Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smithsonian Museum of American History - reopens, but no quilts?


The Smithsonian Museum of American History will reopen on Friday, November 21, 2008. According to the museum's website, the opening will provide "a new look at the almost 200-year-old Star-Spangled Banner and a rare chance to see the White House copy of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address..... Visitors will enter a dramatic five-story sky-lit atrium, surrounded by artifact displays filled with more than 400 objects showcasing the breadth and depth of the museum’s three million objects representing the cultural, social, technological and political history of the United States." You can follow the museum's reopening on its website and blog.

There are 400 quilts in the Smithsonian National Quilt Collection. It's my understanding that the old Textile Room, which showcased quilts in the museum's collection to the public, is NO LONGER THERE. Harriet Powers' "Bible Quilt" will be off public display. It's returned to rest in the Textile Storage Room. I hope to visit the museum this reopening weekend. What do you feel about the Smithsonian removing the public room that focused on display America's quilts? Do feel free to leave a comment here.

6 comments:

Mary Emma Allen said...

Do keep us posted on what you find out about the museum's quilt collection. It seems a shame to keep it hidden away. I'd like to keep my Quilting and Patchwork readers informed.

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Judy Anne said...

That's terrible!

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blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!

Well...like all museums, they count the number of persons who choose to visit various exhibits...and then they continue the exhibit or they end it.

Clearly, they didn't feel they had enough interest.

I feel that the museums SHOULD keep the exhibits longer IF there are large numbers of people who are interested in that particular exhibit...but if there aren't then, they need to use that museum space for OTHER aspects of our history that people may be more interested in...

{shrugs}

Anonymous said...

There also were behind the scenes tours of the National Quilt collection before the renovation. They had to be booked well in advance because they were always full. I can't find any information on this after the reopening. It obviously wasn't cancelled from lack of interest by the public.