The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum's collections, now searchable in color. Colors? They got colors. All kinds of colors. My god, it's just full of colors. But wait, there's even more inside... [more inside]
Welcome to a tumblr of wonders. Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels? Adventure with Alice! Get close to illuminations? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504? More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
The Smithsonian's forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture won't open until 2015, but it has already made a number of important acquisitions, including most recently, the Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership.
Historically Hardcore is an awesome fake advertising campaign for the Smithsonian. Created as a portfolio project by two students, the ads have gone viral and the Smithsonian is none too pleased about it.
Saturday, September 26th, the Smithsonian museum family and their affiliates will be hosting a free admission event, if you go to their MUSEUM DAY site and print out the admission coupon. One coupon = 1+ admission. [more inside]
Web Tech Guy and Angry [Museum] Staff Person. A very funny animation for the museums workers and librarians subset of Mefites. From Michael Edson at Smithsonian 2.0.
Circuits are flipping on in the nation's attic. A couple of weeks ago, 31 "digerati" -- like Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, and George Oates -- dropped in to the Smithsonian Institution for the invitation-only conference "Smithsonian 2.0: A Gathering to Re-imagine the Smithsonian in the Digital Age". Dan Cohen of the Center for History and New Media provides a great summary (and continues to pose provocative questions) on his own blog. Those whose invitations were somehow lost in the mail can play fly-on-the-wall by watching the keynotes, paging through the Flickr pool of envymaking glimpses of their behind-the-scenes lab and collections tours, reading the blog (where Bruce Wyman of the Denver Art Museum lays out a succinct road map for museums using social media), and poking around in the SI's website gallery. Want to cheer on the USA's favorite 163-year-old "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge" without taking the trip to DC? Thanks to their recent efforts, you can now follow the SI on Twitter, listen to its podcasts, watch its YouTube channel, visit the Latino Virtual Museum in Second Life, or use the FaceBook gifts page to send your best friends their very own pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers, Hope diamond, Negro Leagues baseball, or coelocanth.
The Smithsonian's Sackler gallery opened a unique and wide-ranging new exhibit yesterday featuring fragments of Bibles from before the year 1000. "Most of the manuscripts have never been seen outside the countries where they are stored. [Some Smithsonian-owned documents in the exhibition] have never been exhibited and two have not been shown since 1978." Fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus are included in the exhibit. Along with the archaeological interest, these fragments can pose theological and historical challenges for Christians. Some, like UNC's Bart Ehrman, have lost their faith as a result of studying early Bibles; some, like Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory, believing that Christianity is about a common cultural and spiritual experience, are unmoved by the "corruptions" and differences in the New Testament over time; other Christians try to refute (MeFi link) claims that the text has changed.
"On September 30, 2006, for one day only, museums across the country will join the Smithsonian Institution in its long-standing tradition of offering free admission to visitors."
Flying Cloud flies for the last time On Wednesday, August 6, the last Boeing 307 Stratoliner landed at Dulles [WaPo; may require registration]. [more] [more] [more] This was the plane that ditched off Seattle in March, 2002 after being fully restored. Now, re-restored, it has arrived at its final destination, the Smithsonian's new Hazy Center. Dry eyes were a rare commodity.
Politics storms the museum Earlier this month, the National Museum of Natural History opened "Seasons of Life and Land," an exhibit of wildlife photographs by artist-naturalist Subhankar Banerjee. If you go to Washington, you'll find the show hung in the museum's Baird Ambulatory Gallery, essentially a basement hallway installed with lights. Just two months ago, however, it was prepared to run in a more complete form in a premiere gallery on the museum's main floor, alongside a major exhibit of botanical paintings. What happened?
The Illustrated Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. An exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. Stunning illustrations of world-class poetry. 'nuff said.
Getting the Picture at the Smithsonian Archives. Sometimes a bit of doodling can make that note a little more special than the latest syrupy Hallmark design.
Separated at birth: The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and The United States Army Aviation Museum. Air and Space being the original.