Brand New Exhibitions from SITES

Special thanks to our friends at SITES for this update.

SITES has been busy planning several new exhibits to meet the needs of our diverse host venues. Whether you are looking for a unique and affordable photography exhibit or an epic blockbuster, we’ve got the show for you. Here’s what’s new:

Apart_BikeV2_7x9Things Come Apart
Through extraordinary photographs, disassembled objects and fascinating videos, Things Come Apart reveals the inner workings of common, everyday possessions.  Images of dozens of objects explore how things are made and how technology has evolved over time.  For example, the exhibition juxtaposes the components of a record player, Walkman, and an iPod.  As a visual investigation of design and engineering, Things Come Apart celebrates classic examples of industrial design, technological innovation and more recent ideas about re-use.  The exhibition explores STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts and provides an ideal environment for hands-on investigation.

Contents:  ~40 framed photographs, 4 disassembled objects, video content, and educational component
Fee:  $9,900 per 12-week slot plus outgoing shipping
Size:  200-250 running feet
Security:  Moderate

Tour begins: fall 2016

Contact:  Ed Liskey,, 202.633.3142SWcostumeSITES

Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Warsâ„¢ and the Power of Costume
Presenting 60 of the finest hand-crafted costumes from the first six blockbuster Star Wars films, the exhibition uncovers the challenges, the intricate processes and the remarkable artistry of George Lucas, the concept artists and costume designers. Featured costumes include the robes of Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker; the yak hair and mohair costume of the Wookiee Chewbacca; the elaborately detailed gowns of Queen Amidala, and many more of your favorite Star Wars characters. Learn more about Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen  here.

NARA-cars Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
Modeled after the Farm Security Administration’s photography project of the 1930s and 40s, DOCUMERICA was launched in 1971 by the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to document the environmental troubles and triumphs across the country.  What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America in a rapidly changing society. Includes  90 framed, color photographs and a video. Learn more about Searching for the Seventies here.

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard
From the beauty of postwar garden design to the history of the rise of the suburbs and the environmental movement, Patios & Pools is a groovy look back at how the mid-century backyard became an extension of the house: a “room” designed for relaxing, recreation, cooking, and entertaining. Featuring period photographs, retro advertisements, pop culture references, and influential landscape designs. Learn more Patios & Pools  here.5-farnham2

Looking to fill an opening in your calendar? These exhibitions are available for immediate booking:

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
Available: 7/25/15-10/4/15 (reduced fee:  $2,000) and 10/24/15-1/3/16

The Evolving Universe
Available: 10/3/15-1/31/16 and 2/20/16 to 5/15/16

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard
Available: 12/19/15-2/28/16

I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story
Available: 12/19/15 – 2/28/16 and 3/19/16 – 5/29/16

Contact us at or 202-633-3140.

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.

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, South Carolina)
Upcountry History Museum named Smithsonian Affiliate
On Monday, Greenville became the only city in South Carolina to have two Smithsonian affiliate museums, as the Upcountry History Museum joined the Children’s Museum of the Upstate as a partner of the iconic American institution.

Editorial: Smithsonian comes to local History Museum
Greenville’s ability to better connect the present with the past took a giant leap forward this week with the announcement that the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University has become a Smithsonian Affiliate. This is exciting news for what it means in terms of new opportunities for people who want to better understand our lives today by more fully understanding the experiences and people who shaped our shared history.

Greenville museum becomes SC’s newest Smithsonian affiliate
Earlier this week, Greenville became the only city in South Carolina to have two Smithsonian affiliate museums, as the Upcountry History Museum joined the Children’s Museum of the Upstate as a partner of the iconic American institution.

Greenville now home to two Smithsonian affiliate museums
The Smithsonian Institution is hundreds of miles from Greenville, but you don’t have to travel that far to enjoy some of its treasures. On Monday, Greenville became the only city in South Carolina to have two Smithsonian affiliate museums, as the Upcountry History Museum joined the Children’s Museum of the Upstate as a partner of the iconic American institution.

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas)
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures hosts 28th Annual Asian Festival Feb. 21
A special feature of the 2015 festival is the opening of “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab,” a new exhibit which will remain at the museum into the fall. Originating at the Smithsonian, the exhibit follows the history of the Sikh culture and the religion which unites them across borders and around the world, including Texas and San Antonio. Members of the Sikh community will serve as gallery hosts and tour guides during the festival. 

San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures hosting exhibit on Sikhs
Developed by Smithsonian Institution and sponsored by the Sikh Heritage Foundation, it “features a collection of traditional Sikh art, information on the culture’s history and beliefs, artifacts such as ceremonial weapons and armor, and a model of the Golden Temple”.

Institute of Texan Cultures hosts new exhibit “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab” Feb. 21
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) and San Antonio’s Sikh community will celebrate the opening of a new exhibit “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab” from Feb. 21 to Jan. 3. The exhibit originated at the Smithsonian and has been supplemented with additional material on Sikhs in Texas.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Volunteers survey mammals in East Tennessee
Volunteers have conducted a survey of mammals in East Tennessee state parks by using technology. The volunteers were recruited by a research project called eMammal, which provided the cameras, software and instructions. The eMammal project is a collaboration between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution.

Caught on camera: Volunteers use technology to survey mammals
The eMammal project is a collaboration between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution. So far, surveys have been conducted in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and most recently, Tennessee.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, Texas)
Love Jones
His legacy will be spotlighted at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History when it welcomes in What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution.

History Colorado (Denver, Colorado)
Chicano history is Colorado history
“I was really happy to see that History Colorado was doing the show,” Eduardo Diaz said. “If you want to know a little bit more, if you want to go deeper, if you want to have more context about the place that you now call home, I think you need to see this show.”

Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
Heard Museum hosts panel to discuss Native American stereotypes in sports mascots
The panel, “Indigenous Stereotypes in Sports,” explored the Native American stereotypes present in many of the logos and names of American sports teams. began with a keynote speech by Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana)
Conner Prairie overhauls balloon exhibit with eye on history
To get the historical context right, museum staff has consulted with Tom Crouch, a senior aviation curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA)
Tellus Science Museum Receives Multiple Awards
The Moon Rock display at Tellus received a best museum exhibition award. The exhibit combines Apollo artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with an impressive lunar sample from NASA

US Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)
History comes alive during Smithsonian talk, book signing at Rocket Center in Huntsville
Kurin, who will also speak at 6 p.m. Thursday during the USSRC’s “Inventors’ Ball,” will sign copies of his book following his talk. Christina DiMeglio Lopez, external affairs and membership manager for Smithsonian Affiliations, will welcome Center members and Smithsonian magazine subscribers.

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO)
UCAR Announced as a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which provides unique exhibits on weather and climate, has been accepted to join a leading group of national museum and cultural organizations as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Old Governor’s Mansion Announcement

Old Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville named Smithsonian affiliate
The affiliation makes the mansion the ninth in the state and the first in Middle Georgia to receive this recognition, according to a news release

Old Governor’s Mansion becomes first Smithsonian affiliate in central Georgia
“The opportunity to be an affiliate of the Smithsonian is a great honor for the Old Governor’s Mansion and Georgia College,” said Director Matt Davis. “We look forward to building partnerships for exhibitions, loans and the development of programming. This partnership will be a huge benefit to the Mansion as we continue to build our national profile within the museum field.”

Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA)
Museum of Africa Disapora celebrates $1.3M makeover
“We’re delighted to begin this new affiliate partnership between MoAD and the Smithsonian Institution, one that builds on shared missions, a commitment to education and prior collaborations,” said Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “Since its founding in 2005, MoAD has been a beacon to the museum community by applying innovative exhibition ideas to the study of living communities and their cultures. We welcome the opportunity to work together through the sharing of our knowledge base, collections and traveling exhibits to place the story of human migration in local, national and global contexts.”

Telluride Historical Museum and The Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO)
Place of invention
“We are thrilled that Telluride was selected to participate in the Places of Invention program,” Kinias said in a press release. “Having Telluride recognized as an innovative community by our Smithsonian partners is an incredible honor and is testimony to Telluride’s strong history of innovative residents.”

kudos Affiliates! for March 2015

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

The Army Heritage Center Foundation recently received two grants from The Donald B. & Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation and the G.B. Stuart Charitable Foundation to support the expansion of the Visitor Center at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA.)  The grants are in addition to a $2 million Economic Growth Initiative Grant awarded to the Foundation by the State commonwealth earlier this year.

The iconic helium balloon that has flown high in the central Indiana sky since 2009 has a new sponsor. Reynolds Farm Equipment is now the presenting sponsor of the 1859 Balloon Voyage experience at Conner Prairie, an interactive history park (Fishers, IN).  Through 2019, the company will provide up to $375,000 to support the balloon and its new exhibit space.

The Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation will donate $250,000 toward building a “space portal” that will connect Science City, the Gottlieb Planetarium and the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre at Union Station (Kansas City, MO).   The portal will be designed to resemble a futuristic space station.  The project is part of a planned $10 million renovation.

A $1 million donation will enable the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History  (Ft. Worth, TX) to focus on new technology for its digital learning programs. Museum officials said they hope to raise another $1 million to match the donation from the Kleinheinz Family Foundation.  The money will go toward upgrading technology for the institution’s science, math and language literacy programs, which run from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, along with its public programs for families and adults.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) announces a gift of $1 million from the Thompson Family Foundation honoring the late Wade Thompson, a Museum trustee for 27 years. This gift will be directed to a new 14,000 square-foot exhibition building to include a state-of-the-art, 5,000 square-foot exhibit hall. This will be the largest among Mystic Seaport’s seven galleries and will provide the caliber of conditions required to curate not only exhibits from the Museum’s collection, but also permit the borrowing of outstanding art and artifacts from other museums around the world.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) has met its campaign goal of raising $35,000 to match equal funding from an anonymous donor, ahead of its February 28 deadline.   The “35” in the campaign goal represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, a member of New York City’s 33-member Cultural Institutions Group.

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA) was recognized with awards during the recent Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries annual conference.  Tellus was honored with three distinguished awards:

  • The Moon Rock display received a Best Museum Exhibition award. The exhibit combines Apollo artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with an impressive lunar sample from NASA.
  • Tellus volunteer Bob Gossman was recognized as Museum Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to Tellus. Working full-time in a career that takes him all over the world, Gossman has still volunteered more than 1500 hours in less than 6 years.
  • Tellus was also voted Best Kid-friendly Museum by readers of Atlanta Magazine for 2014.

Julie Johnson recently started her tenure as President of the International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX).  Julie came from leadership positions at the Michigan Science Center and Detroit Children’s Museum.

coming up in Affiliateland in March 2015

Enjoy spring at our Affiliates!

Hirshhorn Museum director Melissa Chiu will give a keynote talk at the Frost Art Museum  in Miami, 3.4.

National Museum of African Art Museum director Dr. Johnnetta Cole will give remarks at an exhibition opening as well as a talk on the importance of diversity in museums at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, 3.19-20.

The Anchorage Museum, in collaboration with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, will open a Spark!Lab Invention Interactive Exhibit in Anchorage, 3.5.

Young visitors to the Anchorage Museum will soon experience the "ah ha!" moments of Spark!Lab.

Young visitors to the Anchorage Museum will soon experience the “ah ha!” moments of Spark!Lab.

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum will open SITES exhibition I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story in Riverside, 3.5.

El Pueblo History Museum, one of the sites of History Colorado, will open the Smithsonian’s Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963 exhibition in Pueblo, 3.6.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will open SITES exhibition New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music in Bristol, 3.21.