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*amazing* loans at Affiliates this fall

More than 25 amazing and unique artifacts are on the move from the Smithsonian to Affiliates in six states,  from September to November this year.  This concentration of extraordinary activity gives testament to months (and sometimes years!) of hard work and planning by Smithsonian and Affiliate staffs alike. 

“Americans unable to visit the Smithsonian in Washington now have an opportunity to see some amazing Smithsonian artifacts from our collections in their own communities,” said Harold Closter, Affiliations Director.  “Something special happens when an artifact returns to its location of origin or joins an exhibit where it can be seen in a new context. Thanks to our Affiliates, the Smithsonian has a strong, visible presence in every part of our country.”

From the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY:

Lexington's skeletal head, next to its image while alive.

The fall season kicked off in Kentucky, site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.  The International Museum of the Horse borrowed the complete skeleton of Lexington, the most famous 19th-century American racehorse, returning him to his birthplace 160 years later.   Read more about this amazing loan in the upcoming Fall 2010 edition of The Affiliate newsletter. 

Isn’t Monopoly the way most of us learned about finance and economics?  A solid gold, jewel-encrusted Monopoly game from the Museum’s gem collection was unveiled with great fanfare in October at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street in New York City.  While students competed in a Monopoly tournament, the artifact’s creator, jeweler Sidney Mobell, spoke about this one-of-a-kind artwork.   

From the SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM:

Barthe's almost 3' Blackberry Woman

Artist Richmond Barthe’s bronze sculpture Blackberry Woman will soon be on view at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi for the inaugural exhibition in its new African American gallery.  Barthe grew up in Mississippi, and was inspired by the women he encountered there in his childhood.  How elegantly appropriate for this sculpture to return to the genesis of its inspiration!

In November, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico will display three paintings from SAAM’s Vidal Collection by legendary 18- 19th-century Puerto Rican Old Master, José Campeche.  These inclusions in a definitive retrospective of Campeche’s work represent the first loans ever between these two important art museums, a signficiant accomplishment.

Likewise, SAAM’s painting by Charmion von Wiegand “Nothing that is wrong in principle can be right in practice” will be part of the Rubin Museum’s Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-inspired Contemporary Art exhibition, the Museum’s first loan to this NYC Affiliate.

 From the ARCHIVES CENTER at the National Museum of American History:  

Detail from the illustrated sheet music, Oh! You Babe Ruth

The Archives Center is making a significant contribution to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music’s Sousa and His League of Players: America’s Music and the Golden Age of Baseball exhibition, marking the 100th anniversary of the Sousa Band’s World Tour.  With 11 baseball cards (including Ty Cobb’s) and several examples of illustrated sheet music (including Oh! You Babe Ruth and Stars of the National Game music), this exhibition will be the core of the University’s 2010 American Music Month Celebration.

From the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN:

In an unexpected request, the Museum has loaned a 19th-century Sioux flute and hide scraper from the Dakota Territory to the National Museum of American Jewish History.  What’s the connection?  When NMAJH opens its brand new building on Independence Mall this November, part of the history it will tell is the western expansion of Jewish Americans, and the kinds of peoples and objects they encountered along the way.   

And from the MUSEUM CONSERVATION INSTITUTE:

Within the Emperor's Garden - on view at Flushing Town Hall

MCI’s extraordinary object, the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, made its way between two Affiliates this fall, from Texas to Flushing, New York.  Flushing Town Hall is located in one of New York City’s largest Asian communities, a perfect context for this 1:5 scale model replica from the Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City in Bejing.  Read more about the deinstallation and NYC installation of this object.

THANK YOU to all of our Smithsonian colleagues for their work on these loans, and for our Affiliate friends who so consistently collaborate with us to bring the Smithsonian to their neighborhoods.

on the road in New York

It’s a chilly, rainy, autumn day along the east coast, but that’s not stopping Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager Jennifer Brundage!  She’s on her way to visit our Affiliates in the New York- New Jersey area and participate in some really exciting events this weekend.  A golden Monopoly set, a Chinese pavilion, and a Tibetan Shrine Room are among the fascinating things she’ll be reporting on as she travels. You can follow her journey on Twitter at @SIAffiliates. Here’s a look at some highlights along the way:

Tomorrow, Jennifer will be on-hand when the Museum of American Finance in New York City unveils the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In the afternoon, the museum will host Monopoly tournaments for children and adults to go along with the unveiling! Look for #Monopoly posts as Jennifer tweets during the day.

While she’s in the city, Jennifer will visit the Tibetan Shrine Room currently on view at the Rubin Museum of Art. On loan from the Alice S. Kandell Collection and organized by the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Shrine Room provides visitors an extraordinary opportunity to experience Tibetan Buddhist art in context. 

On Saturday, Jennifer will close her journey with the opening reception for the Within the Emperor’s Garden: Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion exhibition at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, New York. Based on the original Wan Chun Ting pavilion that stands in the Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City in China, this highly detailed 1:5 scale replica is made of red sandalwood and constructed using mortise-and-tenon joinery. The exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, with assistance of the China Red Sandalwood Museum and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Also on her road trip, she’ll be stopping-by these Affiliates too:

Known for their rich history of African American jazz and pop music, the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District /Museum of African American Music in Newark, New Jersey, captures the energy, spontaneity, and spirit of African American music through a combination of live performance, physical artifacts, audio-visual media, interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Most recently hosting the SITES exhibition Legacy of Lincoln, Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island is one of New York City’s most unexpected and extraordinary destinations. Set within an 83- acre National Historic Landmark district, the center is a place where history, architecture, the visual and performing arts, and environmental science all come together to provide a rich and powerful learning experience.

Don’t forget you can follow Jennifer’s journey on Twitter at @SIAffiliates and look for #Monopoly posts tomorrow during the Monopoly tournaments! And keep checking the Smithsonian Affiliates Flickr photostream in the next week for photos from the road.

coming up in affiliateland in october 2010

October is a busy month in Affiliateland!

PANAMA:
The  Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá will open Panamanian Passages, an exhibit developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama City, 10.1.

from SITES' Lasting Light exhibition. Photo by Gary Ladd.

ARIZONA:
National Museum of American History Curator Larry Bird lectures on WWII posters at Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, in Bisbee, 10.02.

ILLINOIS:
SITES’ Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography, opens at the Dixon Historic Center in Dixon, 10.02.

A teaspoon of farm soil contains up to 1 billion bacteria in more than 4,000 species. From Dig It!

NEBRASKA:
National Museum of Natural History’s Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, opens at the Durham Museum in Omaha, 10.02.  

The Durham Museum welcomes educators  presenting lessons from Dig It! and Lincoln at Smithsonian Teachers Night in Omaha, 10.08.

NEW YORK:
The Museum of American Finance will display an 18-karat gold gem studded Monopoly board on loan from the National Museum of Natural History in New York, 10.15.

The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute will display the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion at the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts in Flushing, 10.16.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
Miami Science Museum, Smithsonian Affiliations, and ASTC will host GirlsRISE, a three-day science institute in Washington DC, 10.20-23.

GEORGIA:
National Museum of American History Curator Shannon Perich speaks about Western imagery in photography at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, 10.22.

CONNECTICUT:
SITES’ Native Words, Native Warriors opens at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, 10.23.

Portrait of Ella Baker, freedom sister. Photo by Charmian Reading.

MARYLAND:
SITES’ Freedom’s Sisters opens at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore, 10.23.

NATIONWIDE:
25 Affiliates take part in AAM’s Universal Design: Beyond ADA webinar featuring Smithsonian Accessibility Program’s Beth Ziebarth, 10.27.

affiliates in the news: week of september 20

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)
The Museum of American Finance will unveil the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History…READ MORE

Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host Tournament…READ MORE

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Polk Museum of Art is pleased to announce that it has been accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations Program…READ MORE 

Polk Museum Gets Affiliation With Smithsonian…READ MORE

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, IL)
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program educational kits…READ MORE

Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT)
…The Smithsonian curator who got the ball rolling was Rayna Green, curator and director of the American Indian Program, Division of Home and Community Life, who will present “In Julia’s Kitchen”…READ MORE

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, NY)
The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced Thursday it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organization…READ MORE

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (Richmond, VA)
Richmond visitors have a new starting point for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the end of slavery: Historic Tredegar…READ MORE

Historic Tredegar: The Region’s Gateway to the Civil War…READ MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
On November 12th, the National Museum of American Jewish History will reopen in its new location at Independence Mall. The weekend of celebration will feature performances by Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler…READ MORE

Two of the country’s most famous Jewish performers will highlight the opening of one of the most ambitious Jewish museum projects in years…READ MORE

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
Exhibit in North Carolina Shows the Real George Washington…READ MORE

National Mississippi River Museum (Dubuque, IA)
Foundation awards river museum $1 million grant for river center…READ MORE

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Everybody loves a freebie and this Saturday, September 25, marks Smithsonian magazine’s 6th Annual Museum Day, when more than 1,500 museum and cultural venues across the United States will honor Smithsonian.com’s special get-in-free ticket for two…READ MORE