Friday, September 17, 2010

Sept. 25: Museums Un-crated at Aurora Regional Fire Museum

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will open their new exhibit “Museums Un-Crated” which features nineteen rare firefighting artifacts recently transferred from the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the collection of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum.

It’s a well-known movie ending. The legendary Ark of the Covenant has been rescued from evil, only to be boxed up in a wooden crate, stenciled ...with an identification number, and then seemingly lost inside a vast storage warehouse.

Although the movie’s plot is pure fiction, large museums such as the Smithsonian do have gigantic collection warehouses where objects are stored in wooden crates. The catalyst for the new exhibit at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is the recent transfer of nineteen rare firefighting artifacts from the collections storage warehouse of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Why did the Smithsonian decide to offer these objects to another museum, and why did the fire museum accept them? Who decides what a museum should collect and what should be exhibited? How do museums use the things in their collections, and where do they keep the objects not on display?

In short, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum’s new exhibit "Museums Un-Crated" opens the mythical wooden storage crates of a museum, and gives visitors an inside look at how and why museums collect, use, and preserve things.

In addition to the new exhibit, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide in opening their doors free of charge on Saturday September 25, 2010 for the Smithsonian Magazine’s sixth annual Museum Day.

In a journey to celebrate our world’s dynamic heritage and cultural life, participating Museum Day venues emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based facilities. Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009.

Listings and links to participating museums, and a free Museum Day Ticket is available to download at Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people at participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per email address. -- from Facebook event listing

The exhibit "Museums Un-Crated" will be open Sept. 25th though 2011. For the latest hours, exhibit, and special event information, visit the Aurora Regional Fire Museum's website:

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