Saratoga Auto Museum: Popcorn Wagon Mechanics

The Saratoga Automobile Museum has announced an event entitled &#8220Popcorn Wagon Mechanics.&#8221 On Saturday, February 19, 2011 sixteen students who have been working since December of 2010 to mechanically rebuild a historic 1925 Model TT Cretor Popcorn Wagon will be in the garage again.

This session will include removing entire front end assembly, touching up the frame and underbelly of vehicle, rebuilding the front end assembly by replacing any bushings, king pins, tie rods, or any other steering rods as needed, checking the springs and bushings, paint the front axle and springs, greasing all the points that are required, and then re-installing the front end assembly. The program’s mentors will be explaining the steering dynamics and will relate them to modern automobiles.

The event is open to the public. For more information you can contact Tracy Paige at [email protected] or visit our website at The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located at: 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Hours of operation: 7 days a week, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission: Adults &#8211 $8.00, Seniors and Students &#8211 $5.00 with children under 6 free.

Museum of American Finance Exhibit: Scandal!

On Thursday, April 29, the Museum of American Finance will open “Scandal!: Financial Crime, Chicanery and Corruption that Rocked America,” a richly informative exhibit about the history of financial scandals in America. “Scandal!” will cover several of the major scandals in American finance, from William Duer’s role in the Crash of 1792 through Lehman’s colossal downfall. The Salad Oil and Teapot Dome scandals, Ponzi schemes from Charles Ponzi himself to Bernie Madoff, Credit Mobilier and Enron scandals will also be featured. Artifacts range from historical newspapers and images to original documents and objects from some of history’s most infamous white collar criminals.

According to Leena Akhtar, the Museum’s director of exhibits and archives, “Scandal!” is particularly relevant today in light of the financial schemes and accounting frauds that have occurred over the last decade.

“The purpose of the exhibit is to connect recent events to what has happened in the past, and to educate students, investors, industry professionals and aspiring Wall Street professionals about the history and consequences of dishonesty in government and finance,” Akhtar said.

Marc Hodak, managing director of Hodak Value Advisors and an adjunct associate professor at New York University, served as a guest curator of the exhibit. Hodak teaches a class at the NYU Stern School of Business entitled “A History of Scandal: The Evolution of Corporate Governance.”

All are welcome to attend a reception to open “Scandal!” on Thursday, April 29, from 5 – 7 pm. For information and reservations, please contact Lindsay Seeger at 212-908-4110 or [email protected]. Working members of the press should contact Kristin Aguilera at 212-908-4695 or [email protected]. “Scandal!” will be on display through April 29, 2011.

Tammis Groft and Museum and History Advocacy

One of New York’s museum leading lights, Tammis Groft, was recently mentioned over at Suzanne Fischer’s Public Historian blog in a post calling for more blogging about museum and history advocacy:

Among AAM’s projects is museum advocacy on a national level. Recently, they sent Tammis K. Groft, deputy director of collections and exhibits at the Albany Institute of History and Art [above], to Washington as a “citizen-lobbyist” to speak to a committee about the importance of NEH Preservation and Access Grants. She wrote a few blog posts on the subject on the AAM’s advocacy blog. PAG grants are a major way museums of all sizes fund collections stewardship projects, and the funding for the program is slated to be cut by 50% next year. Contact your elected officials to advocate for NEH conservation programs!

The Humanities Advocacy Network is also a great resource for humanities advocacy, including preservation and history programs. You can sign up to get action alerts and email your representatives from the page.

I’d love to see more blogging from AAM or other organizations on museum and history advocacy issues. The wrangling over appropriations can be very opaque, and a human voice really helps to clarify issues and make advocacy work seem much more possible for small museum professionals and those without much lobbying practice. (My occasional posts about Minnesota cultural legislation don’t cut it.)