January 31, 2017

kudos Affiliates! february 2017

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

FUNDING

Union Station Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) received a $1 million gift for the creation of an outdoor concert and festival space from the Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation. The landscaped festival plaza is part of the station’s nearly $8 million expansion that also includes a new traffic and pedestrian bridge. The gift will also be used to create an indoor gallery to house paintings depicting the 12 original railroads that formed a consortium to create Union Station in 1914.

Ball Brothers Foundation awarded $3.7 million in grants to nearly a dozen organizations including $25,000 to the Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) for the Delaware County History Journeys project.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN) received a $400,000 grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, to support a capital improvement project aimed at increasing energy efficiency at the park’s Welcome Center. The funds will be used to replace several aging HVAC air-handling units with high-efficiency units.

The founders of Ricker’s fuel and convenience stores pledged $500,000 to Conner Prairie to help restore the museum’s Chinese House, a historic venue on the property.

Wild Swan Theater announced a $29,200 grant award from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Charitable Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The funds will be used to develop, in collaboration with the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), an original, main stage and touring production for elementary school audiences inspired by Arab folktales-Marketplace Stories: Folktales from the Arab World.

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), joined by the Board of Directors for the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, announced the allocation of $125,000 for renovations to Flushing Town Hall (Queens, NY).

The Kenosha City Council approved $500,000 for a new exhibit at the Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, WI). The second-floor “A World of Diversity” permanent exhibit will be redesigned to interweave with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards.

 The Kona Historical Society (Captain Cook, HI) 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.

 

AWARDS and RECOGNITION

Kyle Wenger, Chief Financial Officer of Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) has been name 2016 CFO of the Year by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has given its Driehaus Preservation Award to the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship at Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT).

Independent Sector, the only national membership organization that brings together nonprofits, foundations and corporations to advance the common good, announced its 2016-17 American Express NGen Fellows, which includes Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI).  The 12 outstanding charitable-sector leaders aged 40 and under will engage over the next year in a range of activities that deepen individual capabilities, expand collective knowledge and grow professional networks.

President Barack Obama appointed Beth Takekawa, Executive Director of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA) to the National Museum and Library Services Board.

 

LEADERSHIP and STAFF CHANGES

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA) has hired Julia Bussinger, former director of the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, to be its new executive director.

 

 

July 26, 2016

Kudos- July/August 2016

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments!

Funding

The San Diego Air & Space Museum (San Diego, CA) recently selected 13 graduating seniors from San Diego County high schools to receive a total of $51,000 in scholarships. These scholarships are awarded annually to inspire young people to tackle the challenges of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic disciplines, and to make a difference in tomorrow’s world through an innovative, adventurous spirit.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA) received $7,800 from The MetroWest Health Foundation for the development of programs and resources related to sexual violence education and prevention.

Duke Energy Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN) to help establish a new maker’s program set to debut in phases starting later this year. The grant will help Conner Prairie develop and prototype programming, create temporary venues to implement and evaluate its programs and provide continued learning opportunities for teachers that focus on how the making movement supports STEM learning. The grant will also help the museum build a permanent maker space that will feature year-round programming and maker-oriented school programs that meet or exceed Indiana’s educational standards.

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs through the Historical Resource Development Program awarded Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) $14,500 to help the museum conserve and exhibit a set of historic architectural drawings, created by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell, of Eagle Point Park.

The Flushing Council on Culture and Arts, based in Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY), received nearly $600,000 in capital funding from the borough of Queens.

The Connecticut Humanities Council announced that Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) is the recipient of a $9,979 grant that will help the maritime museum establish two training programs for the museum staff. One program will explore methods of producing interpretive techniques while the other will encourage the use of evaluation for continuous improvement.

Awards and Recognition

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced the winners of the 71st annual Leadership in History Awards including the following Affiliate initiatives:

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Stephanie DeLancey, and dewdropstudios: for the exhibit Coloring Independently: 1940s African American Film Stills from the Collection of the California African American Museum.

HistoryMiami (Miami, FL) for the exhibit Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus.

Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) for the project Indiana History for the Secondary Classroom.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, MT) for the exhibit Forgotten Pioneers: The Chinese in Montana.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC) for the exhibit Starring North Carolina!

Greensboro Historical Museum (Greensboro, NC) for the exhibit Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA) for the exhibit We Can Do It! WWII.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN) for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum permanent exhibits.

Museum of History & Industry (Seattle, WA) for the exhibit The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (Hershey, PA) received six NAAMY Awards during the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) Conference in the following categories:

Second Place – Division II Newsletters & Magazines for the Reflections Newsletter publication intended to share information about the AACA Museum exhibits and activities with our members and donors.

Second Place – Division II Events & Public Promotions for the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Tribute Car & Future Day promotional event.

Second Place – Division II Film & Video for the Motorbikes for the Masses exhibit promotional video hosted on the AACA Museum website and social media channels.

Second Place – Division II Educational Programs for the grade specific educational materials created by Lebanon Valley College Masters students inspired by AACA Museum exhibits.

Third Place – Division II Events and Public Promotions related to the 6th Annual Wedding Showcase event held in February.

Third Place – Division II Films & Video for the Lotus: The Art of Lightness video to promote the exhibit to visitors of the AACA Museum website.

The readers of Miami New Times have named The Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) as Miami’s Best Museum of 2016!

The Honorable Dennis Ross (Florida) recognized in the Congressional Record, the Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL) for its’ 50 years of service to the community.

The Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR) is one of 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities.

Leadership and Staff Changes

Best wishes to President and chief executive, Stuart Ashman of the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA) who announced he will be stepping down from his position in July to take a leadership position at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe in New Mexico.

February 4, 2016

visiting Affiliate artifacts… in Washington

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.

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.

exhibitcase4_atNMAH.Jan2016

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 Kwolek’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.

at_NPG2.Jan2016

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.

Sketchbook of the War, on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society

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. It’s an unsettling yet bucolic image among the battlefields represented on the walls around it. Another impressive loan is Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the War in two volumes. This large-scale folio published in 1866 features 100 images from Gardner’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 – her first major one – 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.

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. It’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 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

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

 

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