Getting to handle and study treasured artifacts, pursuing fascinating research adventures all day, and building inspirational exhibitions—people who work in museums sure are lucky. But much of the time, museum workers do all these cool things behind the scenes. All that changes on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Curators and other museum staffers will be lured away from their daily work to answer yourquestions for Ask a Curator Day, so get your questions ready.
Before Alton Brown, Rachael Ray, and Giada De Laurentiis, there was Louisan Mamer (1910–2005). An early employee of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), Mamer traveled around the country teaching farmwomen how to use electricity in their daily lives. Demonstrating how to cook with electricity was a major part of Mamer's job and she developed many recipes during the course of her career.
I had the pleasure of participating in the grand opening of the museum’s impressive new wing, The Nation We Build Together. The design of the displays brings the exhibition themes to life, allowing visitors to learn, see, hear, and experience how Americans have come together over time to create our country. I wanted to share a few of my early impressions, both for those planning to visit in person and also for those who will experience these stories through our websites, blogs, and social media.
Do you remember the books that helped you learn to read—maybe Dick and Jane, Dr. Seuss, or Clifford the Big Red Dog? No matter the answer, odds are your experience was very different from most Protestant children living in early America.
Something borrowed, something blue—that is what Samuel P. Langley, director of the Allegheny Observatory in Pennsylvania, was counting on in July 1878 as he waited on Pikes Peak, Colorado, for the wedding of light and shadow displayed by a total eclipse of the sun.
Coins are a powerful tool used to communicate strong messages through varied symbolism. In addition to portraits of influential people and meaningful phrases such as "E Pluribus Unum," animals have often played a prominent role in currency design in the United States and around the world. While American coinage favors our national symbol, the bald eagle, other countries have immortalized different animals of cultural significance on their currency.