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
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.
“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?
This photo, shot by photographer Jeff Elkins, is of historian and author Al-Tony Gilmore. He is standing in front of event posters that he found in an Ohio junk shop. Gilmore has curated an invitation only museum dedicated to African American history.
Over the past few decades he has collected and filled his Bethesda Maryland home with over 7000 one of a kind treasures including “vintage movie posters, and important correspondence from black politicians and public figures.”
“A 2017 national survey report by the American Alliance of Museums reveals that whites hold 84 percent of curator, conservator, educator and other leadership positions in American museums. These jobs are critical; individuals with such titles build the collections and determine the topics of the exhibits and programs that are the central activities of cultural institutions….”
“In the late 1980s and early 1990s, U.S. Rep. Cardiss Collins, D-Ill., the first African-American woman to represent the Midwest in Congress, focused her attention on the ‘minority employment in senior-level managerial positions’ within museums in major American cities.”