The gift shop at The National September 11 Memorial Museum has raised eyebrows and ire for selling items like "survivor tree" earrings and plush FDNY rescue dogs, but tone-deaf keepsakes are hardly unprecedented in America.
We scoured the on-line gift shops of museums and memorials dedicated to significant events in U.S. history and found plenty of examples of tacky tchotchkes. Click the photo above to see a slide show of some of the most cringe-worthy.
Those of us who went to public school in New Hampshire will likely recall hopping on the school bus for a visit to the Museum of Science in Boston or Sturbridge Village. For decades, schools have embraced field trips as positive and popular learning experiences. Today, museums, cultural institutions and the American Association of School Administrators report a steep drop in the number of field trips, and more than half of American schools did away with learning excursions altogether in 2010.
But what are kids losing with the cutting of field trips? Jay Phillip Greene is endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Everybody can benefit from taking a field trip. And here’s your chance… this Saturday is Smithsonian magazine’s annual Museum Day Live. Follow this link: Smithsonian's Museum Day Live to download a free ticket that will get you and a guest into any participating Smithsonian museum, including the McCauliffe-Shepard Discovery Museum in Concord, the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire in Manchester, and the Strawberry Banke museum…where you can learn – among other things – about Portsmouth’s long love affair with beer. And while brewing may not be the focus of 7th grade class trip, there is plenty more to learn at Strawberry Banke.
Love dinosaurs? Want to learn more about the latest in paleontology?
This Saturday, the Museum of Science, Boston offers dinosaur enthusiasts the rare opportunity to hear first-hand from paleontologists from around the U.S. about their research and theories. Dinosaur Daybegins at 10 am, with presentations and panel discussions throughout the afternoon. The not yet annual event, will focus on the Ceratopsidae family—frilled and horned dinosaurs—much like “Cliff”, the 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil currently on-loan at the Museum.
Which year would you call the single most important in US cultural history? Try 1993—life before the internet and pop star designer fragrances. The year that marked the beginning of NAFTA, hope for peace in the Middle East, and a saxophone playing president.
“NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star” is a new exhibition at the New Museum exploring the year they argue changed everything about art, culture, and politics. Margot Norton is Assistant Curator at the New Museum and joins us to talk about the art and historical context of the work featured in the show.
Photographer Keliy Anderson-Staley works with tintype photography, a medium that came out ten years after the daguerreotype. Just like the photographers of the 1850’s, she uses similar chemical recipes, period brass lenses, and wooden view cameras.
In 2005, the International Center of Photography opened an exhibit called “Young America”. The exhibit largely featured a collection of ghostly daguerreotypes - antique images made through the pioneer process that paved the way for modern photography. The exhibit opened to rave reviews - but within weeks many of the historic images began disappearing before the curators very eyes, aging decades in a matter of days.
Running parallel to the history of art is a long line of art forgeries. Exposed fakes have resulted in scandal, embarrassment, financial ruin, and now, a one-man show. The exhibit, called “Faux Real” …faux as in fake…opened on April first…another wink wink nudge nudge there…to showcase counterfeit works by the prolific forger Mark Landis. Matt Leininger was the first to spot a Landis forgery. He is co-curator of the show.
New England based conceptual artist F. Marek Modzelewskiis no stranger to going against the grain –his work explores exile, ritual, denied expectations and passions unrealized – mostly through installations using a limited pallet of materials, including animal hides, resins, and wheat. Now he’s raising funds on Kickstarter to build a contemporary museum of art in southeastern New Hampshire.