What to see while you’re in town for the National Conference

While you’re in D.C.,  don’t miss the opportunity to see what’s new at the Smithsonian! We know that it can be daunting to choose among all the museums and exhibitions, so here are a few suggestions, tailored to your time at the Affiliations conference.

Monday, June 15, 12:15 pm, Freer Sackler Gallery of Art
Before the conference starts, take advantage of a tour of Darren Waterson’s Filthy Lucre, a remix of the iconic Peacock Room (details here).

A decadent ruin collapsing under the weight of its own creative excess, Filthy Lucre forms the centerpiece of an unprecedented exhibition that highlights the complicated tensions between art and money, ego and patronage, and acts of creative expression in the nineteenth century and today. It’s a way to see Whistler’s Peacock Room in a completely new light.

Filthy Lucre

Tuesday, June 16, 5:30 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Mingering Mike: SICKLE CELL ANEMIA, 1972. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mingering Mike: SICKLE CELL ANEMIA, 1972.
Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Head to the Smithsonian American Art Museum a little ahead of Congressional Night at the Smithsonian to catch a tour of the Mingering Mike’s Supersonic Greatest Hits exhibition.  If you’ve seen the retrospective documentary Searching For Sugar Man, you will love Mingering Mike, the soul superstar nobody has ever heard of. Learn about him and his visionary collection of fabricated music ephemera with Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art. She will discuss the artist’s influences, share how the museum came to own the collection, and guide you through a collection of over 150 works of art.

Wednesday, June 17, 1 pm, Haupt Garden
Why not spend your lunch break learning “What Makes a Victorian Garden Victorian?”  Join one of the Smithsonian Gardens’ knowledgeable horticulturists who will describe the various features of the Enid A. Haupt Garden, including its plants and flowers, the Asian-inspired moongate garden, and the Moorish-inspired fountain garden.  Meet outside in the Haupt Garden, near the south entrance doors to the Smithsonian Castle.  Click here for complete information.

And if you can, take a peek at these new and exciting exhibitions:
Hear My Voice: Alexander Graham Bell and the Origins of Recorded Sound, National Museum of American History
In this new exhibition, see documents, recordings, laboratory notes, and apparatus from the Volta Laboratory. Learn about the early history of sound recording in the United States. Hear some of the earliest sound recordings ever made including the only known example of Graham Bell’s own voice, thanks to sound recovery techniques developed by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Museum.

Photographer Zack Brown shooting dapper men in Harlem, c. 1937 by Eliot Elisofon, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Photographer Zack Brown shooting dapper men in Harlem, c. 1937 by Eliot Elisofon, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African American History and Culture gallery at the National Museum of American History
The much anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to officially open its doors in 2016. Check out what all the excitement is about right now!  A new exhibition at the National Museum of American History offers a preview of the artifacts and moments chronicled in the collections.

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, National Museum of African Art

Yinka Shonibare MBE How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Gentlemen) 2006 Sindika Dokolo Collection, Luanda Photograph by Axel Schneider ©Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt

Yinka Shonibare MBE
How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once (Gentlemen) 2006  Sindika Dokolo Collection, Luanda
Photograph by Axel Schneider
©Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt

Right down the hall from conference sessions in the Ripley Center, you will find The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists exhibition.  A combination of new commissions and recently produced works of art come together in this exhibition to demonstrate the ongoing global relevance of the themes addressed in Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Forty of the best known and emerging artists from 18 African nations and the African diaspora working in media as diverse as video projection, installation, painting, sculpture and textiles explore diverse issues of politics, identity, faith, and form. In so doing, they reveal that each person’s vision of heaven, purgatory, or hell is unique.

Shirin Neshat: Facing History, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Grab lunch nearby and walk to the Hirshorn Museum to stroll the gardens.  Then, go upstairs to the second level to see the Shirin Neshat: Facing History exhibition. In her mesmerizing films and photographs, Shirin Neshat examines the nuances of

Shirin Neshat, I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah), 1993. Photo: Plauto. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Shirin Neshat, I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah), 1993. Photo: Plauto. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

power and identity in the Islamic world–particularly in her native country of Iran. Shirin Neshat: Facing History presents an array of Neshat’s most compelling works, illuminating the points at which cultural and political events have impacted her artistic practice.

 

For a complete list of all the events and exhibitions at the Smithsonian, click here!

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2015

Even though we’ll see many Affiliates in DC for the Affiliations National Conference, some will be home leading this great roster of events.

MASSACHUSETTS
Dr. Libby Haight O’Connell (Chief Historian, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, History Channel and A+E Networks, and Alumnus of the Board of the National Museum of American History) presents The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, a time-traveling dinner program at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, 6.4.

Attendees at the Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, WV will hear Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

Attendees at the Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, WV will hear Smithsonian Folkways recordings.

WEST VIRGINIA
The Heritage Farm Museum and Village will live stream Smithsonian Folkways recordings during its Jewel City Jamboree in Huntington, 6.6.

FLORIDA
The Wolfsonian at Florida International University opens SITES’ Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise exhibition in Miami, 6.12.

The Tampa Bay History Center opens SITES’ Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard exhibition in Tampa, 6.20.

PENNSYLVANIA
A team of textile conservators from the National Museum of the American Indian will be touring and consulting with the U.S.  Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, 6.16-18.

CALIFORNIA
The Museums of Sonoma County opens SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth exhibition in Santa Rosa, 6.20.

NATIONWIDE
Twelve Affiliates will welcome interns from the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program from June 29-July 31.  Thank you to the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL); California Science Center (Los Angeles,  CA); Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA); Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX); History Colorado (Denver, CO); Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA); Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ); Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA); and the Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX).

 

Our app is back !

Preview of the appThe 2015 Affiliations National Conference mobile app will have conference activities at your fingertips. Access all the information you need during the conference on your smartphones and devices.

The app will include an online agenda and a notes section that allows attendees to take notes inside the app and email the document to save or share with colleagues.

Speaker bios are linked to conference sessions for easy planning during the event.

Meeting locations have been formatted in a google map so users can easily get directions from any location around the National Mall.

The app is loaded with time saving information and tools right at your fingertips!

Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference app will be available in your app store in early June.

Stay tuned for updates so you can download it before the Conference.

 

 

 

Support for the mobile app generously provided by https://www.crowdtorch.com/about-us.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

Katharine Hepburn at The Durham Museum

Special thanks for this guest post to Amy Henderson, National Portrait Gallery’s historian emerita. Amy is a cultural historian specializing in “the lively arts”–particularly media-generated celebrity culture. Her books and exhibitions run the gamut from the pioneers in early broadcasting to Elvis Presley, Katharine Hepburn and Katharine Graham.

In the late 1980s, I met writer-director Garson Kanin at a Washington dinner party, and he set the stage for one of my happiest adventures as a cultural historian at the National Portrait Gallery. When I discovered that Garson, who wrote and directed all of the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy movies, lived next door to Herself in New York, I whined until he promised to give me her address. My excuse? The Portrait Gallery needed a fine portrait of the iconic actress!

Garson’s introduction worked, and I got to know Miss Hepburn in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. I would have coffee and cookies with her when I traveled to New York, and we always went on an exploration of all the portraits she kept in her townhouse; there were a lot, since she had known artists her entire life.

She mentioned “all the costumes” on the upper floor, but I never got a glimpse. Now, thanks to the Durham Museum in Omaha, the costumes are on full view. “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen” is drawn from the Kent State Museum’s Hepburn Costume Collection, and features more than 35 costumes worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions–and some of her private life clothes.

image001

Mick Hale, Director of Education at the Durham, heard that I had curated a 2007 Portrait Gallery exhibition celebrating Hepburn’s centennial, and invited me to speak about her life in conjunction with the Durham’s costume show. I eagerly accepted, and spoke at this Smithsonian Affiliate in April. Talking about her life, I focused mainly on Hepburn’s remarkable ability to fashion her own image, even in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system when studios configured their stars to reflect their own particular movie “brand.”  E.g., Warner Bros. had a “Murderers’ Row” of gangsters, while MGM boasted “all the stars in the heavens.”

The Durham has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2002, and Mick Hale estimates that they have hosted 25 or so traveling exhibitions such as the Hepburn costumes. Other recent speakers have included Mike Neufeld from the National Air and Space Museum, who spoke about the Apollo 8 mission during the Durham’s “1968” exhibition; and Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Richard Kurin, who shared his stories about 101 Smithsonian artifacts last Fall when the Durham hosted the Franklin Institute’s traveling exhibit “Identity: An Exhibition of You.”

image002

My visit was enormous fun. First, the museum itself is lodged in what had been a stunning Art Deco train station that opened in 1931; lofty ceilings and a sense of bustle create an instantly uplifting “wow” museum experience. Second, for me it was great to see the costumes Hepburn wore during her long stage and screen career. Her waist was TINY–20”–and it was fascinating to see costumes from such landmark performances as the Broadway version of the Philadelphia Story. I also lingered over the section that spotlighted her impeccably tailored tan slacks, of which she had dozens.

My visit came at the end of Mick Hale’s tenure as education director at the Durham. After ten years, he is heading toward new challenges, directing a leadership initiative in Lincoln. But his dynamic partnership with the Smithsonian will remain firmly rooted at the Durham. “The museum and I are very proud of what we have done with the Smithsonian,” he told me, “and I know the quality work and collaboration will continue for a long time.”

image003All photos courtesy of the Durham Museum.

coming up in affiliateland in may 2015

The 2015 class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The 2015 class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Affiliations director Harold Closter will give remarks at the Affiliations announcement at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, 5.7.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (headquartered in North Canton, OH) will host a series of innovation events at the Smithsonian to celebrate the 2015 class of inductees – 14 trailblazing inventors.  The induction ceremony will be held at the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum, 5.12.  Innovation Echo, a panel discussion with inductees, co-hosted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, will take place at the National Museum of American History, 5.13.

MARYLAND
College Park Aviation Museum will host From Queen Bee to Drone Fever: The Strange Evolution of Unmanned Aircraft, a public lecture by National Air and Space curator Roger Conner in College Park, 5.14.

Dig_It_poster_300NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will open SITES Dig It: The Secrets of Soil in Raleigh, 5.16.

Affiliates in the news! May 2015 edition

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.

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals (Hillsboro, OR)
Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals announces new affiliation with Smithsonian
Harvey goes on to say that the affiliation “confirms that [the Rice Museum] meets the high standards required to assist our schools and community in earth science education. It assures that visitors and supporters of the museum can have confidence in the quality and content of the exhibits, plus enjoyment in viewing fine minerals, fossils, meteorites and lapidary specimens.”

Jessica Tenenbaum, left, a program manager for the Pinhead Institute, presented the Smithsonian Institution’s webcast “Mineral Dependence: Gemstones to Cell Phones” Thursday at the Wilkinson Public Library. [Photo by Stephen Elliott]

Jessica Tenenbaum, left, a program manager for the Pinhead Institute, presented the Smithsonian Institution’s webcast “Mineral Dependence: Gemstones to Cell Phones” Thursday at the Wilkinson Public Library. [Photo by Stephen Elliott]

The Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO)
Rock talk
Jessica Tenenbaum, left, a program manager for the Pinhead Institute, presented the Smithsonian Institute’s webcast “Mineral Dependence: Gemstones to Cell Phones” Thursday at the Wilkinson Public Library. The webcast featured Smithsonian geologist Michael Wise explaining different types of minerals, and was geared toward students.

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
Why Albert Einstein, the Genius Behind the Theory of Relativity, Loved His Pipe
And yet, as the 60th anniversary of Einstein’s death approaches on April 18, the pipe itself is not currently on display among the science holdings of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington. Instead, as proof of its popularity, it’s at the National Museum of American Jewish History, a Smithsonian affiliate in Philadelphia, for several years.

College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)
Smithsonian curator to give presentation at College Park Aviation Museum
Dr. Andrew K. Johnston, geographer and curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, will present “Beyond GPS: Navigation on Earth and in Space” at the College Park Aviation Museum

South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC)
‘Happy Hubble 25’: State Museum to celebrate space telescope’s 25th anniversary
The event will feature a live-stream webcast from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in which guests will hear from NASA subject matter experts about the shuttle missions needed for launching and servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.

This building, now the Museum of Contemporary Art, sits on one side of the Avenue of the Martyrs. It commemorates the 1964 Panamanian Flag Riots. Photo by Susana Raab, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.

This building, now the Museum of Contemporary Art, sits on one side of the Avenue of the Martyrs. It commemorates the 1964 Panamanian Flag Riots. Photo by Susana Raab, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.

Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá (Panama City, Panama)
Anacostia Community Museum examines connections between Metro DC Panamanians and Panama
“Bridging the Americas’ is a timely exhibition because it connects communities across the oceans through diverse personal stories of Washington, D.C., area residents,” said Curtis. “It expands our representation of our local community and engages our visitors in collective reflection about their notions and experiences of community as well.”

Kenosha Public Museum (Kenosha, WI)
Get Out: Here’s lookin’ at you, Earth!
The panels on display locally came from a larger-scale Smithsonian Institution show. When Andersen contacted the Smithsonian, they sent the smaller set of poster-sized prints. Andersen added information from the United States Geological Survey, which she said offers context about the history of map making.

National Inventors Hall of Fame
Three-Day Innovation Event Series To Honor The Nation’s Most Creative Minds On May 11-13
“I am so happy that the National Inventors Hall of Fame was invented. Otherwise I would not have the wonderful opportunity to host this three-day celebration of American inventiveness,” said Mo Rocca, Emmy winning CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and Host of CBS The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation. “My hope is that the genius of these innovators and visionaries will rub off on me so that one day I will invent something worthy of induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.”

The Apollo 8 crew in November 1968. L to R: James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders, and Frank Borman. (Photo: NASA)

The Apollo 8 crew in November 1968. L to R: James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders, and Frank Borman. (Photo: NASA)

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
History Colorado brings Apollo 8 to Denver in April
Dr. Michael Neufeld, Senior Curator in the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, will be in Denver for two talks on April 21.

The People Who Weren’t Kidding (Huff Post Latino Voices blog written by Eduardo Diaz, Smithsonian Latino Center)
As for museums, there have been a precious few exhibitions on the subject, which is why I was thrilled to see History Colorado, a Smithsonian affiliate, recently open El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado at its flagship venue in Denver.

The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, CA)
Berkeley’s CLAS, Mexican Museum in new cultural partnership
The Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley has formed a partnership with the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, a Smithsonian affiliate, to bring innovative cultural programming to a wider audience in the Bay Area and throughout California.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
And … action! N.C. Museum of History exhibit highlights 100 years of filmmaking in the state
More than 100 artifacts are borrowed from the Cape Fear Museum and 13 are on loan from Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, MT)
What’s the Army doing with dinosaurs?
April 11, 2014, Montana State University’s, Museum of the Rockies hosted a public sendoff of the Wankel T. rex on a journey to represent Montana’s Dinosaur Trail to the nation and the world at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History becoming the “Nation’s T. rex.” As promised, exactly one year later, another T. rex specimen entrusted to the Montana museum goes on public display … and in massive form.

VIDEO (NBC Montana)

Associate curator at National Museum of the American Indian to speak at MSU March 31
Joe D. Horse Capture, an associate curator for the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of the American Indian, will give a lecture at Museum of the Rockies on Tuesday, March 31, as part of Montana State University’s President’s Fine Art Series. Horse Capture is an MSU alumnus and a member of the A’aninin (Gros Ventre) Tribe.

Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
Cesar Chavez portrait to go on display at Smithsonian
. Chavez died in his sleep and the photo Miyatake captured became one of the icon’s last official portraits. On Friday at 9 a.m., the photograph will be donated to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony at the Japanese American National Museum.

Institute of Texan Cultures presents Sikh religion exhibit

Institute of Texan Cultures presents Sikh religion exhibit

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX)
Exhibition – Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab
ITC welcomes exhibit on a growing Texan community. The Institute of Texan Cultures will host the traveling exhibit, “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab,” developed by the Smithsonian Institution and sponsored by the Sikh Heritage Foundation.

Smithsonian Sikh exhibit opens in SA (VIDEO)
Dr. G.P. Singh came to United States in the 1970s and admits he was the first to wear a turban here. It hasn’t been easy to raise a family and grow a thriving defense contracting business in the process, he said, but he has. “It is the fifth-largest (religion), but nobody knows about our faith,” he said. Singh said he was a catalyst for getting the first Sikh exhibit at the Smithsonian, entitled “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab.”

Museums of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, CA)
Art Museum of Sonoma County set to open
Throughout its long effort to expand, the Sonoma County Museum made other improvements, becoming affiliated in 2009 with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., one of 190 affiliates in 40 states. That entitles the museum to show the Smithsonian’s traveling programs and get advice from its experts.

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA)
Pilots reunite on 60th anniversary of Crusader’s first flight
Adding the Crusader to the Museum of Flight’s collection “adds to the story of the transition from the propeller age to the jet age,” he said. The plane is to be displayed in the museum’s gallery at Boeing Field in Seattle. . The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum first loaned the plane to the museum in 1987, later donating it in 2004. Restoration work started in 1996.

Fully restored F-8 Crusader unveiled at Paine Field (VIDEO)
Inside the Museum of Flight’s restoration center at Paine Field, a U.S. Navy F-8 Crusader jet was unveiled. The plane had been donated by the Navy to the Smithsonian, but the Smithsonian in turn donated the jet to the Museum of Flight. The plan is to move the now restored airplane to its great gallery at the museum on the west side of Boeing Field in Seattle in mid-2016. The restoration took about 20 years with volunteer labor.