MOHAI Blog

Monday, 29 October 2012 08:55

...Viewable

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Periscope Installation - Periscope Above MG - LS

Periscope above Maritime Gallery | Photo by Lauren Semet

MOHAI Move FAQs 3.) Kelly Humphries: Will there be a periscope to view the Space Needle? One of MOHAI's favorite artifacts is the periscope. Generations have loved viewing the shore of Lake Washington using this World War II-era apparatus. Unfortunately, the periscope was in our changing gallery and not always on display. No more! The periscope (actually the first artifact moved into our building on Lake Union, which you can watch here.) will have a 360 view of Seattle from a near geographic center of the city. The views of the Space Needle will be wonderful and close. But you'll also be able to see Gasworks Park, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne Hill, Downtown and Lake Union. And since we're talking about iconic artifacts, here's an update on some other iconic items from MOHAI: Rainier R: The R is currently being restored (have you visited www.RestoreTheR.com yet to help us? You should. It's a ton of fun!) When it is done, it will be completely lit again, with more than 200 bulbs and that red neon we know and love. It will have a permanent and prominent place in our Atrium. Bobo: First of all, if you haven't checked out Bobo's MOHAI Minute, you should. Are you back? Great. Bobo needs some loving. When he wastaxidermied, it was a fairly rushed job and not done in a way that is good for preservation. In addition, some poisonous chemicals were used to preserve him that will mean we'll need to separate him from people. Our goals for him are to work to better conserve Bobo and find a way to best show him off. For the time being, Bobo will not be on permanent display. He will be brought out for special occasions, and we'll let you know when. The Dollhouse: Similar to Bobo, the Dollhouse will not be on display all the time, but brought out for special occasions. Since she is so splendidly decorated for the holidays, we are thinking that's the best time to show the house off. Slo-Mo-Shun IV: Slo Mo has been moved into the Armory, and will be prominent piece of our Atrium. She is hung from the ceiling in such a way that one has a view of her from any angle. She's looking great!

 

Friday, 26 October 2012 11:43

...Stuffed

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The latest MOHAI Minute showcases a Seattle Icon, all 6 furry feet of him.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 11:32

...Launching

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Aerial Lake Union ParkMOHAI Move FAQs 2.) Fred Mott Garfield: When is the grand opening launch? Can family members of staff members show up? This is an easy question! But it is one of my favorites because the answer is super fun. MOHAI's grand opening to the public will be on Saturday, December 29th. That first day will have free admission, but because we expect a large amount of people and our people can only hold so many (due to a silly little thing called the fire code) we are going to have timed ticketing. It's not set up quite yet, but when it is, head on over to http://www.mohai.org/mohai_at_lake_union_park/grand_opening.phpfor all the info and for ticketing. But everyone is invited, family of staff or not, come one, come all! The Grand Opening will be a grand affair. It begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and then we open the doors. There will be performances, demonstrations, and food (both our new cafe and some local food trucks) but of course the crown jewel will be the brand-new exhibits, featuring both old artifact favorites as well as rarely-seen artifacts that detail Seattle's history like never before. Also, the first Temporary Exhibit,Celluloid Seattle: a City at the Movies will also premiere on December 29th (see what I did there, "premiere" "movies"?) With this exhibit, you can revisit Seattle's movie palaces, see clips from famous and indie movies shot in our fair city and take in the unique movie-going and movie-making culture of Seattle. But the Grand Opening festivities aren't confined to December 29th. On December 27th, we will have a Members and Industry Preview. If that isn't a reason to get your membership now, I don't know what is. And after Grand Opening, the fun continues. Sunday, December 30th will have much the same festivities, but we'll start our paid admission that day. Tuesday, January 1st is our Family Day where we will preview all the amazing multi-generational programs we will be doing regularly at the new museum. Bring the kids and see all the amazing ways we bring history alive for all ages. And then on Thursday, January 3rd, we'll have our first Free First Thursday in the new space. That means Free Admission and tons of fun with Highlights Tours, Family Programs and again, the beauty and depth of the Seattle Story told in a whole new way. I hope you can join us for any of our opening festivities and help us celebrate the next chapter in MOHAI's and Seattle's history.

Friday, 28 September 2012 16:37

...Cabled

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This latest MOHAI Minute takes us back to the days of Seattle's early public transit systems. Join Helen and Peder as they look at the Yesler cable car in MOHAI's collection.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 11:50

...Parked

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MOHAI Move FAQs 1.)Gina McCauley: Where will we park?? Just because MOHAI will no longer have as large a lot as we used to, doesn't mean there isn't parking in our new neighborhood. Lake Union Park itself has a small lot directly to the south of the building with a number of ADA spots to ensure our museum remains accessible to all. There is also ample paid parking within blocks of the new building as you can see on the map below. In fact, overall parking exceeds anything we had at Montlake, making it easier to find parking for large events and activities.

Parking and Transit in SLU

Seattleites have always had a strong relationship to our environment - it's one fo the key themes MOHAI will explore in our new core exhibit.That is one reason why were so excited to be moving to a location that is so accessible by public transportation. As a bus commuter, the number of options that will be available to me once we make the transition to the new building are exciting! The South Lake Union Streetcar drops you off from downtown as close to our doorstep as possible. The Streetcar runs every 15 minutes (10 during prime commuting time) and is a very comfortable ride from Westlake Plaza. This makes parking downtown and hopping on the Streetcar to MOHAI a tantalizing possibility. Also, since a large portion of buses throughout the Puget Sound region pass through downtown, the ability for most people to take one bus downtown and hop on the Streetcar is a boon. Then you don't even need to think about parking! And if you live near a stop for the8, 17, 26, 28, 70, or 71and moreyou have one-seat ride to MOHAI and Lake Union Park. Parking will be different at Lake Union Park, but we'll also be in a vibrant, walkable new neighborhood, one with fantastic restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores within walking distance (I'm so excited about Top Pot donuts being right up the street!). I can easily see someone parking their car or getting off the bus and then spending the entire day exploring South Lake Union, with a vist to MOHAI as the centerpiece!

 

 

Thursday, 13 September 2012 15:08

Listening Ahead, Listening Back (Part 2)

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Music at Century 21 Continued from Last Week Most adults still considered rock and roll kid stuff in 1962, but many changed their tune when Elvis Presley showed up. Filming scenes for It Happened At the Worlds Fair, Elvis didnt perform, but charmed everybody with his Southern courtesy and left a strong impression that rock and roll was not only here to stay but had grown up. Presented by Northwest Releasing, Fats Domino and James Brown played the Arena, and Northwest rockers came to the fair when Special Events Division head Willis Camp arranged Saturday night dances on the International Mall. Camps son, Robert, advised him on what bands were cool (the Dynamics, Frantics, Viceroys, and Wailers), and Dancing Under the Stars debuted July 28th to The Statics with singers Anthony Tiny Tony Smith and Merrilee Rush. All ages loved it! One of the fairs top musical moments almost didnt happen. In the spring of 1962, Harold Shaw learned that the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Polices Musical Ride had never played Seattle, and hurriedly pulled together the Royal Canadian Tattoo. The cacophony of massed brass and bagpipes packed the Stadium six nights in a row, and journalists proclaimed it Century 21s most popular event. More than 200 pieces of would-be official Century 21 musicpeppy, boosterish ditties and pretentious odes to technological progressinundated fair publicity director Jay Rockey. Getting good airplay were Joy and the Boys bubbly Meet Me in Seattle at the Fair and The Lancers bouncy See You in Seattle (at the Big Worlds Fair). Mike and Meggia Molosos Wasnt That a Mighty Day When the Needle Hit the Ground caused such offense that a censored version had to be issued. Naturally, the official official album was Jackie Souders Worlds Fair Marching Band LP, a pastiche of ethnic chestnuts, college fight songs, and original tunes (Century 21 Waltz, Monorail Twist.) Best of all was Attilio Mineos LP, Man in Space with Sounds, a twelve-movement tone poem full of ethereal harmonies and eerie electronic effects. A somber, even foreboding peek straight into the heart of the future, Man in Space with Sounds was far from peppy boosterism, let alone what most listeners of 1962 would have considered music, and unfortunately it was never performed at the fair. But Mineos masterpiece truly listened ahead to the ambient sounds of the late twentieth century. The music of Century 21 was a huge success, delighting fairgoers, planners, and critics. The Opera House and other new venues fostered permanent opera and ballet, and Harold Shaws hope for a continuation came alive in the Northwest Folklife Festival and Bumbershoot. The Seattle Worlds Fair listened ahead, with sonic sculptures and rock and roll. And it listened back, with marching band and Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But to one youngster dazzled by the Space Age Worlds Fair, all the music of Century 21 was a fresh and vibrant sound of tomorrow!

Friday, 07 September 2012 12:19

...Wet

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In this most recent MOHAI Minute, Helen and Peder discover the show-biz side of Green Lake and the beginnings of SeaFair.

Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:05

Listening Ahead, Listening Back

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Milton Katims conducting Seattle Symphony Orchestra probably at the Seattle Center Opera House in Seattle, 1965Music at Century 21 The Seattle Worlds Fair-Century 21 Exposition was Americas Space Age Worlds Fair: a festival of the future. Century 21 was also a festival of musicthe greatest cornucopia of sound the city had yet heard. The music of Century 21 was lively and contemplative, regional and international; it was made by professionals and amateurs; it listened ahead, and it listened back. It dazzled, it delighted, it fulfilled the hopes of planners and listeners, and it left a rich legacy. Worlds fair general manager Ewen C. Dingwall set the tone, promising Seattle the grandest arts festival ever seen in America, one representative, not only ofAmerican culture but of the finest elements of the cultures of the many nations of the world. Taking Dings lead, the Worlds Fair Cultural Advisory Board surveyed international and local talent and drew up a long list of prospective performers. Like the rest of fair administration, the board was a mostly white, male, middle-class body, targeting a middle-class audience. Nevertheless, it formulated a music program that was diverse and inclusive. To book performers, the Performing Arts Division was formed and placed under the direction of Harold Shaw, who had worked for Hurok Attractions, the worlds leading talent agency. Shaw wanted a festival-type of menu that would have broad appeal and inspire a continuation after the fair, and bright, spectacular music that would convey the fairs space age theme. Shaw was greeted with suspicion by some who wanted more local talent, but he took the world in worlds fair seriously and booked a spectacular lineup of international acts, leaning heavily on Sol Hurok to clinch the contracts. University of Washington professor Richard N. McKinnon urged a strong Pacific Rim emphasis, and Shaws assistant, Marjorie Ravenholt, scouted the Far East, sometimes counseling performers on Western professional standards. The Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, Ceylon National Dancers, Foo-Hsing Theater, Royal Thai Dancers, and Uday Shankar Hindu Dancers and Musicians dazzled enthusiastic crowds in the new Opera House and Playhouse. Thousands more enjoyed ethnic performers in the Hawaiian Pavilion, Flor de Mexico restaurant, and Spanish Village. These traditional sounds both listened back and listened ahead in presaging the growing influence of world music in the twentieth century, and its place in Seattles cultural life. Most Seattle jazz musicians were busy working nightclubs and the many touring shows appearing in downtown theaters during the fair, but jazz was well-represented on the grounds by a lineup including Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Erroll Garner. Folk singers Joan Baez, Theodor Bikel, Richard Dyer-Bennet, and Josh White drew capacity audiences, and Sunday afternoon folk jams became a popular attraction at the International Mall, attracting musicians from around the country. Country-western enjoyed considerable popularity in 1962, and the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans show packed the Stadium two weeks running, followed by Red Foley and Jack Roberts headlining the Northwest Square Dance Convention in the Arena. Prickly negotiations between the Performing Arts Division and several tribes created an Indian Village on Show Street, where Native American song and drum were heard several times a day. Following the Cultural Advisory Boards recommendation that local and amateur talent be included, Harold Shaw invited school bands to perform for states days and other regional events at the Plaza of the States. This wise policy stimulated attendance and helped make Century 21 truly a fair for all. Having attained maturity under flamboyant young maestro Milton Katims, the Seattle Symphony hit new heights during the fair. The April 21st opening night gala featured pianist Van Cliburn playing Rachmaninoffs Third Piano Concerto, and Igor Stravinsky conducting his Firebird Suite. Basking in well-earned glory, Katims insisted that, now that Seattle had an Opera House, there must be opera! Soprano Gloria Davy sang the leading role in Aida, and unremarked was the fact that she was African Americanpossibly the first to sing opera in Seattle. Truly futuristic was the orchestra of Francois Baschet and Jacques Lasry, which played Bach, jazz, and originals (Dance of the Coil Spring) on sonic sculptures that produced a diaphanous, ethereal sound. Adding a contemplative aura was the Space Needles Schulmerich electronic carillon, but complaints were loud when it drowned out band concerts at the Plaza of the States! Listening back loudest and proudest was the Worlds Fair Marching Band. Seattles Mister Music, bandleader Jackie Souders was in his glory when crowds cheered his 37-piece band as it blared Hey, Look Me Over and South Rampart Street Parade. More musical comfort food was on tap in the cavernous Food Circus, where crowds gathered around organists Ruby Bishop and Grant Brown and sang along with combos like Skinny Malone and His Hot Bananas (Music with Appeal). My favorite: orange-wigged Zingo the Clown, belting out Row Row Row. Outside, Alden Bices Old Circus Calliope lent a jolly, carny note. Corny, for surebut irresistible!

 

Continued Next Week...

 

Friday, 31 August 2012 16:26

...in Poetry

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[storefront] Olson Kundig Architects and MOHAI present:

"A photograph's punctum is that accident of photographic detail which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me)... for punctum is also: sting, speck, cut, little hole

- Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

The Poet Is In, an installation inspired by the notion of a photographs punctumthe incidental details that trigger emotionally charged personal associationsopens September 6 at [storefront] Olson Kundig Architects. Presented by The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and [storefront] Olson Kundig Architects, The Poet Is In is designed to explore the numerous ways in which people create and consume poetry in relation to the notion of punctum. The Poet Is In asks the question, Can we inspire visitors off the street to engage with poetryand actually write poetrythrough a series of provocations inspired by photographs, and generated by poets in residence and the installation design? says Alan Maskin, principal/co-owner of Olson Kundig Architects. Like past [storefront] installations, The Poet Is In compels the public to look closer through a series of social and design experiments. Historic images from MOHAIs photographic collection will serve as stimulus for the poetry-focused interactive exhibits. Utilizing poetry and spoken word as a means to connect with or make meaning from a historic image is a very exciting idea, says Tara McCauley, MOHAIs Education & Youth Programs Manager. MOHAIs photographic collection is vast and rich with imagery that reflects our shared human experience, and poetry in its nature aims to explore and interpret those experiences. The Poet Is In brings together poets, pictures and the public in a deliberately intimate space to see what will unfold. The interactive exhibits include a writers wall, a typing pool, a poetry confessional booth provided by Greg Lundgren and PDL and a growing public-generated inventory of poetry written on site. Local poets, including Arne Pihl; Daemond Arrindell and Seattle Slam Poet; Rebecca Hoogs and Seattle Arts & Lectures; Tina LaPadula and Arts Corps; and WonIl Kang, will engage and interact with visitors throughout the project, thus guiding the experience and resulting poetry. The Poet Is Inis curated by Tara McCauley of MOHAI, and designed and coordinated by Alan Maskin and Steve Grim of Olson Kundig Architects. The Poet Is In coincides with Punctum / Poetry, an upcoming exhibit at MOHAI. Throughout the 2011-2012 school year, MOHAI and Arts Corps collaborated to work with Seattle high school students to bring MOHAIs photographic archives to life through the expressive power of poetry and spoken word. The resulting work will be on display in Punctum / Poetry, opening on December 29 at the new MOHAI at Lake Union Park. About [storefront] Olson Kundig Architects [storefront] Olson Kundig Architects is an experimental work space for Olson Kundig Architects' community collaborations, pro-bono design work, philanthropic and volunteer work, and for design research and the development of design ideas. The Poet Is Inis a continuation of [storefront] Olson Kundig Architects' social practice experiments where everyone is welcome and nothing is for sale.Principal/owners Alan Maskin and Kirsten R. Murray direct [storefront] Olson Kundig Architects, which is located in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square at 406 Occidental Avenue South. For more information, visit olsonkundigarchitects.com.

Thursday, 02 August 2012 07:55

...World Class Accomodations

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Dominion Monarch Pin - a2007.26There may still be hundreds of these little pins tucked away in the back of the dresser drawers of people of a certain age, a forgotten memento of an afternoons visit long ago aboard the Dominion Monarch, the self-styled Worlds Fair Luxury Liner. Moored down at Pier 50 the Monarch was the largest of the three hotel ships brought in to provide accommodations and entertainment for fairgoers. They were a special magnet for visitors from the Midwest, who had never seen a big ship up close before, and they reminded fairgoers that even with its new icon up the hill. Seattle was still a city in love with water. The S.S Acapulco, partly owned by the Mexican government and intended to be part of its official presence, was pulled from its regular Los Angeles-Mexico cruise run for the summer. Moored at Pier 70, she provided a south-of-the-border party scene, with flamenco and salsa for dancing and fabulous 11-course dinners. The Acapulco kept its own boilers fired to produce power; sailors polished the brass; and Coast Guard Regulations (whatever that meant) remained in place. Further along the waterfront at Pier 58 lay the S.S. Catala , a coastal steamer rather than an ocean liner, ending a 30-year career carrying freight (lots of canned salmon) and passengers, stopping at the numerous floats and piers of road-less logging camps, fishing camps, mines, and settlements along the coast between Vancouver and southeast Alaska. In Seattle she could accommodate 200 guests overnight. But to make room for a theater, her engines were removed, and thereafter she had to be ignominiously towed around. Dominon Monarch Life Ring - a2009.1.292But the biggest waterfront draw was without doubt the huge Monarch, until just recently the pride of the passenger run between Southampton, Australia, and New Zealand. She had been the largest all-first-class steamship ever to be built, in 1939. During the War she had carried troops from Australia, New Zealand, and even the United States to the European front, as well as civilian evacuees. When she left Perth in 1962, on her last voyage home to England, the entire city had turned on all its lights for her, just as it had done a few months earlier when John Glenn, the astronaut, had passed over Australia in his orbital flight. She was enjoying a a brief reprieve in Seattle, on her way to Japan to be broken up for scrap. She was just too expensive to maintain; according to her British captain, who had been with the ship over eleven years, her running costs were colossal. The Monarch could accommodate 1000 guests. The public spaces were impressive: several dining rooms (one of which had been at one time, in upper-class British style, the Childrens Dining Parlour, with little tables for four and linen napkins); elm paneling from Londons Waterloo Bridge in the Lounge. She had a huge Game Deck and pool (which, since it was apparently a typical Seattle summer, wasnt filled for several weeks). The public was invited to come aboardboarding fee $1.00-- and enjoy a tour of the ship, a day of cruising activities, an evening of dinner and dancing, or an overnight stay in a luxurious cabin, at $12.50 per person. TV station Channel 11 moved its studios onboard and broadcast afternoon teen dance parties. (The notorious Twist was still scandalizing parents, one of whom wrote a letter to the Seattle Times lamenting that young people behaving in such an ugly and distasteful manner were being aired to the public eye.) Local clubs planned their luncheon meetings on board. (Toward summers end, somewhat less respectably, a California bank sent someone north to set up shop onboard buying sales contracts and lease agreements.) In the evenings night club acts performed in several lounges; a notable one around town that summer was The Shaggy Gorillas Minus One Buffalo Fish. And down below on the pier itself the Sea Circus entertained with its performing sea lions, porpoises, and banjo-playing seals.

Domion Monarch Tour Guide Hat - a2009.1.293

Hat worn by Dominion Monarch Tour Guides During 1962 World's Fair in Seattle

Behind the scenes several intriguing tidbits floated, unnoticed by most. Who would ever guess, for example, that the Monarch had been permanently moored at the Piera row of pilings driven into the Bay behind her sternso she could officially become a hulk and the mysterious Coast Guard Regulations would not apply? Or that all summer long a labor dispute simmered along about which unions (marine or land-based) could represent the workers on board? And then there was the unexpected arrest of Gordon Newell, a Seattle Port Commissioner, at the ships gangplank on the last day the ship was open for business. Newell was president of Dominion Monarch Tours, which sold tickets to board and tour the ship. He and his associate Albert Plush were accused of having sold incorrectly or unmarked tickets, depriving the city of tax revenue. Charges against both men were dismissed two months later in Municipal Court, although Plush was immediately rearrested on a charge of petty larceny in the amount of $5.69 in admission taxes. When his case was decided the following January, he was fined $100. By then the three hotel ships were long gone. The Monarch was taken over to Harbor Island, to be used for the film shoot of a TV show pilot (which was never shown). Then one November morning she quietly slipped her moorings and set out to Japan and her destruction. She left bits of herself behind that keep her alive in some sense today. A round pin for a childs shirt. A life ring and a lovely model of the ship, painstakingly made the year she was built, which are part of MOHAIs collection. A larger ships model rests in Auckland, New Zealands National Maritime Museum, reminding us that the Dominion Monarch does belong to a wider world. But for those few months in the summer of 62, Seattle claimed her.

Dominion Monarch - 2002.57

The Dominion Monarch in Elliott Bay surveying the 1962 World's Fair

 

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