Test Launch: Prototype for a Space Age Museum
Curated by Peter Kleeman
November 28 – January 29 **extended through February 27**
On view during Open Hours, Bushel programs, by chance, and by appointment
(for appointments, email email@example.com)
** OPEN HOURS UPDATE: The exhibition will be open for viewing on Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon–2 pm. Any additional open hours will be announced on our Instagram. For a viewing appointment, please do not hesitate to email us! **
Thursday, December 16, 3:30pm
“The Frontier Proxy: Material Links between Astronomical Illustration and the Western Tropes of the American Space Age” Live screening of a lecture by Lois Rosson, as part of the Seminar on Contemporary Science Technology and Culture
A first-time collaboration between Bushel and a local institution-in-formation, TEST LAUNCH: Prototype for a Space Age Museum introduces Delaware County resident Peter Kleeman’s work as a historian and curator of the cultural history of space exploration, displaying highlights from the Kleeman family’s extensive collection of folk art, graphic design, amusement rides, vintage snapshots, space toys, trade stimulators, and other outer space-related material culture.
Kleeman is exploring the possibility of expanding this family collection into a local museum and educational institution in Delaware County. Among the questions such an expansion will consider are: How have visions of a future “out there” entered popular culture since the beginning of the Space Age, and how have they changed? How have recent developments in space tourism and private space programs changed the narrative about humans traveling into space? How are historic and current tensions about resource allocation “out there” and “down here” evolving, and where can they lead? Is it possible to reframe space exploration as a shared endeavor that needs to be maintained in dialog with collective responsibilities to nurture our home planet and a shared future? Kleeman uses the playful forms of robots, rocket ships, flying saucers, astronauts, aliens, ray guns, and extra-terrestrial worlds to encourage viewers to contemplate serious questions concerning life on planet Earth.
“Test Launch” will allow Kleeman to gather feedback from visitors in person during Open Hours, during an online forum, and on-site as part of the installation itself.
Visitors of all ages are welcome, and group tours can be arranged; please note that while many of the artifacts on display were initially intended to be toys, they are fragile and cannot be handled by visitors.
In addition to curating and directing the development of Space Age Museum, Peter Kleeman has worked as a historian at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum where he still volunteers as a researcher and consultant. He holds an MA in Public History from UMass Amherst and lives in Hobart, NY.
image: Stupka, Christmas 1968, 1969, embroidery fiber art (detail), found locally in Treadwell.
This exhibition program was made possible with funds from the Delaware County Arts Grants, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group.