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Kudos Affiliates!! June 2019

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The Air Zoo (Portage, MI) announced a $57,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to support the renovation of its existing classroom spaces. The grant matches the investment already committed by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in September 2018, supporting a complete $114,000 renovation of the Air Zoo’s existing classroom spaces. Renovations will enable the Air Zoo to provide an immersive, hands-on space for the more than 90 science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics educational initiatives.

The Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) has launched its Indianapolis History Collecting Initiative, supported by a $100,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. The initiative is part of the Indiana Historical Society’s Indianapolis Bicentennial Project which hopes to identify resources about the people, places and events that have shaped the city over the past 200 years.

An $8,600 grant was awarded to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) by the Cass County Board of Commissioners.  The purpose of the grant is to improve the space suits exhibits and displays to encourage more tourism there.

National Inventors Hall of Fame (Alexandria, VA) received a $5,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to help keep vital resources flowing into K-12 classrooms and programs at the museum.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The winners of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service including Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL) and National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (Memphis, TN) are addressing unique issues and opportunities within their communities through their programs, services and partnerships.

Williams-Mystic, the maritime studies program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT), were presented with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The 42-year-old program brings undergraduate college students to the museum for a semester of interdisciplinary research and travel centered around the ocean. More than 1,600 students have attended the program. Williams-Mystic is receiving the award from the National Maritime Historical Society and the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico was awarded the American Alliance of Museums Chair’s Leadership Award, accepted by the museum’s director Marta Mabel Perez at the 2019 AAM Annual Meeting. The award was given to recognize the museum’s work in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

LEADERSHIP

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Hillary Spencer, a former director of operations for global business development at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as the museum’s new director. Spencer will take over the position on May 1.

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) announced that the board named Ralph Caro to lead the museum as interim executive director and to focus on implementing key recommendations from a consultants’ report issued in April 2018.

coming up in Affiliateland: May 2016

Washington, D.C.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, 5.5.

Smithsonian Affiliations welcomes staff from Affiliate organizations at a reception celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the first day of the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, 5.26

Florida
Maria del Carmen Cossu, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service project manager, will serve as a juror at the Mayfaire Arts Festival at the Polk Museum of Art, 5.7.

The Mennello Museum of American Art opens Pop Art Prints, an exhibition of 37 items from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The installation includes works from the 1960s by Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and others. The installation is part of a series that highlights objects from the collection that are rarely on public view, opening 5.6.

Missouri
Last chance to see Above and Beyond at the Saint Louis Science Center. The exhibition celebrates the power of innovation to make dreams take flight and features two artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition closes 5.8.

California, Michigan, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado
Four Affiliates– Arab American National Museum, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, and History Colorado – and the National Museum of American History will connect via webcast to a live Youth Town Hall at the Japanese American National Museum for National Youth Summit: Japanese Incarceration in World War II, 5.17.

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Ohio
The Ohio History Connection will host a videoconference featuring Dr. Jeremy Kinney, curator at the National Air and Space Museum.  The videoconference will connect NASM with the Ohio History Connection and Stone Gardens Assisted Living Complex near Cleveland. Kinney will discuss the Enola Gay and its restoration while a curator from OHC will address the Ohio connections to the plane, 5.19.

Virginia
Last chance to see two of George Washington’s battle swords together for the first time in over 200 years. One sword is on loan to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens from the National Museum of American History. Exhibit closes 5.30.

clippings2Idaho
There’s still time to see Titanoboa: Monster Snake at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. On view through 6.12.

Affiliates in the news: May edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  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, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

The musicians Terri Davis, left, and Bill Saxton at the opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times The National Jazz

The musicians Terri Davis, left, and Bill Saxton at the opening of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

National Jazz Museum in Harlem (New York, NY)
National Jazz Museum in Harlem reopens in new location
On the very same day that the United States Postal Service held a ceremony in Newark, New Jersey, to celebrate the new Sarah Vaughn postage stamp, Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations, told a funny anecdote about his contribution to the history of jazz. Addressing the audience at the opening night of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s new location, Closter joked that his contribution to jazz history was the time he was tasked with carrying the train of “the Divine One’s” (as Vaughn was known) dress onstage once.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Finds a Permanent Home
The museum found its footing, in incremental steps, under the executive leadership of Loren Schoenberg. A veteran saxophonist, pianist, educator and historian, Mr. Schoenberg brought an air of authority to the museum, while strengthening its bonds with the jazz public and institutions like the Smithsonian.

Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, MO)
Saint Louis Science Center selected as Smithsonian Institution Affiliate
“We are very pleased to join the ranks of some very distinguished organizations and institutions across the country,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center. “Having the opportunity to share Smithsonian artifacts, including space capsules, aircraft and rare minerals with our visitors will help to spark interest and excitement in science and the important role it plays in our lives.”

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, AR)
Mid-America Science Museum wins prestigious national award
Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs has landed the Institute for Museum and Library Services National Medal for Community Service. The award stands out as only 10 museums and libraries around the country are awarded it each year.

Visitors at "The Art of Video Games" exhibition. Photo courtesy Frost Art Museum.

Visitors at “The Art of Video Games” exhibition. Photo courtesy Frost Art Museum.

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL)
Remember ‘Pac-Man’? Museum exhibit has fun with classic video games
From “Pitfall!” and “Space Invaders” to “Super Mario Brothers,” the collection celebrates the artistic and creative factors involved in creating the games’ virtual landscapes and moving images.

1960s Living Room at the Senator John Heinz History Center. (Photo: Rachellynn Schoen)

1960s Living Room at the Senator John Heinz History Center. (Photo: Rachellynn Schoen)

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Playing With the Past
There were many other surprises in this exhibit of nearly 500 favorites developed in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society. For those of you who destroyed or failed to hold on to your childhood treasures, the 8,000 square-foot exhibit may well be worth the trip to Pittsburgh. Your head will be swiveling as Mr. Potato Head, Gumby, Barbie, and action figures from three decades vie for your attention.

National Inventors Hall of Fame
The Greatest Celebration Of American Innovation Inspiring The Future And Honoring The Past
The National Inventors Hall of Fame and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the Greatest Celebration of American Innovation May 4-5. The two-day event will include the Induction of 16 innovation trailblazers into the Hall of Fame [at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery] and the unveiling of the expanded National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum.

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Museum named as Smithsonian Institution affiliate
Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History has been granted affiliation status by the Smithsonian Institution. The distinction, announced Thursday, gives the museum access to Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibits. The DuSable is the second Chicago facility to receive Smithsonian Affiliate status, joining the Adler Planetarium.

visiting Affiliate artifacts… in Washington

In Affiliations, we like to say that our partnerships are two-way streets. We learn as much from our Affiliates as we share. Our Affiliate partners lend ideas, energy and expertise not only to the Smithsonian, but to each other. They also lend artifacts, and often, the very best, rare ones they have in their collections.

Recently, I took an afternoon out of the office to visit the handful of loans currently on view from our Affiliate partners to the Smithsonian. What better pleasure to run in to our Affiliate friends across the country than by discovering pieces from their collections here in Washington?!

A case featuring inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

A case featuring inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame

My first stop on this walkabout was the National Museum of American History and its newly-opened innovation wing. The Inventing in America exhibition features a case that honors inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, our Affiliate in Canton, OH. Visitors can marvel at a selection of inventions made by some of the 500 men and women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and learn about inventions such as the first intravascular stent from 1984, 3M sticky notes, the first digital camera from 1975, and the 1976 Apple computer.

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Descriptions of the inventions of Hall of Fame inductees

Notably, the case explains the invention of Kevlar, the high strength fabric (used for example, in bullet-proof vests) invented by Stephanie Kwolek in 1965 while she worked at DuPont. Luckily, our Delaware Affiliate, the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, has an extensive collection of material about Kevlar (including Kwolek’s papers) and lent two artifacts from their collection to bring her story to life.

I wandered over to the National Portrait Gallery to see its Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs, 1859-1872 exhibition. At one time, Gardner worked for the famous photographer Matthew Brady before casting out as an influential documentarian in his own right. The profound Civil War-era images on view in these galleries are haunting still. Among them are important works from three Smithsonian Affiliates.

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Field of Antietam photo book on loan from the National Civil War Museum

The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA lent a photographic book titled the Field of Antietam from 1962. Before photomechanical reproduction, books like this one were made by printing each of the original photographs by hand, adhering them to mounts, and binding them as a book. Knowing this process makes the book feel all that more special.

Our Affiliate in Indianapolis, the Indiana Historical Society lent chilling images of the executions of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. Notably, Alexander Gardner was the only photographer allowed to document the hangings, and his position on the wall of the prison grants a panoramic view that is searing and unforgettable.

Sketchbook of the War, on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society

Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the War, on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society

Finally, the Western Reserve Historical Society, our Affiliate in Cleveland, OH also lent several works to the exhibition, including what feels like an incongruous view of a picnic in the woods. Alas, one discovers its main subject is Walt Whitman, who lived in Washington, D.C. for part of the war, writing letters for injured soldiers. It’s an unsettling yet bucolic image among the battlefields represented on the walls around it. Another impressive loan is Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the War in two volumes. This large-scale folio published in 1866 features 100 images from Gardner’s vast collection that successfully distill the chronological narrative of the war in a meaningful and emotional way.

Finally, I ended my excursion at the Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian. This retrospective – her first major one – traces the artistic journey of WalkingStick, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Emerging from the art world of New York in the 1960-70s, the show traces her 40+ year career from early figurative work through her famous diptychs to recent paintings of monumental landscapes with symbolic references to their Native links.

Three Affiliates are represented in this exhibition as well. One of our newest, The Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY lent a diptych, Letting Go/From Chaos to Calm from 1990. These rich paintings of mixed dry media on sculptmetal juxtapose the figurative and abstract, the visual and visceral in stimulating and thought-provoking ways.

Visitors can leaf through a touchable version of WalkingStick's artist book, on loan from the Heard Museum.

Visitors can leaf through a touchable version of WalkingStick’s artist book, on loan from the Heard Museum

The Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ (where the show will travel after Washington) lent two works. One canvas, Cardinal Points from 1983-85, uses acrylic paint and saporified wax to achieve a textured and active surface that rewards prolonged study. Her artist book on loan from the Heard contrasts depictions of herself with the kinds of stereotypical comments about her identity that continue to plague Native people. (Flip through the book here.)

Finally, the Denver Art Museum lent a commanding diptych of a different style, Farewell to the Smokies from 2007. This oil painting on wood blends two views of a majestic mountain landscape, with silhouettes of figures walking across their base. It’s a powerful reminder of Native history, and at the same time, of the indelible legacy of Native peoples on the American landscape.

Thank you Affiliates, for all the ways that you enrich the Smithsonian!

Farewell to the Farewell to the Smokies, 2007. Oil on wood panel, 36 x 72 x 1 in. Denver Art Museum: William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection, 2008.14. Photo courtesy of the Denver Art Museum

Farewell to the Smokies, 2007. Oil on wood panel, 36 x 72 x 1 in. Denver Art Museum: William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection, 2008.14. Photo courtesy of the Denver Art Museum

 

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Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  We were on a hiatus during our Conference season, but we’re back in action highlighting 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.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Clewiston, FL)
Florida Fontiers: Seminole museum offers a place to remember
“We want this to be the source for tribal history and culture for people,” said director Anne McCudden. “We want this to be the place where people can come to get the correct information, to meet tribal members, and to really experience tribal culture one-on-one.”

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
State Historical Society’s Sioux Horse Effigy Returned
We are designing a new display for the effigy that will include loaned effigies from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science (Las Cruces, NM)
Kids ‘Capture the Colorful Cosmos’ in new exhibit
It’s a workshop fusing the worlds of art and science. Using software provided by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, students will learn about astronomy, remotely control a telescope to take an image of a celestial object, and process the image for visual impact. Students will then use the image as the basis of an art project,” explained Kimberly Hanson, education curator for the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science, which is hosting the project.

National Inventors Hall of Fame (North Canton, Ohio)
Smithsonian Innovation Wing Opens at National Museum of American History
The experience begins in the Johnson-Louis Gateway to Innovation where “Inventing in America,” in collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, displays early patent models, trademarks and inventions of National Inventors Hall of Fame members.

Daniel "Chappie" James, became a flight leader for a fighter squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines in the late 1940s. James flew 101 combat sorties in Korea in P-51 Mustangs and F-80 jets. He also flew in Vietnam and later became a four-star general. Photo courtesy Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Daniel “Chappie” James, became a flight leader for a fighter squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines in the late 1940s. James flew 101 combat sorties in Korea in P-51 Mustangs and F-80 jets. He also flew in Vietnam and later became a four-star general. Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

The Air Zoo (Portage, Michigan)
Air Zoo exhibition ‘Black Wings,’ looks at history of blacks in U.S. aviation
“The Smithsonian’s ‘Black Wings’ exhibit so poignantly tells the stories of the trials and triumphs of some of our country’s most heroic aviators and space pioneers.  The Air Zoo is honored to bring these extraordinary heroes to life for all our guests from Southwest Michigan and beyond,” said Troy Thrash, president and CEO of the Air Zoo.

New traveling Smithsonian exhibit opens at the Air Zoo
“This is really the perfect tie-in that really shapes what we’re trying to do at the Air Zoo; really tell these stories about famous aviators and astronauts as well, but also not-so-famous aviators and astronauts, who have done some amazing, remarkable, heroic things that many people don’t know about,” said Air Zoo President and CEO Troy Thrash.

National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA)
New director Amy Hollander brings fresh start to embattled industrial history museum
“If I were to design a dream job, it would be to be the executive director of the National Museum of Industrial History, a Smithsonian affiliate in a local, engaged community that is passionate about saving the vanishing landscape, which is how this appears to me,” Hollander said. “This is the classic historic preservation success story.”

Chuck Liddy-NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

Chuck Liddy-NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
NC State study finds coyotes help limit carnage from cats
This study describes some of the first results to come out of the “e-mammal” citizen science project led by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution. Volunteers set up cameras in their backyards, along trails, in urban forests, and in parks and nature preserves. They also helped identify the animals captured in photographs.

History Colorado (Denver, CO)
Roots run deep for Latinos in Colorado
Eduardo Diaz, the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, said he could not emphasize enough the importance of this exhibit and its message about the impact the Chicano movement has had on civil rights and justice issues across the nation.

Irving Arts Center (Irving, TX)
New Executive Director at Irving Arts Center in Texas
Todd Eric Hawkins has been named the Irving Arts Center’s executive director

Mennello Museum of American Art (Orlando, FL)
Reports: Mennello Museum names new director
Shannon Fitzgerald will be the new director of Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art, according to several media reports.

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.