Some of the many volunteers and staff who assisted with the
Gunn Museum's Civil War Commemoration.
First row: David Babington, Ann Quackenbos, Sandy Booth, Samantha Heberton.
Second row: Stephen Bartkus, Paula Krimsky, Keith Templeton, Michael Bird
Third row: Richard Kleinberg, Nancy Chute, Sarah Griswold, Willie Smith
Fourth row: Douglas Schlicher, Zachary Bodnar, Chris Zaima
Gunn Museum Wins Three Prestigious AwardsThe Gunn Memorial Museum was recognized for its commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011. The public exhibit, "Letters from the Battlefield: Stories of Washington's Civil War Soldiers," was created by Museum staff and volunteers and incorporated a scholar lecture series as well as a social studies project with the 8th grade students of Shepaug Valley Middle School. This innovative work garnered three awards:
- Award for Excellence in Public History from The Society of Civil War Historians with a $5,000 prize from the Blue and Gray Education Society;
- Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations; and
- Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History.
The Civil War exhibit highlighted the artistic talents of designer Chris Zaima and Washington artist Keith Templeton and guest curator Thomas Zanavich, in addition to the creative resources of a strong contingency of others. "We are extremely fortunate to have a solid core of capable and interested people who volunteer their time and talent", noted Gunn Memorial's Executive Director Jean Chapin. "Our institution achieves at a high level because of the support we receive directly from members of the community. These dedicated history buffs, along with Curator Stephen Bartkus, are to be commended for their work."
The national competition for the Award for Excellence in Public History ranged from a small historical society on an island off the coast of Maine to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Anne Rubin, President of The Society of Civil War Historians, praised the Gunn Museum for "creating an exemplary public history project, one that educated, engaged, and in many cases, involved, the community. This exhibit and lecture series brought the public into and behind the scenes of the museum, should serve as a model for other local museums, and is more than deserving of this award."
Each year the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) presents Awards of Merit in recognition of outstanding institutional and individual contributions that enhance and further the knowledge and understanding of Connecticut history. The Gunn Museum is one of twelve recipients of the CLHO 2011 Award of Merit.
The Leadership in History Award, now in its 67th year, is conferred by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and is one of the nation's most prestigious awards for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. This year the AASLH will confer 59 national awards at their annual conference Salt Lake City, Utah.
New volunteers and student interns are always welcome to join the Gunn Museum's award-winning team. Call the Museum at 860-868-7756 for more information about volunteering.
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