An Invitation to Museum Professionals
- Redd Griffin from the Hemingway Museum in Oak Park asked me to pass this along to the museum community with his kind invitation to join him. This is a rare chance to meet the Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and sounds like a wonderful event.Kind regards,Dave Oberg
PRESS RELEASE FOR THE 2010 ERNEST HEMINGWAY BIRTHDAY LECTURE
Thomas Putnam Shares Hemingway Treasures from the Kennedy Presidential Library July 21 at the Hemingway Museum in Oak Park
By Deborah Preiser as Edited by Redd Griffin (708.386.5681)
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s director, Thomas J. Putnam, will present Treasures from Hemingway's Trunk: Highlights from the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Library as the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park’s 27th annual Birthday Lecture.
That there is such a legacy of Hemingway’s life and writings is due, in part, to Ernest’s early exposure to the Chicago area’s libraries, museums, schools and nature preserves. The Foundation is inviting these organizations and others to Putnam’s lecture, launching its multi-year research and education program, Great Places for Leaning. Their board and staff members will be recognized at the celebration of the 111th birthday of Hemingway, who exemplified the impact of their cultural resources.
The Foundation has also invited two relatives of William Walton, who played a major role in bringing both the Library and the Hemingway Collection into being. Walton, a close friend of both Hemingway and Kennedy, helped establish the Library and enlist the President’s aid in retrieving the author’s papers from Cuba after Fidel Castro took over.
Putnam is responsible for collecting, preserving and exhibiting the documents, audiovisual material and memorabilia of Kennedy and his administration. He is also responsible for the Library’s collection of 90% of Hemingway’s manuscript materials—the most extensive in the world.
For just over a decade in various roles at the Library, Putnam developed new museum and civic education programs, brought together urban, suburban and rural students to discuss contemporary issues, started a performance art series for families, provided a free bus program to the underserved and organized teacher institutes. He launched a website and digital archives and helped plan a 30,000 square foot addition to store Kennedy’s papers.
He initiated a Kennedy Library Forum series, “Responding to Terrorism” after 9/11, and a Dialogue in Diversity. For these programs he won the National Archives’ highest honors. .
Putnam’s career before the JFK bridged education and government. He earned a Watson Fellowship to examine education policy in Quebec and a Fulbright Scholarship in Senegal, West Africa. He directed a federally funded Upward Bound program that helped low income high school students to be the first in their families to attend college.
He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Princeton University’s Woodrow
Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
His Ernest Hemingway Birthday Lecture is Wednesday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hemingway Museum, 200 N. Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park. The Hemingway Foundation will host an open house that day from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at its Museum, allowing visitors time to meet Putnam and Walton’s relatives and see exhibits exploring the author’s life and writing in his Oak Park years and beyond.
Admission for the Birthday Lecture and Open House is $10 for Foundation Members, Seniors and Students, $20 for Non-members. For reservations, please phone (708) 848-2222 or email to ehfop@... .
Names of nearby restaurants will be available. See www.ehfop.org. The Write Inn across Oak Park Avenue from the Hemingway Museum will offer special corporate rates for guests coming to the Hemingway Birthday Lecture. Rates range from $100 to $120 per night. Call (708) 383-4800 or email welcome@....
For more information on the Kennedy Library and Museum, see www.jfklibrary.org