December 2013
U.S. Marshals Museum Prepares for Groundbreaking
FORT SMITH — Organizers with the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith say they're still on track for a September 2014 groundbreaking for the multi-million-dollar facility.

Museum Executive Director Jim Dunn says groundbreaking will take place Sept. 24, 2014, for the $50 million museum honoring the history of the U.S. Marshals Service. The groundbreaking coincides with the 225th anniversary of the Marshals Service.

About $14 million has been raised for the project so far. The museum will also receive up to $5 million from the sales of a commemorative coin to be released by the U.S. Mint in 2015.

The 52,260-square-foot facility along the Arkansas River is set to open in the fall of 2016.

August 1, 2012
ObjectIDEA to speak at Winterthur Graduate Symposium
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – Matt Kirchman will be addressing the challenges and opportunities of integrating technology with material culture in exhibitions by presenting the program, Where Is the Home for Technology in Collections-Based Exhibitions? at the Reaching and Teaching through Material Culture: 
A Winterthur Graduate Program 60th Anniversary Symposium.

The symposium will be held September 28–29, 2012 at Winterthur and is co-sponsored by Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library; University of Delaware; 
and the Society of Winterthur Fellows. For more information or to register, click HERE.

Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room house, much as it was when the du Pont family lived there, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries.
Winterthur is set amidst a 1,000-acre preserve of rolling meadows and woodlands. Designed by Pierre du Pont, its 60-acre naturalistic garden is among America’s best, with magnificent specimen plantings and massed displays of color. Graduate programs and a preeminent research library make Winterthur an important center for the study of American art and culture.

July 16, 2012
ObjectIDEA welcomes a new team member!
BOSTON, MA – This month, ObjectIDEA welcomes Bridget Sandison to our exhibit development and research team. Bridget brings with her four years of exhibition planning, content coordination and research experience. Before joining the team, Bridget worked for two major Boston-based exhibit design firms researching stories, images, and objects to develop visitor experiences. She had the opportunity to collaborate with ObjectIDEA on multiple projects including the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Bridget’s academic background in Anthropology and Archaeology inspires her to create exhibits around firsthand accounts and everyday objects. She believes both have the power to connect visitors to foreign, ancient, or just plain confusing topics in a more tangible, relatable way. With that said, she is a passionate enforcer of one of ObjectIDEA’s main tenets– Learning FROM is more engaging than learning ABOUT.

While working with ObjectIDEA, Bridget will be pursuing a Master’s of Art degree in Museum Studies, Museum Management and Leadership from George Washington University. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to incorporate today’s most relevant museum issues, approaches and technologies to the crafting of ObjectIDEA’s visitor experiences.

Select projects include:
• KAFD Science Museum and Geo Climate Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• National Museum of the United States Army, Ft. Belvoir, VA
• Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, OH
• National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Dubuque, IA
• National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

December 2-4, 2011
ObjectIDEA interprets Salem’s McIntire District

SALEM, MA – Over the course of the first weekend in December, Matt led tours for Historic Salem, Inc. exploring the town's famous historic architecture district.
Named for Salem’s celebrated architect-carver, Samuel McIntire, the McIntire District encompasses an area with more than 300 historic structures, representing one of the greatest concentrations of notable pre-1900 domestic buildings existing in the United States. Properties included the Salem Athenaeum, and homes designed by McIntire, and William Rantoul in several revival styles.

October 12, 2011
Celebrating the Opening of DCR’s Great Brook Farm

CARLISLE, MA – In October, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) celebrated renovations to the Great Brook Farm in Carlisle. DCR partnered with other state and federal agencies to provide $2.1 million in improvements to its year-round dairy farm.
“Together we celebrate the work done to enhance DCR’s Great Brook Farm State Park. These projects and upgrades show that multiple agencies can work together to produce terrific results for the public,” said DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. “DCR is proud of what our partnership has produced. It's good for the cows. .... And it's good for visitors.”

October 19, 2011
Another Positive Step for Coltsville

WASHINGTON – Federal, state and municipal lawmakers hailed Acting Associate Director for Park Planning, Facilities, and Lands, National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior William D. Shaddox’s testimony this afternoon as another positive step towards turning the Coltsville Historic District into a National Historical Park Wednesday.

“With today’s hearing, Coltsville’s drive to become a national park continues to gain steam,” Senator Joseph Lieberman said. “Coltsville’s past is as compelling as its future potential, and the spirit of innovation fostered there helps maintain Connecticut’s proud tradition of manufacturing everything from small arms to jet engines and even submarines.”

“Today’s testimony by Mr. Shaddox once again recognizes the historical significance of Coltsville and the potential economic benefits National Park status holds for Hartford and the entire state,” Congressman John Larson (CT-01) said. “While the bill still needs to pass Congress, today’s hearing shows that this near 10-year project has momentum and I am confident that we will ultimately succeed in making Coltsville a National Historical Park.”

On Green Exhibits

HARTFORD, CT – Matt has been invited to facilitate a discussion of the Exhibits Professional Affinity Group at the Annual Conference of the New England Museum Association in Hartford, November 16-18, 2011. Offered at the historic Mark Twain House Museum, the sharing session will address how to improve the exhibition development process for the good of the natural environment. The discussion will be followed by a creative evaluation and strategy session for the Mark Twain House.

ObjectIDEA plans new National Museum

NEAR KANSAS CITY – The Johnson County Museum is ready to change its name and move into a new home. Equipped with a strategic plan and a new interpretive master plan completed by ObjectIDEA, the museum will begin its transformation into a new National Museum of Suburbia and Suburban Policy Forum.

The new museum will capture, commemorate, and critique the ideas of American suburbia, including the story of how the suburbs took hold and played out near Kansas City. By interpreting suburbia through the eyes of agencies, planners, developers, builders, residents, policy-makers, and scholars, the museum will strive to chronicle how America’s suburbs came to be; reveal their many physical and cultural dimensions; and encourage people to think about suburbia's real and imagined place in their hearts and minds, and its place in America's future.

A year-long process, the planning was conducted with the support of grants from IMLS and the Johnson County Heritage Trust. Object Idea worked with a task force of volunteers, members of the museum's staff, and museum planning consultant, Museum Insights of Mystic, CT.

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