Angola (LA) prison tower similar to one recently donated to Smithsonian

Angola tower similar to one donated to Smithsonian

Hey all, I am typing this from a Dunkin Donuts in the DC area. It has been raining hard the past 24 hours, which has cooled things down nicely. It is still up n the air, but it looks like some friends and I may be squeezing in a quick trip to Antietam this weekend. I wanted to give those who live in the New York City area the heads-up that next Saturday, July 20th, the Brooklyn Museum of Art will be hosting a program in cooperation with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When I was in DC a few months back I noted that the African American museum on the Mall is progressing smoothly; the building itself will open in 2015 and the staff is energetically collecting materials in the meantime. Just last week they acquired one of the guard towers from Angola (Louisiana) prison. To put it mildly, the tower will offer some unique interpretive opportunities.

The Smithsonian is coming to our fine borough next week to offer New Yorkers the opportunity to have Smithsonian appraisers examine their personal items. It is the latest in the museum’s “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation” series being held across the country. The event itself will last from 11:00-5:30. Don’t be surprised if you run into yours truly. The items brought in for consultation should be interesting and disparate. Brooklyn has not only a significant African American community, but sizable African and Afro-Caribbean communities as well. I am looking forward to seeing what comes through the door. The Brooklyn Museum itself is one of the great cultural institutions in New York; I have always maintained that if it were in Manhattan it would be widely recognized as one of the best museums in the nation. Whatever you do, have a good weekend.

(image/Lee Honeycutt)