NAAM E-NEWS – September 2016, Volume 18, Issue 3

September 23, 2016 in Uncategorized by Courtney Meredith

NAAM E-NEWS - September 2016, Volume 18, Issue 3

In This IssueMaryAnn Porinchak

President's Message

By: MaryAnn Porinchak

Greetings NAAM Members.

It’s hard to believe it has been four months since our conference in Bar Harbor, Maine. As always it was an amazing mix of stimulating programming and insight into the operations of our colleagues. Rainey Bench of Seal Cove along with Russ Rocknak of Owls Head Museum and their volunteers and staff were gracious hosts. Their efforts provided a truly excellent environment in which to network with colleagues, sharpen skills and explore new opportunities.

If you were not able to attend I encourage you to begin planning now for next year in Tacoma, Washington where we will be hosted by the LeMay Family Collection.

I want to thank the board of directors for their willingness to continue to serve this important organization. The climate in which we work is one of great opportunity but very little discretionary time; so carving a slice of time for NAAM is greatly appreciated.

I looked around the room during the awards banquet this year and realized there were a lot of young faces and mine wasn’t one of them. It’s hard to believe I have been a member of this organization for sixteen years. It was a relatively new organization when I joined but it was the single most important resource for our new museum. NAAM was the place I went to get answers to a multitude of dilemmas and questions and it never disappointed. Attending conferences kept us up-to-date on trends, marketing, management and a host of other topics. During the remainder of the year, there were always those special “go to” individuals like Jackie Frady, Wendell Strode and Judith Endelman who willingly shared their knowledge and experience regarding our specific quandaries outside of the conference. Like great mentors and coaches they were keenly interested in ensuring our success—sometimes a word of encouragement was all that was necessary. Over the years, these professionals and others like them have sacrificed a great deal of their time, talent and resources to ensure the National Association of Automobile Museums would provide the necessary education, information and support for the uniquely diverse group that exists within the automobile museum field. It is my hope that our newer members will find this organization to be as valuable as I did and that all members will endeavor to network with colleagues, share information and ideas and continue to strengthen our organization for the future.

We are an eclectic mix of size, style, method and management but we also have a great deal in common and much to share with each other. In the grand scheme of things, we are all in the same vehicle so to speak and on the same journey. Though our methods and operations may be different, at the end of the day we are linked together by the responsibility and obligation to preserve and protect the collections with which we have been entrusted and to continue to tell the stories of the automobile.

As we look toward the future, there will be obstacles along the way just to make it interesting and fun. After all who enjoys a ride without a few twists and turns? However, at every turn there is a new and exciting road on which to travel. The drive could take us into the always stimulating land of collection management, or on a tour of utilization of new and innovative technology to reach our audiences. The road could lead to the exhilarating field of learning to operate the extremely complicated 200+ breaker exhibit lighting panels or on a lively walk through policy and procedure updates and “AAM Best Practices”. The excursion could take months or even years of preparation but none-the-less it is worth every effort applied. The path to excellence is a narrow one but it is easily identified—we need only to embark with the proper attitude, resources and determination.

In addition to determination, an element of bravery will be necessary. That ghastly specter “Change appears in every fabric of our lives--museums are not immune to feeling its effects or influence. It causes us to squirm. To remain vital and relevant we must be brave and willing to embrace that which makes us squirm a bit. It is that new technology, idea or way of thinking that will launch us into the next decade and beyond. If we are not willing to squirm from time to time we are not shedding our old skin and making room for new growth. If we don’t have growth we cease to exist.

This is not to say we should cast off cautious and conservative behavior in favor of new trends. Rather, we must diligently calculate and incorporate the appropriate “change” that can be judiciously and cautiously assimilated into our operations.

Therefore, with our gaze ever on the vision and mission of our respective organizations we will utilize the wisdom of experience and historical consequence to selectively include those new tools, methods and ideas that exist within the realm of technology, ideology and social communication to promote growth and vitality for the future. (If we must, we can think of it as fertilizer for our operations—I cannot repeat the word that escapes our lips when faced with “Change” but we all recognize it as another name for fertilizer).

I am excited about the future of NAAM and honored and humbled to serve as president. Over the years the leadership has laid a solid foundation on which to build for the future. The board wrestled with decisions with a sincere determination to ensure the outcome would benefit all members. With the dedication and skill of our board we will continue to judiciously and prudently examine opportunities and present them to our membership.

To continue to ensure NAAM is serving the needs of its members, the board will again embark on a strategic planning session to set goals, map our future and determine priorities for the coming years.

I trust you are as excited as I am about 2016 and that you will help us continue our tradition of success through your involvement and support and by encouraging other colleagues to join who may not already be members. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or any member of our Board of Directors with questions, comments or concerns. We are happy to hear from you. Enjoy your events and activities and check in on the Forum when you can.

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The National Association of Automobile Museums is a professional center of excellence for automobile museums and affiliated organizations that supports, educates and encourages members to operate according to professional standards of the museum industry.

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We sincerely thank the Seal Cove Museum for hosting a remarkable conference for NAAM in Bar Harbor, Maine, from May 3 - 7, 2016. We especially thank Raney Bench Director of the Seal Cove Museum and her staff for coordinating endless details and the Owls Head Transportation Museum team for their assistance in many areas.

There were 80 attendees, many for the first time, representing 40 museum entities, twelve informative sessions, two tour destinations, five scholarships awarded and 29 NAAMY Awards presented.

The closing banquet, and the highly-anticipated NAAMY Awards presentation by Christine Bobco of the National Packard Museum, and Derek Moore of the Western Reserve Historical Society. It was a delightful evening of warm conversation and delicious dining.

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Thank You to Our Supporters

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to our generous sponsors, whose support helped make this conference a great success:

  • Hagerty - the official insurance provider of the National Association of Automobile Museums
  • The Bahre Collection - sponsor of the opening reception
  • Group Delphi - sponsor of the banquet band
  • Richard H. Driehaus Trust - general sponsor
  • Eaton Peabody - general sponsor
  • Motor Car Memories Inc. - general sponsor
  • Reliable Carriers - general sponsor

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Congratulations to our 2015 NAAMY Award Winners who were recognized at the 2016 Annual Conference! Each award recognizes industry leaders for achievement, professionalism and creativity. NAAMYs are designed to further promote professionalism in automotive museum managerial, curatorial, educational and promotional work.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

2015 NAAMY Award winners

Division I

Museums with budgets less than $300,000

Books and Exhibit Catalogs

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - BMW Car Club of America Foundation

Collateral Materials

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - BMW Car Club of America Foundation

Events and Public Promotions

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - LeMay Family Collection

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - BMW Car Club of America Foundation

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Museum

Interpretive Exhibits

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - National Packard Museum

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Museum

Newsletters and Magazines

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - BMW Car Club of America Foundation

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - The William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Museum

Website Design

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - National Packard Museum

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Wisconsin Automotive Museum

Division II

Museums with budgets greater than $300,000

Collateral Materials

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Blackhawk Automotive Museum

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Classic Car Club of America

Educational Programs

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

Events and Public Promotions

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Owls Head Transportation Museum

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

Film and Video

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Owls Head Transportation Museum

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

Interpretive Exhibits

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - San Diego Automotive Museum

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Gilmore Car Museum

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

Newsletters and Magazines

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Owls Head Transportation Museum

2nd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

3rd Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)

Website Design

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence - National Corvette Museum

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Congratulations to five NAAM members who received scholarships to attend the 2016 Annual Conference. Awards included $1,000 for travel expenses, plus complimentary conference registration. These valuable scholarships were made possible thanks to our generous sponsorships.

NAAM is dedicated to helping its members grow professionally through informative annual conferences and networking opportunities. To fulfill this goal, NAAM offers conference scholarships each year. The scholarship program is designed for museums with limited financial resources to pay for their staff to attend.

Congratulations to our 2016 recipients:

Christine Bobco, Assistant Director of Operations, National Packard Museum

Dawn Bondus Mueller, Executive Director, Wisconsin Automotive Museum

Roger Luksik, President/Trustee, Packard Proving Grounds

David Stevens, Executive Director/Trustee, Pierce-Arrow Museum

Stephanie Tripp, Research Librarian, Rolls-Royce Foundation

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Donald StreamerGilmore Car Museum - Hickory Corners, Michigan

The Birth of the Gilmore Car Museum

This year marks the Gilmore Car Museum’s 50th anniversary of being open to the public – a milestone reached by few auto museums across the nation. Most museums or similar organizations, regardless of their area of focus, grew out of one person’s hobby with a supportive, encouraging and often tolerant partner. And so was the case with the Gilmore. In 1962, Donald S. Gilmore retired as the Chairman of the Board of the pharmaceutical giant, the Upjohn Company, and had previously shepherded the firm as President from 1944 to 1952. In his retirement, Donald’s wife Genevieve suggested he find a hobby.

In August of 1962, Donald joined a friend at the Pebble Beach Concours. Six months later, Donald located and purchased the auto that won its coveted Best of Show award, a stunningly restored 1913 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Tourer. Within days of that purchase, Jane bought her husband an antique car as a birthday gift, a 1920 Pierce-Arrow “project car.” With the help of some friends, the auto was soon placed under a military style tent in the yard of their Gull Lake home and a full Pierce Arrow Restoration (Donald)restoration began.

Donald had apparently been severely bitten by the “antique car bug” and in June of 1963, he told a friend that Jane has informed him that if his “collection grows to more than 10 cars she doesn’t want them in the back yard!” Wisely keeping his collection to just nine vehicles, Donald soon purchased several acres of farm land that would one day become the current site of the Gilmore Car Museum. Two barns and a house on the property were restored, a machine shop was built, and roadways were plotted. In 1964, he built a barn-style Carriage House that would fit in with its rural surroundings to hold his collection, now approaching nearly 30 automobiles.

Gilmore Car AdDonald also began the task of preserving several historic barns, having them dismantled board-by-board, moved to the site, and re-assembled to be repurposed as display areas for his cars. Donald dubbed his new 90-acre, private oasis “The Gilmore Collection of Early American Automobiles.” In late 1964, good friend and Palm Springs neighbor Walt Disney visited the collection and by 1966 a steam tractor, steam boat, locomotive, and re-created Wright Flyer, as well as 27 additional autos, joined the Gilmore Collection.

It was Donald’s wife Jane who suggested turning the collection into a public museum where future generations could enjoy the restored cars and their stories for years to come. The Gilmore’s established a non-profit foundation and opened the museum to the public for the first time on Sunday July 31, 1966 - fifty years ago.

While the Gilmore Car Museum started out as one man’s passion 50 years ago, today the Museum is nationally recognized for its diverse collection and examples of automotive history. Long considered one of the nation’s top three auto museums and now one of the nation’s largest with over 189,000 square feet of exhibit space, aerial of gilmore 2016it is a destination that welcomes over 100,000 worldwide guests each year and continues to build the passion, love, and history of the automobile.

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San Diego Automotive Museum - San Diego, California

San Diego photo credits:  Pandora Paul

Maker Faire Features the Museum and Our New Community Partner

Mark your calendars for October 1st and 2nd at Balboa Park launches another amazing Maker Faire.   Join fascinating and curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do.  This amazing display of innovation and resourcefulness is not to be missed!

The museum will be featuring Van Go, a special group of makers from the talented students at Washington Elementary School in Little Italy.  These clever students turn standard soap box derby cars into works of art. Three of these cars are at the museum now, and more will be built during Maker Faire.

Washington Elementary is a STEAM magnet school that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.  We are thrilled to have them as part of our creative museum family!

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Catherine Workman'sDigital Technology and Blended Learning: Museums’ Role in Modern Education
Image via Pixabay by natureaddict

Museums have always been critical facets of communities and cultures, but they were once relatively static, other than the periodic rotation of exhibits and artifacts as stored items are moved to displays and vice-versa. Today, however, museums are dynamic, ever-changing, technologically advanced organizations creating immersive experiences that blur the line between the real world and the digital world. Here’s a look at how museums today create engaging experiences for all ages.

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Virtual Tours Provide Anytime, Anywhere Accessibility

Today, it’s not necessary to visit a museum in person to experience it. While an in-person visit can certainly be more impactful, digital technology makes it possible for anyone to experience museums from anywhere in the world. The Boston Children’s Museum, for example, offers an impressive virtual tour allowing anyone to explore the museum in entirety from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

Educators teaching in districts without nearby museums may not have opportunities to take students on field trips to experience all that museums have to offer first-hand, but they can still create learning opportunities by allowing students to explore exhibits and artifacts virtually. In fact, some educators utilize virtual tours in conjunction with other classroom lessons and activities for a multi-media learning experience.

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Workshops Create Hands-On, Engaging Experiences

Some learners best acquire knowledge through hands-on experiences. Many museums today are offering interactive, hands-on workshops for children of various age groups, creating opportunities for these kinds of experiences that can help many learners acquire and retain knowledge. Particularly when combined with verbal instruction or other educational formats to meet a variety of learning styles, real-world, hands-on experiences become a valuable tool in any educator’s toolkit.

Parents can also take advantage of workshops as early learning opportunities for their children. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, for instance, offered a program in 2013 designed for children age two to five aimed at helping children learn about healthy living choices and the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Getting kids involved in hands-on learning opportunities like these at an early age helps them adapt to different instructional styles and readies them for formal classroom instruction.

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Apps and Interactive Games Enhance Knowledge Acquisition

Educators struggle to engage students with verbal instruction alone, but combining verbal instruction with visual aids and interactive technology generates interest and helps to motivate students to learn. Mobile apps and interactive games offered by some museums are valuable classroom tools that teachers can utilize to cultivate interest in subjects such as science, art, and more.

The Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) has an app as well as a fun interactive quiz, for example, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago offers a few different games enabling users to create virtual chemical reactions, take a tour of a beating human heart, create simple machines, and more. The proliferation of mobile technology makes it likely that in the near future, most museums will offer at least one virtual or interactive gaming experience, and many already do.

These tools are helpful for facilitating knowledge acquisition by gamifying concepts and processes. While a child may not recall how to build a simple machine following a verbal lesson, they’re certainly more likely to remember what fun they had helping the digital character “Twitch” build machines after dark in the virtual Museum of Science and Industry.

Museums have always been valuable entities in communities and society at large, drawing tourism and promoting cultural diversity. But today, museums are playing a much more integral role in education and in engaging young minds – a role that’s likely to grow in prominence in the coming years as more museums adopt the technology that makes blended, interactive experiences possible.

Catherine Workman has dreamt of traveling the globe since she was young. Now, that she’s grown she seeks out adventures across the U.S., whenever possible, and she’s currently planning a European backpacking trip. With her new site,, she plans to share her travel stories and hopes to encourage other young people to spread their wings.

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1914 Chautauqua Cyclecar

I'm an archivist/researcher working with a patron in upstate New York to research the history of what he thinks is a 1914 Chautauqua Cyclecar. I'm wondering if you might provide some guidance as to resources (archival collections, publications, organizations) that might yield any information about this vehicle. I've found some reference to the manufacturing in old issues of The Automobile. It was manufactured by a Harry J. Newman in Jamestown, NY. Thank you very much for your assistance.

Vicki Tobias, email:

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Austin Healey Sprite Mark

My name is Bob Lorenz and I’m an associate producer for the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum, a doc-style series which explores the history behind artifacts located in museums across the U.S. and Europe. We are currently in our eleventh season, and we’re developing a story about an Austrian named Heinz Meixner, who in 1963 rented a red Austin Healey Sprite Mark II, removed the windshield, and drove under the Berlin Wall with his fiancée and fiancee’s mother in the car. We are looking for a version of the car that Meixner drove – either a 1961 or 1962 (possibly even a 1963) red Austin Healey Sprite Mark II – to feature as our artifact for this segment. It is probably a long shot, but does the NAAM have one of those models in its collection? If not, would you by chance know who may have one, or would be able to point us in the right direction? I am sure you are quite busy, but any help that you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Bob Lorenz, email:

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Tupelo Automobile Museum

Tupelo Automobile MuseumWe have had an inquiry to identify the car in this picture which was taken at the Donner Pass in CA many years ago. Can anyone can provide us some information about the car?

Jane Spain, Tupelo Automobile Museum, email:

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