20 years in your neighborhood!

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Twenty years ago, during the 150th anniversary celebration of the Smithsonian Institution, Secretary I. Michael Heyman announced the creation of a national outreach program that would extend the reach of the Smithsonian collections to communities, museums and research organizations across the nation. To fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” Smithsonian Affiliations was created to provide access to Smithsonian collections and vast resources. The program’s goal was to make sure those who cannot travel to Washington, D.C., could experience and enjoy the Smithsonian in their own neighborhoods.

At the end of its first year, Smithsonian Affiliations welcomed 21 museums as Affiliates. Today, the program has established partnerships with more than 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.

This month begins our series of highlighting the Smithsonian in Affiliate communities. We’ll be posting blogs, sharing photos on social media, inviting Affiliate guest authors to share their stories of being an Affiliate as well as Smithsonian guest authors sharing their history with Affiliates. We’ll be continuing this series through October 2016, so follow us along on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and this blog. We hope you’ve experienced the Smithsonian in YOUR neighborhood!

A gift to Smithsonian Affiliations will enhance our efforts to reach Americans in their own communities. Donate to the I. Michael Heyman Smithsonian Across America Fund today. 

Are you a Smithsonian Affiliate? Contact us (affiliates@si.edu) for the logo and guidelines.

About Smithsonian Affiliations’ 20th Anniversary

About Smithsonian Affiliations

 

 

what’s going on in Affiliateland, December 2015 – January 2016

Affiliates finished the year off with a bang, and are charging into 2016, full steam ahead.  Happy holidays to all!

SI curator Mary Savig signs her book and talks with visitors to RIHS about artists' handmade holiday cards.

SI curator Mary Savig signs her book and talks with visitors to RIHS about artists’ handmade holiday cards.

RHODE ISLAND
Archives of American Art curator Mary Savig gave a lecture on handmade holiday cards by 20th century artists at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence, 12.5.

NORTH CAROLINA
The Schiele Museum of Natural History & Lynn Planetarium opened SITES’ Titanoboa: Monster Snake exhibition in Gastonia, 12.5.

WYOMING
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West reopened its popular Journeying West: Distinctive Firearms from the Smithsonian exhibition with 50 artifacts on loan from the National Museum of American History, in Cody, 12.5.

SOUTH DAKOTA
The South Dakota State Historical Society hosted a public program around the presentation of the Smithsonian Channel’s Stories from the Vault: Let’s Eat show, in Pierre, 12.15.

CALIFORNIA
Cerritos Library opens SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story exhibition in Cerritos, 1.3.16.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum opens IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas exhibition in Palm Springs, 1.19.16.

NEW MEXICO

The Post Diamond Tiara with matching brooches made in the mid-19th century will soon be on view in New Mexico.

The Post Diamond Tiara with matching brooches made in the mid-19th century will soon be on view in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science will announce their affiliation with the opening of the Post Diamond Tiara exhibition featuring the object which is on loan from the National Museum of Natural History, in Albuquerque, 1.9.16.

COLORADO
Smithsonian Undersecretary Dr. Richard Kurin will give a public lecture on his book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects at History Colorado in Denver, 1.11.16.

IOWA
Affiliations director Harold Closter will announce the Smithsonian’s new affiliation with the Dubuque Museum of Art in Dubuque, 1.12.16.

CONNECTICUT
Carlene Stephens, curator at the National Museum of American History, will present a talk on Connecting the World in Time as part of the Stars of the Smithsonian lecture series at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, 1.14.16.

FLORIDA
The Art of Video Games exhibition, organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will open at the Frost Art Museum in Miami, 1.23.16.

PUERTO RICO
The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico will host the traveling exhibition, Impressionism and the Caribbean featuring the self-portrait of painter Pío Casimiro Bacener on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in San Juan, 1.29.16.

Smithsonian Institution and Affiliate Collections Come Together for “Super Indian” at the Denver Art Museum

Special thanks for this guest post to: Eric Berkemeyer, Curatorial Assistant of Native Arts, Denver Art Museum

This October the Denver Art Museum opened Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980 which explores how Fritz Scholder used color and composition to create the powerful and innovative works of his Indian series. The exhibition features more than 40 monumental paintings and lithographs, including works loaned from Smithsonian Institution and Affiliate museums. With the support of these institutions the Denver Art Museum was able to realize an exhibition that fully engages with Scholder’s work from the period of 1967 to 1980; highlighting major themes and artistic approaches within the series.

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Fritz Scholder, “Indian and Rhinoceros,” 1968, Oil paint on canvas, 68 × 120 in. Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 268066.000 Photographer: Walter Larrimore, NMAI, © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

From the National Museum of the American Indian comes two works that draw attention to Scholder’s Pop art sensibilities with their bright color, scale, and use of popular, everyday imagery. These paintings, Indian and Rhinoceros (1968) and Walking to the Next Bar (1974), also exhibit his interest in social issues such as the conflicted relationship between American Indians and the Federal government and alcoholism respectively.

Also on view is Indian in Contemporary Chair (1970) from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. With the figure’s gritty, expressionistic rendering, its inclusion contributes to the interpretation of English artist Francis Bacon’s influence on Scholder’s style and composition. Furthermore, the contrast of an Indian subject within a contemporary setting serves to challenge viewers’ assumptions of the place of American Indians in the present day, another theme that runs throughout the exhibition.

Fritz Scholder, Indian at a Gallup Bus Depot, 1969, Oil paint on canvas, 40 × 30 in. Booth Western Art Museum permanent collection, Cartersville, GA, 2013.011.001 Photo courtesy Louis Tonsmeire, Jr., © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, “Indian at a Gallup Bus Depot,” 1969, Oil paint on canvas, 40 × 30 in. Booth Western Art Museum permanent collection, Cartersville, GA, 2013.011.001. Photo courtesy Louis Tonsmeire, Jr., © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

In addition to the fourteen works from the Denver Art Museum, works from two other Smithsonian Affiliates are also featured in the exhibition. From the Booth Western Art Museum is Indian at a Gallup Bus Depot (1969) depicting what Scholder called an “Indian cowboy” in front of an arcade machine, highlighting Scholder’s Pop art sensibility as well as the influence of his teacher Wayne Thiebaud. And, from the Heard Museum comes Indian Dying in Nebraska (1972) adding to the exhibitions exploration of dark and mysterious subjects.

With generous institutional support such as this, visitors to the exhibition are better able to explore the rich work of Fritz Scholder. The exhibition continues at the Denver Art Museum until January 17, 2016. It will then travel to the Phoenix Art Museum February 16, 2016 to June 5, 2016 and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, KS June 23, 2016 to September 18, 2016.