Posts

Supersonic Challenges: The Installation of the F-5 Fighter Jet

Special thanks for this guest post to Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego, Curator of Astronomy and Exhibition Developer, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

Riddle us this: what moves faster than the speed of sound and lives in a gallery?

Give up?

Gulf Stream Aquarium Oculus

Gulf Stream Aquarium Oculus at the Frost Museum of Science. Photo by Ra-Haus.

The answer: a Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter, on loan to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The supersonic light fighter is capable of speeds faster than 1,000 miles per hour and you’ll find it hanging right over your head in the Feathers to the Stars exhibition, located in the Batchelor Foundation and Christine Allen Gallery, in the museum’s North Wing.

Frost Science, which officially opened its doors in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on May 8, is truly a marvel of both architectural and engineering feats. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum features a three-level 500,000-gallon cone-shaped Gulf Stream Aquarium teeming with hammerhead sharks and dolphins, anchored by a 31-foot oculus lens that peers into the waters above. The Frost Planetarium, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind anywhere in the world, uses a 16-million-color, 3-D 8K visual system to send visitors hurtling through space and into the depths of the ocean. And with a fascinating roster of interactive exhibitions, it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring and being immersed in the power of science.

Now, about that Northrop—exactly how is an 8,000-pound airplane moved into a gallery? Teamwork. Lots of it. For that, Frost Science enlisted the help of an invaluable group of experts, including first-class airplane movers and riggers. The aircraft was brought into the building in three pieces (the fuselage, the wings and the tail) through a tight opening between the Frost Planetarium and the level three terraces. The intricate task took our crew 10 hours from beginning to end.

Breaking through the sound barrier is a relatively recent feat in human history. On October 14, 1947, Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager became the first to do so. Manning a rocket engine-powered Bell X-1, Yeager reached Mach 1.06— exceeding the speed of sound in level flight. (At 768 miles per hour, Mach 1 is equal to the speed of sound.)

Feathers to the Stars exhibition at Frost Museum of Science. Photo by Ra-Haus

Because sound waves move at a finite speed, moving sources can catch up with the sound waves they emit as they accelerate. As this happens, sound waves pile up in front of them. If the aircraft is fast enough, it can burst through them causing a sonic boom. The loud noise is a consequence of the change in pressure as the aircraft outruns all the sound waves ahead of itself.

That accomplishment came just over 40 years after Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first controlled, sustained flight of a heavier-than-air powered aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. And just over 20 years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. In less than a lifetime, humans mastered the sky and knocked on the door of space exploration.

Feathers to the Stars will carry you through the amazing story how ancient evolution gave birth to animal flight, and how humans used imagination and engineering to get airborne and explore the infinite possibilities of space. The exhibition also features a rocket engine, a rocket tail piece with jet deflector vanes, and a model of a V-2 missile (the world’s first guided missile) on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Ultimately, Feathers to the Stars is a story driven by challenges—and perseverance. Ready for take-off? You can find more information on the exhibition here.

 

Coming up in Affiliateland in June 2017

Summer is heating up in Affiliateland!

CALIFORNIA
The board of the Smithsonian Latino Center will be meeting at the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, 6.4-5.

The National Museum of American History will present Let’s Do History professional development workshop in collaboration with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, 6.9.

KANSAS
National Air and Space Museum curator Mike Neufeld will give a talk and booksigning on Werner Von Braun at the Cosmosphere  in Hutchinson, 6.8.

Fort Worth Alliance Airport tower

Fort Worth Alliance Airport
Texas, United States
Photo by Carolyn Russo, National Air and Space Museum

INDIANA
Former director of the National Museum of American History Brent Glass will give a talk and booksigning on 50 Great Historical Places at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis, 6.13.

NEBRASKA
National Museum of Natural History director Kirk Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the Ashfall Fossil Beds Dedication ceremony at the University of Nebraska State Museum  in Lincoln, 6.17.

ILLINOIS
The Dusable Museum of African American History will host the Night of 100 Stars gala and honor Lonnie Bunch, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Chicago, 6.24.

Read all about it! Affiliate’s making headlines this month

Genomics, special Smithsonian speakers on the road, famous horse skeletons, and air mail…April was a busy month in Affiliateland! Check out the Affiliates making headlines across the network:

A soldier in Vietnam writes a letter.

A soldier in Vietnam writes a letter. (Photo: National Archives)

Yankee Air Museum (Belleville, MI)
Smithsonian’s Mail Call heading to Yankee Air Museum
“We are very pleased to bring Mail Call to southeastern Michigan,’’ said Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Yankee Air Museum in a news release. “This is the natural encore to our recent project that assembled and mailed nearly 100 care packages to our troops in the Middle East. Yankee Air Museum proudly joins the past with the present as we look to the future.’’

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
Historical immersion
The N.C. Museum of History, which is a Smithsonian affiliate, has a uniform worn by North Carolina aviator Kiffin Rockwell on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Rockwell grew up in Asheville and was the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft in WWI.

International Museum of the Horse (Lexington, KY)
Beyond The Derby, Meet Lexington Kentucky’s Great Thoroughbreds — Past And Present
Making a name for himself not only through his racing but also as the most successful sire of the second half of the 19th century, Lexington’s remains were kept at the Smithsonian for decades before finally coming back to his namesake. You can now find his bones on display at the International Museum of the Horse.

Numerous Wild West Personnel with Deadwood stagecoach, ca. 1889. Buffalo Bill stands in front of the smaller wagon wheel with Major Burke behind his right shoulder. (Photo: Buffalo Bill Center of the West)

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Wild West PR man mounts comeback, 100 years after death
In suitably Burke-like promotion, historians and descendants of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West P.R. man, a rotund fellow dubbed “Major,” gather at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC, to “right a historical wrong,” according to event organizers. … Haynes, Fuqua and his sister and cousin, along with their families, plan to attend the Wednesday ceremony. Guest speakers include Dr. Jeremy Johnston, Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, and Managing Editor of the Papers of William F. Cody; Steve Friesen, Director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colorado; and Dr. Michelle Delaney, Senior Program Officer for History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, whose forthcoming book, Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, is scheduled for release in 2019.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD)
Lewis Museum Expects Bright Future Under New Management
As the museum continues to reorganize and redevelop, their partnership with the Smithsonian [Institution]’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., has had a positive influence on their progress. Draper said that the Lewis Museum has had a long history with the Smithsonian and the museum is also a Smithsonian affiliate. “We do things with them now,” Draper said. “We premiere their movies in this market, Smithsonian channel movies, and we’re looking at sharing some objects.”

seated guests

Guests at the Rockwell Museum for Smithsonian Speakers Series.

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY)
Rockwell Wraps Up Smithsonian Speaker Series This Week
“Eduardo is going to bring his area of expertise which is working in the Latino community,” Rockwell Programs and Events Manager Brett Smith said. “In particular for this program he’s going to be discussing how the Smithsonian is actively insuring that the Latino voice is maintaining a presence throughout the Smithsonian network.”

Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, IL)
Smithsonian’s ‘Genome’ exhibit at the Peoria Riverfront Museum
The “Genome” exhibition will reveal the revolutionary nature of genomic science and unravel the mystery behind it. … The exhibit was developed and produced by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Institutes for Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute in association with Science North.

Did we miss something? Or do you have a clipping you’d like to submit? Email Elizabeth Bugbee (BugbeeE@si.edu). All clippings must have a Smithsonian connection, cover significant research or staff changes. 

Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage wants your stories

Special thanks for this guest post to Angelica Aboulhosn, Public Affairs Specialist with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage invites partners, artists, and others from across the Smithsonian Affiliations network to showcase their work on the new CFCH digital magazine, Folklife. In doing so, contributors can spotlight their work, as well as the work of those individuals and communities they interpret or champion, to a combined audience of over one million viewers.

2011 Heritage Fellows

Photo credit: Roy (left) and PJ Hirabayashi, 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Photo by Tom Pich, National Endowment for the Arts

The website, which launched last month, tells unforgettable stories of music, food, crafts, and culture that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. Folklife showcases stories of place, history, language and cultural identity as well as the complex lives of individuals and communities—all with focus on the animating questions at the center of contemporary life, such as: How and when do we come together at a time when so much history and so many issues pull us apart? The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage encompasses the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and a series of cultural sustainability and research projects that together promote greater understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage across the United States and around the world.

Folklife features include short- and long-form pieces, which range in length from 500 to 1,500 words. Short-form work tends to personal, essay-style pieces, while our longer-form features explores a single issue in depth, often drawing connections between media of various kinds. Folklife also features photo and video essays, in case that better aligns with your work. Ours is an educated, culturally attuned audience looking for authentic, first-person perspectives rather than academic pieces. For the time being, all contributions are unpaid, but if your piece is accepted, it will be posted to the Folklife site and cross-promoted on our web and social media channels.

Turquoise Mountain calligrapher

Over half of Turquoise Mountain’s calligraphy and jewelry students are women, as the organization is committed to provided them with a sustainable source of income. Photo courtesy of Turquoise Mountain

Featured work can include a link to relevant museum websites, online exhibitions, and more. That said, these pieces are distinct from press releases in that they focus squarely on artists, communities, and the stories they have to tell, rather than on the details of one exhibition or another, thereby extending the life of the piece online.

We encourage you to reach out to Charlie Weber (WeberC@si.edu) on our editorial team with any new story ideas. For more information, see the examples below.

Long-form example: Radio Jarochelo: Connecting Communities
Short-form example: On Ink, Tradition, and the Handwritten Word: Learning Chinese Calligraphy

Kudos Affiliates! April 2017 edition

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

Funding
Pinhead staff at Innovation Prize event

Pinhead Institute Executive Director Sarah Holbrooke, center, poses with Dr. Adam Chambers, right; Chris Arndt, left; and members of the Telluride Earth Guardians at the Telluride Foundation’s Innovation Prize event Wednesday evening at the Elks Club Lodge. (Courtesy photo)

The Pinhead Institute won the first-ever Telluride Foundation Innovation Prize of $50,000 for its Climate Institute idea. The idea of the Climate Institute came about after Dr. Adam Chambers moved to Telluride and became involved with the organization as a consultant. The new institute will aim to reduce the area’s carbon footprint by initially focusing on emissions from the Galloping Goose buses, but the model can be expanded to focus on larger sources of carbon emissions like the Telluride Regional Airport.

Leadership and Staff Changes 

Co-Chairmen of the Museum of Latin American Art’s Board of Directors, announced that the Museum of Latin American Art has selected Lourdes I. Ramos Ph. D. to serve in the position of President and CEO.

Mark Auslander, a sociocultural anthropologist, has been appointed director of the Michigan State University Museum.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science announced Linda Abraham-Silver, as the museum’s new CEO.

Read all about it: Affiliates in the news!

Things have been busy in Affiliateland! If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, research, or innovation, please email Elizabeth Bugbee to see if it qualifies for listing. 

Star Wars Characters

From Star Wars and the Power of Costume. Photo by Paul Martinka

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Can’t get to the museum? The museum may be coming to you
On loan to the Denver Art Museum from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the yet-to-open Lucas Museum of Narrative Art planned for Los Angeles, they’re part of the sudden fast rise of the traveling exhibition.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, New York)
A Jazz Age Exhibition With a Syncopated Sweep
“The Jazz Age” is an example of a classic Cooper Hewitt design exhibition — silk, diamonds, gorgeous furniture — given some new juice…The walking tour, planned for May 18, is presented by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian affiliate.

Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California)
African American Smithsonian Sets a New Standard for Museums as Destinations
San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is a Smithsonian affiliate, which means that MoAD has access to the Smithsonian’s 136 million artifact collection. MoAD deputy director Michael Warr thinks the new Smithsonian’s buzz will increase visibility for many related institutions. “When it’s getting this much love from the public, that type of audience participation from around the country and from around the world… being a professional in the museum world, we’re talking about that,” said Warr.

Students in a science workshop

Reid Middle School students participate in the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Youth Summit Feb. 22-23 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the Springfield Museum of Art. Contributed

Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio)
Smithsonian program teaches Clark County students art, science
A recent program had Reid Middle School students reaching for the stars with assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and Springfield Museum of Art. Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos brought art and science together as students engaged in using robotic telescopes to photograph and colorize their own images of stars and galaxies like professional astronomers, interacting with real astronomers and scientists in the process.

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
Steel in Pennsylvania: Explore the industrial history of Bethlehem
In addition to focusing on industries that thrived in the Lehigh Valley, the National Museum of Industrial History also has a fantastic collection of antique engines. These engines represent some of the most beautiful engines in existence, and many are on loan from the Smithsonian.

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA)
MOLAA offers first solo exhibit featuring Frank Romero
“Death of Ruben Salazar,” from 1986, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, depicts the death of Los Angeles Times journalist Ruben Salazar. Salazar died during the National Chicano Moratorium March in 1970 protesting the Vietnam War after he was hit by a tear-gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy.

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
African-American history celebrated at Mid-America Science Museum
Creative Mind combined educational exhibit materials from the National Visionary Leadership Project, the African-American History Program, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA)
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms coming to the High Museum in 2018
The High Museum of Art will be joining the national tour for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, the first survey exhibition to explore the evolution of the celebrated Japanese artist’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms. Organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum, the exhibition will be on view at the High from November 18, 2018 through February 17, 2019.

The Apollo 11 command module

The Apollo 11 command module Columbia. COURTESY PHOTO, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Destination Moon
Museum of Flight chosen to exhibit Apollo 11 Spacecraft on 50th anniversary of the Moon landing
A piece of man’s first lunar landing is coming to The Museum of Flight. The Smithsonian Institution announced at a ceremony Wednesday that the Apollo 11 command module Columbia – the only portion of the historic spacecraft to complete the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him to Earth – will be exhibited at The Museum of Flight on the 50th anniversary of its Moon flight.

The Apollo 11 capsule is about to go on another mission
Columbia will be featured at Space Center Houston from Oct. 14, 2017 through March 18, 2018, then will be sent to the St. Louis Science Center, where it will remain from April 14 until Sept. 3, 2018. It will then be at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh from Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 18, 2019 before finishing at Seattle’s Museum of Flight starting on March 16, 2019. “This first stop of the national tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to see both command modules – the Apollo 11 and the Apollo 17 – as well as an array of original Apollo-era artifacts,” officials at the Texas-based museum said in a statement. “Space Center Houston is the home of the Apollo 17 command module, the last mission to land men on the moon.”

Smithsonian Selects The Museum of Flight to Exhibit Apollo 11
The Smithsonian Institution announced at a ceremony today that the Apollo 11 command module Columbia–the only portion of the historic spacecraft to complete the first mission to land a man on the moon and safely return him to Earth–will be exhibited at The Museum of Flight on the fiftieth anniversary of its Moon flight.

Apollo 11 Capsule Is Going To Leave Its Position After 40 Years To Go On National Tour
Space nerds, rejoice because your dreams are about to come true…It seems that the Apollo 11 command module is about to leave the Smithsonian for the first in nearly 40 years and go on a nationwide tour…include Space Center Houston from 14th October 2017 – 18th March 2018, Saint Louis Science Center from 14th April – 3rd September 2018, Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh from 29th September 2018 – 18th February 2019 and The Museum of Flight in Seattle from 16th March – 2nd September 2019.