Can you believe it’s May already?! Here’s a sampling of some fun Smithsonian activity from this spring.
Historian Heather Ewing just published The Lost World of James Smithson, which fills in a lot of the details of his life. The book reveals “not the dour recluse historians had once thought Smithson to be but an exuberant if eccentric man with a zeal for learning and for life.” That seems appropriate as the profile our first benefactor!
Civilizing the Museum
Smithsonian staff were treated to a recent lecture by museum theorist, professor and guru Elaine Heumann Gurian, speaking on her new book of collected essays, Civilizing the Museum. Issues like sharing authority and maximizing our relevance in the current climate of “Internet 2.0” provided hearty food for thought.
Have you seen this new project from the Museum of American History?
A partnership between NMAH and George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, The Object of History site provides a way for students and teachers of U.S. History to have access to the Museum’s collections and the expertise of its curators. Meet the designers/programmers from George Mason at the Affiliations Conference this summer, and learn how to do it yourself!
Building a Museum?
Affiliations staff attended the Building Museums conference a few months ago. This annual conference is one-stop shopping for all issues related to building, expanding or renovating Museums. Lots of stellar examples! – including a unique cultural and fundraising partnership in Chattanooga. If you are interested in any of the white papers, session topics or speaker bios – let us know, we’ve got all the peripheral material on a cd.
So how was your spring?! Feel free to share…. and hope to see you soon at the Affiliations Conference !