Museum Merchandise Monday! Louis Armstrong House Museum

Museum Merchandise Monday—a day to highlight favorite gifts found at museum and historic site, gift shops.

Pictured is a t-shirt purchased during a 2014 visit to the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Located at 34-56 107th Street Queens, New York.

“The Louis Armstrong House Museum sustains and promotes the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong by preserving and interpreting Armstrong’s house and grounds, collecting and sharing archival materials that document Armstrong’s life and legacy, and presenting public programs such as exhibits, concerts, lectures, and film screenings.”

Join us! Use hashtag #MuseumMerchandiseMonday

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Opening in Nashville, Tennessee 2019 – National Music of African American Music

The National Museum of African American Music will open in Nashville Tennessee in 2019.

The museum is currently offering a series of lectures prior to opening the doors to their permanent home. A schedule can be found on their website nmaam.org

Alfred Jackson, Slave Turned “Tour Guide”

Meet Mr. Alfred Jackson. Having lived his life as an enslaved person at Andrew Jackson’s the Hermitage, he became a “tour guide” when the Ladies’ Hermitage Association turned the home into a historic site in 1889. Historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of “The Southern Past” expressed “we can only wonder [how] Alfred’s position—an aged former slave who was dependent on his storytelling and white audiences for his livelihood—influenced his voiced memory.” Still, Jackson is recognized for his ability to give a first person account of the way in which the Hermitage mansion functioned as an office and gathering hall for Andrew Jackson who served as President of the United States from 1829 – 1837.

The Hermitage located in Nashville, Tennessee consists of 1,000 acres of land, where cotton was once the cash crop, worked by enslaved African American men, women and children.

Alfred Jackson’s story as an enslaved person and “tour guide” is included in the Hermitage’s current interpretive history offerings. Today, visitors can learn about Alfred’s story through an audio and walking tour, the museum’s multimedia exhibit, and the cabin he and his family resided in as freedmen. Alfred Jackson’s burial site is also located in the garden near Andrew Jackson

Image 1: Alfred Jackson.

Image 2: Alfred Jackson pictured in his home, a cabin that he shared with his wife post-slavery. Note the bed and water cooler. Those were items that Alfred purchased at a Hermitage house auction.

Image 3: Alfred Jackson “tour guide” alongside visitors at the Hermitage historic site.

[photos courtesy of Andrew Jackson Foundation | Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage]

Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery “One Year: 1968 An American Odyssey”

Photos: Courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

(Washington, DC) In 1962 The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery was established by an act of Congress as a “free public museum…depicting men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development and culture…of the United States.” The Portrait Gallery opened to the public in 1968.

“One Year: 1968 An American Odyssey” celebrates the museum’s 50th anniversary in a one-room exhibition and is comprised of 30 objects including “photographs, paintings, drawings and magazines that highlight a time when Americans were questioning issues of leadership, citizenship and nationhood.” This temporary exhibition is on display through May 19, 2019

Image 1: Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown by James Hinton, Jr

Image 2: Jimi Hendrix by unidentified artist; Image 3: Eldridge Cleaver by Stephen Shames

Image 4: Resurrection City in Washington DC by Oliver Atkins

Image 5: Gallery View

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center (part 1 of 2)

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Photo by Sophia V. Nelson/The Merging Lanes Project

Meet Mary Dennard-Turner, part of the Maryland Park Service staff at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center located in Church Creek (Dorchester County) Maryland.

An area native. For several years she has been an active member of the local heritage preservation society. She was retired when the Maryland Park Service approached her to work as a greeter at the visitor center. She said when she retired as a corrections officer she told herself she’d never wear another uniform again. Yet, there she was, complemented by that beautiful white, green and red Maryland Park Service seal; one of the first faces to greet a few groups and I when we entered the visitor center on Tuesday.

She shared she had just crossed over the 1 year mark as a seasonal employee and is enjoying herself.

More on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center to come.

Exhibit “Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-Ins” – National Museum of American History

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“The Cutting Edge of Public History: New Directions in Interpretation” Conference got its start at the National Museum of American History.

Pictured is an exhibit, commemorating the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-Ins. In photograph 2, you may notice that the mirror which also doubles as a media player, captures the reflection of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Out of 120,000 square feet in the American History Museum, the lunch counter and accompanying mirror managed to find itself in a space that incorporates neighboring building National Museum of African American History and Culture in its narrative.

Do you think this was strategic exhibit planning or coincidence?