Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Lyman Museum gains
Smithsonian affiliation

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> The Lyman Museum, with exhibits ranging from volcanology through Hawaiian culture to astronomy, has been named as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye announced yesterday in ceremonies at the museum.

Despite having 16 museums of its own, the Smithsonian has millions of items that it has no space to display, said Dolly Strazar, head of the Lyman Museum.

"It's 'America's collection.' They want to get it back out to the American people," Strazar said.

The result is a program in which the Lyman Museum becomes one of just 109 affiliates out of 100,000 museums nationwide. Although details remain under discussion, an example of what affiliation could mean is the return to Hawaii of "hula kii," puppets, created about 100 years ago to perform hula, Strazar said.

All items would remain the property of the Smithsonian, but exhibits could be sent here for short-term display or for long-term exhibition lasting 10 or 20 years, Strazar said.

Affiliation will not mean financial support for the Lyman Museum. Lyman will pay $2,500 annually for the status.

Lyman members can also obtain reduced-rate membership in the Smithsonian.

Lyman Museum

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