The Affiliate | Fall/Winter 2019

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Smithsonian Affiliations


affiliate News about Smithsonian Affiliates

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service/James Kegley Photography

National Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took those infamous first steps on the Moon. Fifty years later, the Smithsonian and its network of Affiliates looked back at the legacy of the Apollo program and helped lead a national celebration of the Apollo missions. Exhibitions and programs across the Smithsonian aimed to spark a national conversation about the past,

Smithsonian Affiliations

present, and future of innovation and exploration and were complemented by local stories from Affiliate communities that spoke to the breadth and impact of that historic moment. Much like the Apollo program which spanned several years, anniversary celebrations were not limited to one day. Plans for celebrating the 50th anniversary began in 2017 when the Apollo 11 command module Columbia left the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for the first time in 46 years as part of the traveling exhibition Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the National Air and Space Museum, the command module and more than 20 artifacts from the historic mission began a national tour to Smithsonian Affiliate museums, the only organizations selected to host the exhibition. Beginning at Space Center Houston

111 Affiliates participated in Smithsonian magazine Museum Day.

(Houston, Texas), the exhibition traveled to Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, Missouri), Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), The Museum of Flight (Seattle, Washington) —  where it was displayed on the anniversary of the actual lunar landing — and most recently at Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, Ohio), through February 17, 2020. “Destination Moon is the first exhibition we have developed exclusively with Affiliate museums because we are traveling one of the Smithsonian’s most iconic objects,” said Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations. “I am thrilled that we can share these objects of our national heritage with more people as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest achievements in human history.” continued page 4

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Director's column This has been an exciting year for Smithsonian Affiliations — one of new ideas and fruitful collaboration. We welcomed three new Affiliates to our network: Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa), Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, Florida), and the Morris Museum (Morristown, New Jersey). We look forward to connecting them to the Smithsonian and to other Affiliates and seeing the collaboration and exchange that develop. As we look to the future of the Affiliations program, we have been seeking opportunities not only to share Smithsonian resources with our Affiliates but to highlight Affiliate voices in our work. In June, we hosted the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference was the result of our first-ever call for proposals, issued to both Affiliate and Smithsonian staff. More than 30 staff from nearly 20 Affiliate organizations shared their work at our largest-ever conference. In another “first,” we opened registration to our Smithsonian colleagues along with Affiliates. We know there’s no better way to encourage collaboration between Affiliates and the Smithsonian than to learn side-by-side; this year’s conference sparked new ideas, fostered new connections, and allowed Affiliates to share their vast expertise with the Smithsonian and one another. For a full recap of the conference, see the story on page 7.

Along with much of the nation, we also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Throughout the year, we invited Affiliates to submit related programs, exhibitions, and events to be included on our website which served as a national resource of activities. We featured more than 100 Affiliate events which together helped tell the story of our nation’s successful endeavor to put man on the Moon. To see some of the ways Affiliates marked the anniversary, see the story on pages 4-5. Even this newsletter reflects a shift in the way we are thinking about our relationship with Affiliates. Nearly all of the articles are written by Affiliate staff. While we have always used the newsletter to highlight successful collaborations between Affiliates and the Smithsonian, we believe it is important for Affiliates to tell their own stories and to illustrate the impact of their collaborations with the Smithsonian in their own words. Finally, we are delighted to welcome Lonnie G. Bunch III as the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian. The founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Secretary Bunch began his career as an educator at the National Air and Space Museum and, before returning to the Smithsonian as the associate director for curatorial affairs at the National Museum of American History, served as the founding curator of history at the California African

American Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate. We look forward to working with the Secretary — and with our Affiliates — to achieve the Smithsonian’s strategic vision of “greater reach, greater relevance, and profound impact.” As we do this, we will continue to seek out meaningful opportunities for collaboration and ways to highlight Affiliate voices both at the Smithsonian and in communities across the nation. As always, I welcome your feedback and invite you to share your thoughts on how we can strengthen our Affiliate and Smithsonian network.

Welcome New Affilates Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Sarasota, Florida Grinnell College Grinnell, Iowa Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey

Editor Elizabeth Bugbee Designer Brad Ireland Printing Alpha Graphics Affiliations Staff Jennifer Brundage, National Outreach Manager

Myriam Springuel Director, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations

Nicole Bryner, National Outreach Manager Elizabeth Bugbee, Communications and Professional Development Manager Alma Douglas, National Outreach Manager Tricia Edwards, Deputy Director


Aaron Glavas, National Outreach Manager Laura Hansen, National Outreach Manager Gertrude Ross, Financial Manager Myriam Springuel, Director, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations Natalie Wimberly, Management Support Specialist

© 2019 Smithsonian Institution The Affiliate is published by







National Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program

Nebraska Floods Threaten Family Treasures

Smithsonian in Your Neighborhood



New Frontiers: From the Smithsonian to Springfield

2019 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference

The Reality of Virtual Objects

The Living Web that’s found in Panama

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The National Museum of American History collaborated with 11 Smithsonian Affiliates to present the National Youth Summit: Woman Suffrage.

Smithsonian Affiliations. All rights reserved. For information Smithsonian Affiliations Smithsonian Institution P.O. Box 37012 MRC 942 Washington, DC 20013-7012 Telephone: 202.633.5300 Fax: 202.633.5313


New Frontiers: From the Smithsonian to Springfield Guest author: Heather Haskell, Vice President/ Director of Art Museums, Spring field Museums

Little did we know, when the Springfield Museums in Massachusetts became a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2016 how much the collaborative opportunities would resonate with our audience, inspire our staff, and advance our mission to encourage visitors to rediscover

The Living Web that’s found in Panama Guest authored by Biomuseo staff

Hidden deep in the old forest of Barro Colorado Island, a small but amazing story is taking place. A fig, Ficus obtusifolia, has been

Smithsonian Affiliations

their curiosity by exploring connections to art, science, history, and literature. The rich partnership was made possible through the generous support of the MassMutual Foundation, which provided a three-year grant to Smithsonian Affiliations to bring the Smithsonian’s resources to the Museums, beginning with Smithsonian Week in Springfield and continuing with three exhibitions, numerous public programs, visits from scholars, and hands-on workshops. A whirlwind tour to Washington D.C. in 2017, facilitated by Jennifer Brundage, our Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Manager, inspired Jack & Jackie: The Kennedys in the White House. The exhibition, which commemorated the centennial of the birth of John F. Kennedy, was anchored by 27 iconic photographs by Richard Avedon from the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The importance of these photographs elicited continuous discussion as visitors shared stories about the hopeful new beginning the young family symbolized and how the Camelot legacy has endured. The photographs also captured the artistry of Avedon and his exacting process in editing the final images. In addition to the elegant photographs, an interactive “Oval Office” featured a reproduction Resolute Desk, complete with presidential accessories. More than 20,000 visitors enjoyed the exhibition and shared selfies on social media. Numerous events and programs complemented Jack & Jackie, including a fascinating lecture by Shannon Perich, curator at the National Museum of American History,

performances by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) which brought the music of the Kennedy White House to life, filling our auditorium with rhythm and emotion, and a closing lecture by Congressman Richard E. Neal, who spoke of the impact JFK had on his life and career. Members of the SJMO also worked with high school students at the Community Music School in Springfield, hosting an impromptu jazz session with the novice musicians. In addition to the student performers, the room was filled with over 100 middle and high school students enrolled in music programs. The master class was a powerful experience for all and a priceless opportunity for the students involved. “Community Music School of Springfield’s mission is to provide equitable access to music education for all, with a focus on young people in our community,” remarked Executive Director Eileen McCaffery. “The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra’s master class was in perfect alignment with our mission. The talent and compassion demonstrated by the orchestra as they connected with Springfield’s young musicians was truly inspiring for all. We were thrilled to welcome the SJMO to Springfield and look forward to their return.” Since 2016, this vibrant partnership has amplified the public awareness of both the Smithsonian’s and the Springfield Museums’ collections. Our partnership has resulted in repeat visitation by a community delighted to experience the Smithsonian here in Western Massachusetts. We’ve hosted exhibitions such as Jeweled Objects of Desire, from the Smithson-

ian’s National Museum of Natural History, and borrowed iconic artifacts from the National Museum of American History for our own exhibitions, such as Marilyn Monroe’s white gloves and Julius Erving’s sneakers for Pop! Ions of American Culture from the Smithsonian. We’ve also hosted workshops featuring Smithsonian experts like Evan Keeling, a graphic artist at Smithsonian Exhibits. He taught aspiring young artists how to express their ideas and humor through comics in conjunction with the Pop! exhibition. Because of our partnership, we’ve been able to continuously engage our audience with Smithsonian resources. We look forward to continuing exciting, thought-provoking, and meaningful Smithsonian experiences for our audience, including the soon-to-open Spark!Lab, a hands-on invention makerspace from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History. We can’t wait to see the sparks fly and to follow where they lead us!

pollinated — Montañez and his team of illustrators and content creators visited Dr. Herre’s lab at STRI, where they studied the forms, sizes, and colors of both male and female wasps, the fig and its internal structure, and other details. The resulting work of art is a detailed sculpture of the pollinating process and a very clear explanation in the form of a diagram located right underneath the fruit. Now, with the gallery completed, visitors will walk through and around the sculpture, experiencing the beauty and complexity of other living things. They are able to explore the various components of the sculpture and see the interdependent relationships that species have with each other. The inverted scale between visitors and the animals and plants challenge the sense of visitors’ own size and position as part of The Living Web.

pollinated by a special species of wasp, the Pegoscapus hoffmeyeri — the only wasp capable of getting the job done. This is a dramatic story of love, life, and possible incest. A tiny wasp enters a fig and lays its eggs, pollinating the fig on the way. The male wasp hatches and fertilizes the female wasps that are still in the eggs. The male wasps die inside the fig, but the already fertilized female wasps go into the world ready to do it all again. But this is not the only the story happening in the Panamanian tropical forest. Barro

Colorado Island is home to thousands of living organisms that have managed to live together in a harmonic balance only seen in nature, representing an amazing web of interdependence. We selected 10 of the most amazing stories of interdependence that connect 25 species found in Barro Colorado to showcase at the Biomuseo, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Panama City. The Living Web, an exhibition designed to celebrate and explain the incredible diversity that can be found in Panama’s tropical rainforest, was developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), also located in Panama. Together with Dr. Edward Allen Herre, STRI research biologist, we curated the main story — the fig and its pollinating wasp. Darien Montañez, our public program coordinator, and his team worked on the development of these stories for years. They had the job to research, read, underline, discover, and synthesize large amounts of information found in multiple research papers. For them the most challenging was to translate the scientific language into one that could be understood by the general public, but done so in a way that wouldn’t trivialize the science. Once the script was completed, it was time to work on the visual representation. The story of the fig is told through a 50-foot-tall sculpture that fills the gallery. In it, we have a view of life in the tropical rainforest. To create the centerpiece — the fig fruit being

Smithsonian Affiliations organized a tour of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for New York and New Jersey Affiliates Center for Jewish History, City Lore, Morris Museum, Museum of American Finance, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

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Visitors sitting in

Photograph by

the “Oval Office,”

Diana West.

an interactive activity in Jack & Jackie. Exhibition displayed at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield Museums, December 8, 2017 –  March 25, 2018.

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Photo courtesy of the Biomuseo.

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Throughout 2019, Smithsonian Affiliates helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. These snapshots are just a few of the local events from Affiliate organizations across the country.

On July 20, the Smithsonian Channel documentary The Day We Walked On The Moon was screened at 68 Affiliate organizations to coincide with the actual anniversary of the lunar landing.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale, Arizona) presented the exhibition Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon. The exhibition included artwork and postage stamp designs like this Accomplishments in Space stamp, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Photo courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General’s Collection.

continued from page 1 National Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program

In each city, Affiliates complemented the exhibition with local stories of astronauts, engineers, and other innovators who played crucial roles in landing a man on the moon. The Heinz History Center included a prototype camera developed by the local company Westinghouse in the exhibition. Westinghouse was tasked with creating a camera that could operate on the surface of the moon. The final product captured Armstrong’s first step witnessed by people around the world. At the same time Destination Moon was on its national tour, Affiliates elsewhere were contributing even more stories and scholarship to the national conversation. Framingham State University (Framingham, Massachusetts) developed the Moon Landing in Context project which aimed to contextualize the Moon landing within the historical, social, and cultural framework of the 1960s. Seven Smithsonian scholars participated in discussions and lectures that explored the intertwined history and social environments that led to or were affected by the Moon landing. Margaret Weitekamp, National Air and Space Museum curator, used a popular television character as a lens for discussing civil rights and space history in her talk, More than “Just Uhura:” Understanding Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura, Civil Rights, and Space History. The men and women of NASA’s Mission Control were remembered and celebrated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.,

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during the Apollo 50 Festival which included a traveling exhibition produced by the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, Kansas). Apollo Redux: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing is an interactive exhibition which highlights the work of NASA’s Mission Control to inspire young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Copies of the exhibition also traveled to three additional Affiliates. Affiliates and the Smithsonian continued the conversation on social media throughout the year, but a special social media day on July 19 brought everyone together using the hashtag #ApolloAt50. Led by SITES and the National Air and Space Museum, 35 Affiliate organizations joined the conversation by sharing stories from their collections. The posts demonstrated the universal connection to space exploration and the innovation, challenges, and inspiration that go along with it. Many more events took place this summer at Affiliate organizations that showed the local connections to this national celebration. To collect these stories, Smithsonian Affiliations created a special website for Affiliates to post their anniversary events leading up to the national celebration on July 20. The snapshots on these pages are a sample of the incredible local stories that created a more complete picture of how this historic moment touched communities across the nation. the affiliate

Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, Texas) hosted retired astronaut Colonel Walt Cunningham during its Apollo celebrations. Cunningham is the last remaining crew member of Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo flight. His three-member crew provided the first live television transmissions from a manned space mission in the Apollo 7, which is currently at the museum on long term loan from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

The North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh) explored the state’s role in the space race in its exhibition, One Giant Leap: North Carolina and the Space Race. The exhibition features artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum such as this Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to James Webb for his work as NASA Administrator from February 1961 to October 1968. Photo courtesy of the National Air and Space Museum. Gift of James Webb.

Astronauts attending the Apollo VII 50th Anniversary Celebration in October 2018. (Left to right) Harrison Schmitt; Joe Engle; Charlie Duke; Thomas Stafford; Rusty Schweickart; Bill Anders; Walt Cunningham; Mary Ellen Weber, and Robert Crippin. Photo courtesy of Introspect Photography.

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture (Knoxville, TN), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (Albuquerque, NM), and University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History (Lincoln, NE) participated in the National Museum of Natural History Lineage Outreach program training.

Smithsonian Affiliations


All three crew members of Apolo 9 — Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott, and Rusty Schweickart — celebrated the 50th anniversary of their mission at the San Diego Air and Space Museum (San Diego, California). Apollo 9 was the third manned spaceflight in the Apollo program. The retired astronauts spoke about their experience with the Command Module, Gumdrop, which is currently on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Michael Neufeld, senior curator of space history at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, joined Emily Ruby, a curator at the Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), for a tour and discussion of the Destination Moon exhibition while it was on view. Dr. Neufeld talked about the history of the Apollo 11 program and Western Pennsylvania’s many contributions to the space race. Photo courtesy of SITES.

Photo courtesy of San Diego Air and Space Museum..

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Gloria Chisum conducted psychological research at Naval Air Development Center in the early 1960s, and later headed their environmental physiology research team. Among her many accomplishments was the development of protective eyewear for pilots operating in extreme conditions. Dr. Chisum spoke at the Mercer Museum (Doylestown, Pennsylvania) in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program.

We love to see Affiliates helping Affiliates. When the director at Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, Georgia) couldn’t find a specific camera in the Smithsonian’s collections for its exhibition Reaching for the Moon, curators at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum helped connect the Tellus staff with colleagues at a fellow Affiliate organization, the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, Kansas). Together, Tellus and Cosmosphere curators collaborated to find the best artifact in the Comosphere’s collection for the exhibition — a camera flown during the Apollo 13 mission.

Photo courtesy of Johnsville Centrifuge and Science Museum.

Photo courtesy of Tellus Science Museum.

A New Moon Rises, a build-ityourself exhibition was offered exclusively to Smithsonian Affiliates to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, Missouri) were the first to build the exhibition. The exhibition was created by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and Arizona State University and was organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

On July 19 the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) co-hosted a social media day on Twitter and Instagram celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Ninetythree organizations from around the nation (and the world) were invited to join the conversation using the hashtag #ApolloAt50. Thirty-five Smithsonian Affiliates were part of the conversation, sharing content from their communities related to the Apollo missions.

Over 15 months, Framingham State University (Framingham, Massachusetts) presented the Moon Landing in Context project which brought Smithsonian experts in for panel discussions, lectures, exhibits, and student projects to explore one of the most celebrated achievements in history.

The National Air and Space Museum produced full-size replicas of Neil Armstrong’s iconic spacesuit based on 3D scan data and placed them in ballparks across the country. After their run at the ballparks, 11 Smithsonian Affiliates received replicas to display in their museums. This replica was placed at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and is now on view at Peoria Riverfront Museum (Peoria, Illinois).

Margaret Weitekamp, curator at the National Air and Space Museum, presenting her lecture “Just Uhura:” Understanding Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura, Civil Rights and Space History. Photo courtesy of Framingham State University.

Peoria Riverfront Museum CEO John D. Morris and Illinois Central College students with the replica. Photo courtesy of the museum.

Courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

In collaboration with SITES, 15 Smithsonian Affiliates shared stories on social media during the #MenOfChange hashtag event.

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Nebraska Floods Threaten Family Treasures Susan Weller, Director, University of Nebraska State Museum; Christi Janssen, Executive Director, The Durham Museum; and Jessica Brummer, Director of Communications, The Durham Museum

This past March, unprecedented flooding stunned residents of Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa and upended thousands of lives. As many of us sat in our homes watching the dramatic television footage, we kept asking, “what can I do?” A unique opportunity to help our community arrived in the email inboxes of Nebraska’s Smithsonian Affiliate museum directors on March 20. Corine Wegener, director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, and her team were prepared to fly to Nebraska and offer workshops on salvaging and stabilizing family heirlooms. “Time is of the essence,” said Wegener in an email. “The lament we have most often heard from survivors attending our workshops is that we were too late. Many people weep as they tell us how they threw out their water-logged family treasures within a few days after reentering their homes because they simply didn’t know they could be salvaged.” Within hours, we had a plan. The Smithsonian team would fly to Nebraska and share their knowledge; we, as Smithsonian Affiliates, would open our doors and spread

the word. The University of Nebraska State Museum would host a workshop on Friday and Sunday afternoons in Lincoln and The Durham Museum would host workshops on Saturday in Omaha. Staff members from both The Durham and its community partner, History Nebraska, participated in a “train the trainer” workshop so museum staff could continue assisting residents after the Smithsonian team left. Using webinar software, both Affiliate museums delivered workshops via the Internet to affected communities in Nebraska and Iowa. During the webinars, Wegener and her colleagues explained how to care for waterlogged family photo albums and letters. They detailed best methods for rescuing quilts and other family heirlooms passed down for generations. Together, The Durham and the State Museum reached more than 150 residents who were looking for answers when things seemed hopeless. The information spread further to neighbors and families through media coverage, social media, and word-of-mouth from those who attended. As one workshop participant reported, “[I] attended your Friday workshop and took your handouts and the information home to Cedar Bluffs. [My] mother owns a hair salon and is letting Fremont stylists use her shop since they are without. It was there . . . that this information is being shared. One of the clients was terribly upset about possibly losing a family album, but left encouraged with your information, even hopeful that maybe she can save some or all of it.” It is hard to know the total impact of these workshops. However, we are certain

positive ripple effects traveled through our communities. We are truly grateful to the Smithsonian for reaching out in our hour of need and are thankful for the important work of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative.

Photo courtesy of The Durham Museum.

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collections of the Smithsonian. With help from Bernard Means, the director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, the fossils were scanned as high-resolution files and printed to create 3D copies of the fossils for display. Before accessing the fossils in storage, our Guest Author: Chuck Kopczak, Ph.D, Curator of Smithsonian Affiliations National Outreach Life Sciences, California Science Center Manager Laura Hansen reached out to the Objects. Museum professionals dedicate their National Museum of Natural History’s lives to studying them and caring for them; we collections managers to locate the right objects know that visitors love them. But objects are to tell the story. Bill Billeck, manager of fragile, often one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable, repatriation, Teresa Hsu, collections technician, and borrowing objects can be time consuming Jim Krakker, museum specialist for archaeoland expensive. In recent years, 3D scanning and ogy, Esther Rimer, collections technician for printing has given curators another option for the Anthropology Department and Melinda sharing stories. Digital files may be shared easily, Zeder, research associate, each provided and the 3D-printed replicas can be touched and information that led to the best specimens for handled, increasing accessibility for all visitors. the exhibition. Each researched the request, When the California Science Center in identified the possibilities, and provided Los Angeles began planning their traveling valuable access to the important specimens. exhibition Dogs! A Science Tail, we considered The scans were used to 3D print highthe question, “how can we create an exhibiresolution copies of the original fossils. A truly tion about dog evolution as evidenced by national story, the replicas were painted and changes in canine bones and teeth without detailed by Pacific Studio in Seattle, which taking on the challenges of acquiring, travelalso fabricated the exhibition. The final ing, and protecting the precious fossils that interactive product is a wonderful replica of illustrate these changes?” For the California the real thing, but unlike the precious fossil, it Science Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate since can travel with little worry, and be viewed up 2000, part of the answer was digital. By close and touched by guests visiting Dogs! A collaborating with colleagues at the Smithso- Science Tail on its national tour. nian’s National Museum of Natural the affiliate History, we were able to access fossils in the

The Reality of Virtual Objects

Photo courtesy of California Science Center.

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Nine Smithsonian Affiliates hosted interns as part of the 2019 Smithsonian Latino Center Young Ambassadors Program.

Smithsonian Affiliations

annual conference

All photos courtesy of Smithsonian Affiliations/Jeremy Norwood.

2019 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference In June 2019, nearly 200 Affiliate and Smithsonian colleagues met in Washington, D.C., for the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, four days of networking, learning, and exploring collaboration. This year, we experimented with new approaches and tested new ideas. For the first time we opened registration not only to Affiliates but also to our Smithsonian colleagues. Our program was the result of our first-ever call for proposals, issued to both Affiliate and Smithsonian staff. A newly formed conference proposal committee comprised of Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues provided feedback and ideas about strengthening the conference, resulting in meaningful and inspiring workshops, sessions, and collaborative opportunities. We focused on five topics which relate to Smithsonian priorities but also challenges in the Affiliate community and the broader museum field. We asked how we can deepen our understanding of women’s history; we opened dialogue about environmental conservation and sustainability; we asked how a “digital first” strategy can engage audiences in new ways; we invited new ideas for leveraging the Smithsonian partnership; and we encouraged creating communities of engagement to spark new collaborations. There were many standout moments, but of particular interest was the opening conversation between Ellen Stofan, John and Adrienne Mars Director, National Air and Space Museum,

and Brenda Gaines, Smithsonian National Board Member and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) Advisory Board Chair. Julissa Marenco, Smithsonian Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs, set the tone for the conversation by introducing the American Women’s History Initiative, #BecauseOfHerStory, and its national impact. The conversation focused on leadership, creating change, and nurturing the next generation. Thirty-two sessions and workshops followed including Campus in Crisis: Honoring Survivors of Sexual Assault, a presentation by Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan); Catalyzing Change in Climate Education, a session led by the Smithsonian Conservation Commons and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, Colorado); and NASA’s Universe of Learning, a workshop led by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cerritos Library (Cerritos, California) and Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, Ohio). As we look at the next chapter of Smithsonian Affiliations, encouraging closer collaboration among Affiliates and the Smithsonian is a priority, and what better way is there than learning side-by-side, sharing each other’s work, and discussing new ideas? We look forward to working with our Affiliates and Smithsonian colleagues to shape the content of the conference to encourage stronger engagement. We’ll see you at the Smithsonian June 28 – 30, 2020. For more information, visit the affiliate

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The Smithsonian


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Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville) welcomed former Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough for a public lecture and to sign his new book, Things New and Strange: A Southerner’s Journey through the Smithsonian Collections. Nicholas Pyenson, research geologist and curator of fossil marine mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, presented a talk titled Whale Worlds, Past and Future at the Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta).

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science (Wilmington) screened the Smithsonian Channel programs The Green Book: Guide to Freedom and Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates. Sunae Park Evans, senior costume conservator at the National Museum of American History, visited the Greensboro History Museum (Greensboro) for a lecture about her conservation efforts as related to objects in the American Democracy exhibition and First Ladies gown collection.


Smithsonian In Your Neighborhood News about Smithsonian Affiliates (May 1 – October 31, 2019)

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium (Dubuque) screened the Smithsonian Channel program America’s Hidden Stories: Salem’s Secrets.

Maryland College Park Aviation Museum (College Park) included three artifacts from the National Postal Museum in its exhibition on airmail. James Gagliardi, senior horticulturalist at Smithsonian Gardens, spoke at Historic Annapolis (Annapolis) during its Hive Alive event.

New Jersey Arizona Maynard Dixon’s painting Shapes of Fear, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), was included in the Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale) exhibition, Maynard Dixon’s American West.

Connecticut Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford) invited Sunae Park Evans, senior costume conservator at the National Museum of American History for a lecture about preventive conservation of the gowns in The First Ladies collection.

Florida The Museum of Arts and Sciences (Daytona Beach) hosted its 9th annual Septembers with the Smithsonian event featuring the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

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The Morris Museum (Morristown) publically announced its affiliation in October with remarks from Richard Kurin, Smithsonian distinguished scholar and ambassador-at-large.

New Mexico The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (Albuquerque) screened Air Warriors: B52, a Smithsonian Channel program.

New York To complement the Long Island Museum’s (Stony Brook) exhibition Gracefully Chic: The Fashions of Philip Hulitar, the museum hosted a discussion about the history of postwar American fashion design with Madelyn Shaw, National Museum of American History curator.

Ohio National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati) hosted Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., a SITES exhibition. Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, part of Ohio History Connection (Columbus), hosted The Way We Worked: Photographs from the National Archives, a SITES exhibition. The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology (Newark) screened Smithsonian Channel programs all summer as part of its Summer Learning Series, including Black Hole Hunters, Pearl Harbor Spies, The General was Female and The Day We Walked on the Moon.

Oklahoma Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City) screened the Smithsonian Channel program The Green Book: Guide to Freedom. The Center also hosted a three-day professional development inquiry design model training using the Native Knowledge 360° interactive teaching resources from National Museum of the American Indian.

Pennsylvania Smithsonian Secretary, Lonnie G. Bunch III, visited the African American Museum in Philadelphia to discuss his book, A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump.

Rhode Island


Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence) and International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport) participated in the National Museum of American History program, Let’s Do History. In conjunction with the Rhode Island Historical Society’s Ra-Ra-Rhode Island theme, Eric Jentsch, National Museum of American History curator, gave a talk on the Smithsonian’s sports collection.

Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas) hosted the National Air and Space Museum exhibition, Art of the Airport Tower. The SITES exhibition Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic was on view at Irving Arts Center (Irving). The John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science (Houston) will screen the entire season of the Smithsonian Channel program Bug Bites through February 2020.

South Carolina The Smithsonian American Art Museum loaned five Alice In Wonderland related works of art to the Upcountry History Museum-Furman University (Greenville) for its exhibition, Down the Rabbit Hole: Imagining Alice’s Wonderland. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville) Summer Academy workshops for teachers featured Deborah Stokes, curator of education at the National Museum of African Art, and Kat Fancher, program specialist at the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The Museum also shared educational resources with local teachers during a Teachers Night event featuring Cody Coltharp, digital interactive designer at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

West Virginia Heritage Farm Museum and Village (Huntington) screened the Smithsonian Channel program 9/11: The Day That Changed the World.

Wyoming Richard Potts, a paleoanthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, spoke about innovation and environmental disruption during the origin of homo sapiens at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody).

Texas Affiliates City of Austin-Parks and Recreation Department (Austin), Irving Arts Center (Irving) and UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio) collaborated with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access for Teaching Ethnic Studies in Texas, a teacher workshop using the Smithsonian Learning Lab platform. Focusing on Latino and Asian American stories, the workshop series was funded by the Asian Pacific American and Latino Initiatives Pools.

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