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Press roundup for June 2015

Lots of Affiliates in the news around the country!

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamagordo, NM)
Restoration Project For New Mexico Museum Of Space History
“The Smithsonian takes artifact conservation very seriously, as do we here at the museum. Our goal is to make sure that when an artifact undergoes this process that everything is taken into account – from the present condition of the artifact to long term conservation goals and the facilities at Holloman where the restoration will take place. The plan we put together goes step by step through the entire process. The Smithsonian was very pleased with our plans and partnership with the 49thWing,” said Taylor. “I think the best part about this, though, is the excitement of the teams on base and their commitment to an authentic restoration of the boilerplate.”

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA)
American Fighter Aces Fly Into History – Once Again: Pilots recognized with Congress’ highest civilian award
Seattle’s Museum of Flight is home to the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) and an extensive collection of artifacts, documents and exhibits that tell the legendary stories of the Fighter Aces. It supports more than 700 “Friends” of the Aces in AFAA chapters across the country who are dedicated to championing the stories of these brave pilots, preserving and sharing their legacy.

US Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)
Movers & Shapers, May 2015
Dr. Deborah Barnhart serves as Gov. Robert Bentley’s appointee to the Alabama Space Authority Task Force and was recently appointed to the Smithsonian Affiliations Advisory Council. She is a recipient of NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.

"Gramps," on view at the Heinz History Center, on loan from the National Museum of American History

“Gramps,” on view at the Heinz History Center, on loan from the National Museum of American History

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
‘We Can Do It!’ at Heinz History Center looks at homefront, battlefront
One of the stars of the show is the 1940 model military reconnaissance car designed and constructed in 49 days by the American Bantam Car Co. in Butler. The prototype jeep, known as “Gramps,” is on loan to the history center from the Smithsonian Institution. Behind Gramps is a 10-foot-tall photo mural of the vehicle surrounded by the engineers, managers and workers who built it.

History Center Exhibit Exploring Pittsburgh and World War II Opens Tomorrow
We Can Do It! WWII is the title (playing off the famous Rosie the Riveter poster) of the new Senator John Heinz History Center exhibit exploring wartime Pittsburgh, during the 1940s.

Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore,MD)
Baltimore’s Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry
[Photo Gallery] The Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, which opened in 1996, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution that is operated by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. The museum’s extensive and fascinating collection includes thousands of items such as drills, extractors, antique mouthwash bottles, toothpaste tubes and antique dental chairs.

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals (Hillsboro, OR)
Smithsonian forges partnership with Rice Museum
“It’s a big feather in the whole community’s cap,” Gray added. “To be affiliated with the Smithsonian says a lot for the community support we’ve enjoyed for decades, and being rewarded with this prestigious affiliation brings awareness of our museum to a broader area and will bring more tourism into the area.”

South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC)
State Museum Celebrates Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope
[VIDEO] On Friday viewers may see live streaming from the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as exhibits of sidewalk astronomy.

“De-aging” George Washington

Special note: This story has been condensed and reprinted from the Summer 2006 edition of The Affiliate newsletter. Part of our Seriously Amazing Affiliates blog series.

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens has preserved the home of George Washington for more than 150 years, always striving to present the most current and well-researched scholarship about our nation’s first president. In 2006, the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center opened at Mount Vernon, featuring three life-size mannequins of Washington, created, in part, through a unique collaboration between Mount Vernon, a Smithsonian Affiliate; several Smithsonian experts; and the National Museum of Dentistry, also an Affiliate. 

Jeffrey Schwartz, physical anthropologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, led the two-year effort. Using his knowledge of teeth and bone structure, Schwartz examined the existing evidence for clues about George Washington’s appearance at different times in his life. Aiding him in this forensic reconstruction was the Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling (PRISM), a laboratory at Arizona State University that specializes in 3-D digital imaging.  

3-D computer generated images are a result of scanning Washington’s life mask and portrait bust. Photo courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

Mount Vernon identified the many relics of Washington’s life that could provide necessary information. Using a computerized digital scanner, Schwartz scanned a 1785 life mask owned by the Morgan Library & Museum, a Jean-Antoine Houdon bust at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and a full body Houdon sculpture in the Virginia State Capitol Rotunda. Many of the Washington objects owned by the Smithsonian were also scanned or examined by Schwartz and his team.  

One of the biggest challenges was determining what Washington looked like as a young man as no portraits depict his image before the age of 40. To help, the National Portrait Gallery provided insight into the many portraits of Washington, as well as into the conventions of 18th century portraiture. 

Washington’s dentures played a vital role in reconstructing Washington’s face. As he lost teeth and bone in his jaw, the shape of his face changed. Dentures also change the jaw line depending on how they fit in the mouth. By examining the dentures that Washington used in his lifetime, the team was able to create a timeline that identified the progression of Washington’s tooth loss. As the mannequins depict Washington at the ages of 19, 45 and 57, this timeline provided critical information on the changing shape of Washington’s face. 

A set of George Washington’s dentures. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Dentistry.

Three versions of Washington’s dentures can be found at the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, Maryland. One is an original, complete denture for the lower jaw dated 1795, while the other two are replicas of dentures in other collections. 

Since 18th century portraits emphasized the sitter’s face and not the body, information on Washington’s build was extracted from his clothing. By taking volumetric measurements of his trousers, waistcoats and shirts, clues to Washington’s height (6’ 2”) and build could be extrapolated.  

The National Museum of American History gave the team access to Washington’s military uniform which provided the prototype for the costume to be worn by the 45-year-old mannequin depicting Washington at Valley Forge.  

After consulting with these experts, the scans and measurements were fed into a special computer program that produced three-dimensional images of Washington. Eventually, the images were printed out or “milled” on a special machine into high-density foam, and the mannequins became reality.

kudos Affiliates! summer 2011

As summer heats up, so do Affiliate accomplishments.  Way to go Affiliates!

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas) has received a $4.4 million gift from the Texas Instruments Foundation bringing the total within $29 million of its $185 million fundraising goal.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia was awarded $45,000 from the John S. and James L.Knight Foundation, as part of a community-wide contest to inspire and enrich the city entitled Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia. The program entitled “RAAMP It Up Wednesdays” will showcase local artists by presenting commissioned dance and gospel performances through free weekly concerts at the museum’s Seventh Street Plaza.

The Putnam Museum (Davenport, Iowa) was awarded $35,000 by the Davenport Riverboat Development Authority for an upgrade to the River, Prairie and People exhibit at the museum.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) was one of 31 awards for the Conservation Project Support Grants. Michigan State University Museum was awarded $87,816 to rehouse 16,179 mammal specimens into museum-quality cabinets. In addition, the grant will fund students to assist with project activities.

The Chabot Space and Science Center(Oakland, California) received a grant worth $1.8 million from the Betty Moore Foundation, to develop the Bill Nye Climate Lab exhibition and website, designed to support the science education of youngsters.

The Connecticut Community Foundation awarded Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, Connecticut) with a $10,000 grant for a New Talent Arts Initiative, to offer professional opportunities to young artists.

The National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore, Maryland) has been awarded a Give Kids A Smile Champion Grant from the ADA Foundation, and an additional award by the DentaQuest Foundation to help provide every first grader in Baltimore City public schools with educational resources to enhance children’s oral health, and to ensure good oral health practices, particularly those from low-income families.

The Rubin Museum (New York, NY)  has been awarded a $270,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for the study of Tibetan Buddhist painting.  The three-year grant will advance the work of David Jackson, a renowned scholar on Tibetan Buddhist painting and a consulting curator at the Rubin.

Four Affiliates were winners of the 66th annual Leadership in History Awards, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH):

USS Constitution Museum (Boston, Massachusetts) for The Family Learning Project.
Greensboro Historical Museum, Inc.  (Greensboro, North Carolina) for the exhibit Voices of a City: Greensboro, North Carolina.
North Carolina Museum of History  (Raleigh, North Carolina) for the exhibit Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmaker.
Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, Washington) for the multimedia project MOHAI Minutes.

 

smile! it’s our 10th anniversary

Most people are surprised to learn that Baltimore is home to the National Museum of Dentistry. “The what?!”    and, that the Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

George Washington's dentures, always on view at the National Museum of Dentistry

The National Museum of Dentistry will celebrate their tenth anniversary as an Affiliate at the end of June. It is a great honor to be associated with this one-of-a-kind treasure (the nation’s official museum of the dental profession) where visitors can see amazing teeth feats and toothy toys, marvel at George Washington’s choppers, sing along to vintage toothpaste commercials, and discover fascinating hands-on exhibitions about the power of a healthy smile. Onsite, online and across the country, the Museum teaches about the importance of oral health, inspiring visitors of all ages to keep their smiles bright and healthy.

Artifacts on loan from G.V. Black's office, the father of modern dentistry

Our decade-long partnership has yielded many successes. The Museum is home to significant artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, most notably, original objects from the office of G.V. Black, the father of modern dentistry. Over the years, the Museum has participated in Smithsonian Teachers Night by distributing educational materials to thousands of teachers in the Capital region, and Museum Day, offering free admission to Smithsonian members.

The Museum’s staff is currently collaborating with scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, to develop an exhibition on dinosaur teeth, and what they tell us about the diet and biology of these ancient creatures. In November 2011, the Museum will welcome Dr. Doug Ubelaker from the Smithsonian, a renowned anthropologist who will speak on how teeth are used to solve forensic mysteries.

From their exhibitions to educational programs to online games, the National Museum of Dentistry gives its visitors, and the Smithsonian, a lot to smile about!

affiliates in the news!

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)
As many as 38 Wyoming cultural and heritage projects and sponsoring organizations will benefit from $542,017 in grant awards from the Wyoming Cultural Trust FundMORE

Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (Bristol, TN)
… the Tennessee Arts Commission announced its grant recipients for fiscal 2010-11…MORE

Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
…there are a number of locations around the country that look to preserve these for future generations. One of these is the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix, Arizona…MORE

Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (Shreveport, LA)
State Rep. Wayne Waddell will take the helm as director of Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on Aug. 2… MORE
Director retires
Museum Director Retires

National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore, MD)
…The annual celebration honors supporters and friends who help the Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, in its mission to celebrate the history the dentistry and to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health in a healthy life…MORE

 

Exterior of the new $40 million expansion of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium(Dubuque, IA)
…”Dubuque’s already on the map,” said Jerry Enzler, executive director of the facility, “but this really puts us on the global map”…MORE
River museum gets bigger, better

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO)
Greg Carroll is CEO of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City. In collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and the Mattie Rhodes Center, the museum is holding an exhibition of large-scale photographs and artifacts that reveals cultural connections between Africa and Latin AmericaMORE

The Center for Jewish History
(New York, NY)
The Center for Jewish History, dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Jewish history, culture and experience across countries and generations, has received an $860,092 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation…MORE

Ellen Noël Art Museum
(Odessa , TX)
The Ellen Noël Art Museum has been accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution…MORE

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Since the 1970s, the Agua Caliente Band and the city have been partners in the economic development of Palm Springs…also is the site of the future Agua Caliente Cultural Museum…MORE