2002 March 16 - 2002 August 18
"Baseball As America" was an exhibition examining the relationship between baseball and American culture. Through the exploration of a broad range of themes, including immigration, nationalism, integration, technology and popular culture, the exhibit revealed how baseball has both reflected and shaped American Society. The exhibit was organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and the items on view were culled from its collections. On view were approximately 500 of the Museum's artifacts dating from baseball's early roots in the 19th century to the present day, ranging from uniforms, balls, bats and gloves, to books, recordings, artworks and films, to historic documents, advertising and ephemera. Among the highlights were the Doubleday Ball from baseball's first game in 1939; Jackie Robinson's 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey and FDR's "Green Light" letter calling for the continuation of professional baseball to heighten morale during World War II. The exhibition was curated by a team from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, headed by Lead Curator Kristen Mueller, with John Odell, Mary Wiedeman Quinn, Erik Strohl, Tom Shieber and Kathleen Gallagher, under the direction of Ted Spencer, Vice President and Chief Curator, William Haase, Senior Vice President, and Dale Petroskey, President. Curatorial input for the American Museum of Natural History was provided by Robert Carneiro, Curator in the Museum's Division of Anthropology. The exhibition was designed by Gallagher and Associates. Oversight for the installation was provided by the Exhibition Department under the direction of David Harvey, Vice President for Exhibition. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Museum presented a broad array of public programs developed by the Department of Education. The exhibit was on view in Gallery 3 of the American Museum of Natural History from March 16 though August 18, 2002. In addition, the cornerstone of Ebbets Field was on display in the Museum's Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, and six seats from the Polo Grounds were on display at the entrance to Museum's Rose Center. After its premiere at the Museum, the exhibition travelled to 9 other museums across the United States. The national tour was sponsored by Ernst & Young.
Individuals and institutions involved in the creation of the exhibition: The National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New Yor; Kristen Mueller; John Odell, Mary Wiedemen Quinn, Erik Strohl; Tom Shieber; Kathleen Gallagher; Ted Spencer; William Haase; Dale Petroskey; Robert Carneiro; David Harvey.
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