MHM in the News:
NY Times: 36 Hours in Marin County
Northbay Bohemian: Rewriting History
Marin Independent Journal: Marin History Museum Opens New Exhibit Space
Marin Scope: Get into the Halloween spirit with Boyd House tour
Marin IJ: MHM Exhibit Shows How Golden Gate Changed the CountY:
Main IJ: Vandal Shatters Window at 133 year old Marin History Museum:
MHM Announces its New Mobile App!
Download the app here!
Check out a video of the app here!
The Marin History Museum (MHM), based in San Rafael, joins a select group of
prominent institutions with the launch of the Marin History Museum smartphone
Application. The Museum is one of less than a dozen museums nationally that have
developed applications as part of their public offerings. Other institutions that have
developed museum apps include the New York MOMA, the Smithsonian Institutions,
the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Natural History.
The Marin History Museum App officially launches on April 26th, and will give users
access to the largest and most extensive collection of Marin County related historic
content. The non-profit Marin History Museum is the steward of the largest collection
of artifacts, photographs and ephemera related to Marin County and the Museum is
solely supported by community donations and contributions of individual donors. The
museum is fortunate to have received a generous donation to fund this application,
as the majority of museum apps that are developed by large institutions are done so
with significantly higher budgets and resources. Marin History Museum is doing a lot
with a little and the app puts MHM on the map, too. This app allows MHM to join the
ranks of some heavy-hitting cultural organizations and according to Kaufman, "we are
thrilled to be the only county history museum with such an advanced mobile
application. This is an exciting era in our own organization's history and we are so
grateful to have this opportunity to share this resource with Marin".
The Marin History Museum App allows users to travel through the history of Marin
County by viewing an interactive map of the county with over 250 points of historical
interest marked by geo-coded icons within the first week of its launch. Users can click
each icon to gain access to virtual exhibitions of audio, video, and licensable
photographs from the vast Marin History Museum Archives. The historic photos are
drawn from MHM's archives and collections. Additional features allow you to create
your own "virtual tour" of Marin County's Historic hotspots and give users GPS-like
proximity to historic sites. "It's a great educational tool and tremendous resource for
Marin residents and visitors alike to learn more about the history all around them and
it's impact on the history of California," said George Thelen, Museum Volunteer and
Project Manager on the App. "This App will ultimately give users access to a vast
'Virtual Museum' of Marin History Museum digitized content & archives." While the
majority of museum apps are directly related to an onsite exhibit, the MHM
app goes beyond the brick and mortar walls or the Museum and allows users to
explore the rich history of beautiful Marin County.
Of the 250 historic locations marked on the map, there are ancient Miwok Indian
sites, historic residences, regional & local historical societies, movie filming locations,
state & national historic landmarks and more than 75 historic shipwrecks off the
Marin Coast dating back to 1595. Each mapped site includes an image and text
describing its historic significance. The App will be updated monthly and is available
for FREE for a limited time on iPhone, iPad and Android platforms online on the APP
The Marin History Museum App was made possible by a donation from Marin County resident,
Michael J. Sullivan for Catherine Coffey, and was created in a partnership between the
Museum and ClearMetrics, developer of the popular Time Shutter, San Francisco Application.
We have an exciting *NEW* membership benefit!
MHM is now a participating member of the North American Reciprocal Museums (NARM) program. Now, if you join Marin History
Museum at the Contributing ($100) Level or higher you will receive: Reciprocal membership at 600+ Museums and Galleries
in North America! Some regional museums included in this program, where you can receive free or discounted admission include:
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco:
DeYoung and The Legion of Fine of Arts,
Sacramento Museum of History,
Crocker Museum of Art,
Oakland Museum of California,
Berkeley Art Museum,
Museum of Craft and Design,
Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts,
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art,
San Mateo County History Museum,
Asian Art Museum
or, Click Here
for a full list of NARM-affiliated museums and galleries
Join, or upgrade your membership today to take advantage of this great new benefit!
To renew your membership, or sign up to become a member,
click here or email
call 454-8538 ext 2#.
Marin History Museum Announces New Director
SAN RAFAEL, California November 17, 2011 -- The Marin History Museum Board of Directors
has appointed Michelle Sarjeant Kaufman
as its new Director commencing August 1, 2011. "Michelle combines a strong museum-based
education with hands-on experience that will be key to managing the Museum today and realizing
our potential tomorrow," says Board President Carleton Prince. "We're delighted that she will
continue our 76-year tradition of skilled leadership and professional passion."
Kaufman is a Marin native who for nearly five years has served as the Collections Manager for the Museum,
and more recently has overseen the daily operations at the flagship Boyd Gate House in San Rafael and the
Collections & Research Facility in Novato. Kaufman graduated from John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley
with a Master's Degree in Museum Studies in June 2009 and also holds a Bachelor's Degree with a double major
in Art History and British Literature from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Before joining
the Museum, she worked with such prominent museums as the Oakland Museum of California and the Charles M.
Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa. Prior occupations include running her own freelance
photography business, working as an accountant, and working as a book conservator. Michelle co-authored
the Marin History Museum's next book available March 19, 2012, entitled Modern San Rafael: 1940-2000,
with the Museum's Librarian Jocelyn Moss; and is the photography editor for the soon-to-be published
book on San Francisco's State Belt Railroad.
"To lead the Museum's mission to 'inspire honor for the past, an understanding of the present, and an
imagination of the future' is a tall order in these challenging economic times," observes Prince, "but
Michelle is the right person to meet those challenges and turn them into opportunities."
The Marin History Museum is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1935 and has procured an
unparalleled collection of artifacts, photographs and archives that are used to inform, innovate and
delight. The Museum has two buildings, the Boyd Gate House in San Rafael, and the Collections & Research
Facility in Novato. The Boyd Gate House is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11-4 and the
Collections & Research Facility, is open to researchers by appointment. For more information, call (415) 454-8538.
Marin History Museum Podcast
Series Wins Prestigious Award
The Marin History Museum was the proud recipient of the Dave Byrd Certificate of Meritorious Performance and Promise Award, given to an individual, organization, or agency accomplishing an outstanding contribution to the promotion of history. This award, bestowed upon the Museum by the California Council for the Promotion of History is one of the top historical honors of its kind. The award was announced Monday October 10th, and will be formally presented to the Museum at the annual California Council for the Promotion of History conference in Riverside on October 22nd.
Launched in April 2011, the Marin History Museumís podcast series is researched and narrated by professional voice-over actor and MHM volunteer, George Thelen. The series is a tool to educate, inform and entertain audiences on the history of Marin County and gives the public access to the vast collection of materials and information in the Marin History Museums ever expanding archives. The series covers the people, places and things that made Marin County what it is, and is in keeping with Marin History Museumís mission to preserve the past while building the future.
Episode Artwork for
the Marin History Museumís
Award Winning Podcast Series
Evelyn Radford donates Vera Schultz Tapes
The Marin History Museum Library has received a donation of audio tapes of Vera Schultz talking about her life. The tapes were donated by Evelyn Radford who wrote the biography of Mrs. Schultz titled Vera.
Vera Schultz was the first woman elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1952. She was very active as a supervisor but is best remembered for contacting Frank Lloyd Wright to engage him as the architect for the new Marin County Civic Center. As she herself said, “Why not the best?” She had to support the decision to hire Wright through many problems that arose along the way. Vera overcame them all. The finished product, the Marin County Civic Center, was immediately seen as an architectural treasure and has been named a state and national landmark
The donor of the tapes, Evelyn “Peggy” Radford has a PHD from the University of Hawaii and has taught history many years at local colleges. Vera Schultz contacted her in 1994 to help write her life history. Dr. Radford had already written the book, The Bridge and the Building about the Marin County Civic Center. She was able to take the research for this book and tapes recorded by Vera Schultz to produce a comprehensive biography. The tapes received in the Marin History Museum Library will be catalogued and digitized to make them available for researchers and historians.
“Saucelito” Ferry Painting Restored!
The 1877 painting of the “Saucelito” ferry has been fully conserved, and was returned to the Marin History Museum August 12th. Sebastopol-based conservator Antoinette Dwan successfully returned the painting to its original beauty, in spite of the delicate and compromised condition of the paper. Dwan devoted many hours to conserving this irreplaceable piece of art. Her efforts have revived a painting that was previously unknown to the maritime community.
The Saucelito after recent conservation by Antoinette Dwan.
Condition of the painting as it was received by conservator
As noted in Dwan’s notes “the painting was disfigured by staining, [was] distorted, and [was] attached to a poor quality mount.” The painting was secured in its frame with three wooden shingles. The gaps between the shingles exposed the paper to the elements, thereby creating two prominent vertical stripes. Dwan noted that “the painting was also framed touching the glass on the front and hiding the edges and signature. The painting has been poorly lined with a backing paper that distorts [it].”
With so many complicating factors, and all the difficulties associated with each one, Dwan needed to apply her conservation efforts carefully and at a measured pace.
Conservation measures taken
Antoinette Dwan’s first challenge was to remove the painting from its frame and backing cardboard. After this was accomplished, she placed the painting on the suction table, using this tool to help reduce the stains; however efforts were limited by the painting’s sensitivity. Dwan was also able to minimize the distortions which were caused by an uneven application of the original adhesive. After this she lined the painting with two different types of Japanese tissue and touched up painted areas with gouache (a water-based pigment), the painting was secured with Japanese hinges along all edges and attached to a custom-made archival panel.
Dwan also discovered that the original white gouache, used extensively in the painting for the white ferry and waves, was a lead-based white paint. This was especially sensitive to reducing agents which limited treatment options. She notes, “this is a very fragile painting and conservation was not able to stabilize all condition issues. The delicate gouache prevented washing treatments to reduce the wood stains.”
What we’ve discovered
The Bard brothers were twins, James and John, born in 1815. They began their painting careers early, being recognized for their work by the age of 12. They were known to have painted jointly on their canvasses, but it is unknown how the work was divided because they worked so closely together. After some research into their lives, we have discovered that John passed away in 1856 at the age of 41. James Bard lived another 41 years before passing away at the age of 82 in 1897. When conservator Antoinette Dwan removed the “Saucelito” from its frame the signature and date were revealed. We now know that the painting was signed by “J. Bard” in 1877, confirming that James was the sole artist.
Through research we also discovered that the original Saucelito ferry was built alongside her sister, the San Rafael, by Benjamin C. Terry of Keyport, New Jersey in 1870. Both ferries were fabricated in modules in Brooklyn then transported in pieces by train across the United States before being reconstructed in the San Francisco Bay. These ferries were the only ferries to reach the west coast in this manner.
James Bard painted the Saucelito in gouache, graphite and gold leaf. Due to the delicacy of the paper and media, it can only be displayed for a limited time in a place with low light and temperature control. MHM is currently seeking an appropriate space to display the painting, and we welcome suggestions. To contact our Collections Manager, Michelle Kaufman, please call 415-382-0770, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the Bards, contact our Librarian, Jocelyn Moss, and make an appointment to read The Bard Brothers, Painting America Under Steam and Sail, by Anthony J., Jr. Peluso & the Mariners' Museum. To contact conservator Antoinette Dwan, call or email her at 707-824-4742 or email@example.com.
Riding the Rails Exhibition Honored
On June 13, 2009, the Marin History Museum received the Award of Merit from the North Western Pacific Railroad Historical Society for our exhibition Riding the Rails: Marin's Historic Trains. Chief Curator Dawn Laurant and Curatorial Assistant Holly Gallagher accepted the award on behalf of the Museum.
Museum Receives American Heritage Preservation Grant
The Marin History Museum has been awarded a 2009 American Heritage Preservation Grant, a special initiative of the Conservation Project Support Program in partnership between Institute of Museum and Library Services and Bank of America.
The award will fund MHM's restoration of a fragile mid-twentieth century painting The Saucelito by James and John Bard portraying the maritime history of Marin County. Once treated, the painting will be on exhibit in a gallery with the model of the second ferryboat Sausalito, providing an opportunity for visitors to see the two ships together for the first time.
Wells Fargo donates $10,000 for Brady Collection
Wells Fargo recently donated $10,000 to support the Museum in preserving and cataloging its collection of 65,000 aerial photographs (including prints and negatives) by Ed Brady of Aero Photographers Inc. (API). This collection documents Marin County and California from above from the 1950s through 1980s.
Museum Receives California Heritage Council Award
The California Heritage Council, dedicated to preserving and honoring those places and buildings that have given quality and distinction to the cultural life of California, recently recognized the Marin History Museum for its restoration and preservation of the Boyd Gate House, built in 1879. Executive Director Merry Alberigi accepted the award on behalf of the Museum at the Council’s 46 th Annual Award Ceremony on Thursday, June 22, at the Presidio Golf Club in San Francisco.
Alberigi gratefully acknowledged Museum Board Member and California Heritage Council Member Richard Torney, who nominated the Boyd Gate House for the award. Torney has been instrumental in overseeing the preservation of the building for the past twenty years. Other organizations honored that evening include the Castro Theatre (San Francisco), Napa River Inn/The Still House at Greystone (Napa), San Mateo County Court House and Museum (Redwood City) and Swedenborgian Church (San Francisco).
MHM Donations and Support
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MHM wins Readers' Choice for Best Museum in Marin in The Bohemian's
Best of the North Bay 2008