection, 2008.14. Photo courtesy of the Denver Art Museum
December 17, 2015
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