Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ category

Exhibition on History of Hilcrest Children & Family Center Kicks Off on Thursday

January 13, 2015

This year, the Hillcrest Children and Family Center will commemorate its 200th anniversary to celebrate the resilient and amazing impact over the years among people with mental illnesses, physical challenges, and life adversities. Originally founded as the Washington City Orphan Asylum, the name was changed to Hillcrest Children Center in 1927.

To celebrate their bicentennial, a kickoff press event is schedule for Thursday, January 15th, beginning at 11 a.m. which will open the Evolution of Hillcrest Center Exhibit. The exhibit unveiling and press event are free and open to the public. See the flyer below for details.

Hillcrest Bicentennial Kickoff Flyer 4

Photos from The Smithsonian’s Hall of Extinct Monsters (ca. 1915)

March 6, 2014
Triceratops skill. Photo ca. 1915, from author's collection.

Triceratops skill. Photo ca. 1915, from author’s collection.

I’ve long had an affinity for the National Museum of Natural History’s Dinosaur Hall. My love of the hall and its collection only deepened after I learned that the museum’s original “Dinosaur Hunter”, Charles Whitney Gilmore, lived here in Park View at 451 Park Road. Soon, on April 28th, the hall will be closing for a $48 million makeover that is long overdue. It won’t be completed until 2019, meaning the collections will be off view for the next five years.

So, in addition to giving folks the heads up to head down to the mall and view the Dinosaur Hall one last time before it closes for a while, I’m sharing the following photos taken ca. 1915 of the Hall of Extinct Monsters, taken a few short years after the National Museum of Natural History first opened the hall to the public on October 15, 1911.

Please note the photograph of the Triceratops skeleton which is particularly important to Gilmore’s story and his start at the museum. It was in 1903 Gilmore first received a contract to prepare one of the Marsh collection skulls of the horned dinosaur Triceratops for the museum and then was hired as a full-time preparatory in 1904. By 1905, with the help of  preparator Norman H. Boss (who had just arrived that year and previously had also worked at the Carnegie Museum), Gilmore had mounted the skeleton of the Triceratops, the first skeleton of this dinosaur ever mounted for display.

Enjoy the photos.

Triceratops(Triceratops skeleton mounted by Gilmore and Boss in 1905. Photo ca. 1915 from collection of the author.)

Mastodon(Photo of Mastodon. Photo ca. 1915 from collection of the author.)

Stegosaurus stenops(Stegosaurus stenops – Marsh 1887. The type specimen is exhibited as it was found in the field and has unfortunately gained the nickname of “the roadkill”. Until the 1990s, it was the most complete stegosaur ever found, and formed the basis of most of the reconstructions of this dinosaur. Photo ca. 1915 from collection of the author.)

Basilosaurus(Basilosaurus, now in the Sant Ocean Hall. Photo ca. 1915 from collection of author.)

Pareiasaurus baini(Pareiasaurus baini. Photo ca. 1915 from collection of the author.)

Historical Society of Washington, D.C.’s Urban Photography Series 2013 Neighborhoods

October 4, 2013

Earlier this year, I participated in the Historical Society of Washington’s Urban Photography series as a tour guide. The purpose of the tours was to explore one neighborhood in each of Washington’s 8 Wards and create a photographic record of that community today. These photographs have been added to the Historical Society’s collection and will be useful to future scholars writing about our city.

It is hoped that the Urban Photography Series will occur annually and eventually document every corner of the District of Columbia. Below is a video that the HSWDC put together that will give you a taste of was was accomplished this year.

Enjoy.

Sneak Peek of AFRH’s New Scott Building’s Hall of Honor

July 19, 2013
The 3-deminsional representation of the Soldiers' and Airman's seal is proudly situation in the center of the room.

The 3-deminsional representation of the Soldiers’ and Airman’s seal is proudly situation in the center of the room.

Bright and early yesterday morning I, along with Alexandria resident Rick Tucker, got a preview of the Armed Forces Retirement Home’s Hall of Honor.  Should you have an opportunity to visit the AFRH’s new Scott Building, be sure to check this feature out.

The Hall of Honor is part museum exhibition and part resident memorabilia. In short, the hall tells the history of the Soldiers’ Home with interpretive text, historic images, and Soldiers’ Home artifacts. Upon entering the space, the center of the room is dominated by three rifles supporting a drum. I thought this was brilliant, as it is a three-dimensional representation of the Soldiers’ and Airman’s Home seal. The case sits atop a two-dimensional version of the seal that is viable when the case is removed. Surrounding this in the floor are the seals of the four branches of the military.

In the four quarters of the room are display cases that contain memorabilia from AFRH residents. The intent is to have the objects in these cases rotate so that there is always something new to see.

Along the eastern wall is a history display, including a timeline, specific to the Soldiers’ Home. This differs in the exhibition along the western wall which focuses on life at the home, including neighborhood use of the park, as told in historic images  (both Mr. Tucker and I had contributed historic photographs for the exhibit), text, and objects.

Old regulations for visitors to the Soldiers' Home that once greeted those entering the grounds for enjoyment.

Old regulations for visitors to the Soldiers’ Home that once greeted those entering the grounds for enjoyment.

All in all, I was extremely impressed with the amount of detail and high quality of execution. One of my favorite objects was actually a poster entitled Regulations to Govern Visitors Entering Grounds of Soldiers’ Home. While weather beaten and worn, among the rules on the sign are:

  • No Dogs allowed to enter the grounds of the Home. Small dogs in carriages may be taken through the grounds remaining with owners.
  • Pedestrians NOT ALLOWED TO WALK ON THE GRASS.
  • Equestrians not allowed off the roads.
  • RACING AND FAST DRIVING IS PROHIBITED.
  • Picnics and like parties must obtain permission from the Governor.
  • [Men?] and boys with guns and slings not permitted to enter the grounds.
  • SHOOTING, trapping, or otherwise …. game is strictly PROHIBITED.

If nothing else, the rules provide and interesting insight into another time.

Below are more photographs of the exhibition space.

Upon entering the space, the 3-Dimensional Home seal is surrounded by the seals of the four branches of the military embeded in the floor.

Upon entering the space, the 3-Dimensional Home seal is surrounded by the seals of the four branches of the military embedded in the floor. The free standing display cases contain rotating exhibits of resident artifacts and memorabilia.

The eastern wall contains an overview of the Soldiers' Home's history, including a timeline.

The eastern wall contains an overview of the Soldiers’ Home’s history, including a timeline.

The west wall contains photos and artifact related to live and liesure at the Soldiers' Home.

The west wall contains photos and artifact related to live and leisure at the Soldiers’ Home.

President Lincoln’s Cottage Opens Exhibit on Modern Slavery (Feb. 17, 2012-Aug. 31, 2013)

February 16, 2012

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Lincoln’s Cottage will open an exhibit on modern slavery tomorrow, February 17, titled “Can You Walk Away?”  According the Cottage’s Web site, this special exhibit will challenge perceptions of slavery in America today and raise awareness of a growing humanitarian crisis. By posing the question, “Can you walk away?” this exhibit will inspire people to engage with the modern abolitionist movement and to see that slavery is an ongoing issue that requires big thinking and direct action, just as it did in Lincoln’s time.

Full press release below.

Washington, D.C. – President Lincoln’s Cottage, in partnership with Polaris Project, will open Can You Walk Away? Modern Slavery: Human Trafficking in the United States President’s Day weekend in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center. The exhibit is part of a year-long commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln developing the Emancipation Proclamation at President Lincoln’s Cottage. Can You Walk Away? bridges the perceived gap between slavery past and present, and highlights the challenges and perceptions of slavery in America today. Can You Walk Away? will be open for 18 months, from February 17, 2012 through August 31, 2013.
 
“The Cottage has an obligation to the public to explore the modern impact of Lincoln’s presidency and ideas, especially ideas developed right here at the Cottage.It’s outrageous that slavery is a growing problem in our country, especially when the ‘shackles’ of slavery were legally abolished nearly 150 years ago. Slavery is a problem in our world today that requires big thinking and direct action, just like it did in Lincoln’s time,” said Erin Carlson Mast, Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage.
 
Can You Walk Away? uses powerful imagery, video footage and compelling statistics to inspire people to consider Lincoln’s ideas about slavery, discover the harsh reality of slavery today, and take direct action to help eliminate this problem. Human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry and is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. Some 12 million people are held against their will in compelled service across the globe. President Lincoln’s Cottage is the authentic resource for understanding Lincoln’s perspective on slavery and his development of the Emancipation Proclamation and this exhibit connects his bold and courageous ideas with the modern abolitionist movement.

(more…)


%d bloggers like this: