On Aug. 11, several Friends volunteered in the safe transfer of a valuable ichthyosaur fossil from one museum storage location to another.

     Curator of Natural History Sali Underwood, center, directs Robert Riemer, at left, and Wayne Pichler in the delicate operation.

     The ichthyosaur is an extinct sea reptile. It is Nevada’s state fossil.  “Ichthyosaur” is Greek for “fish lizard.”

      Volunteerism is part of the mission of the Friends of Nevada State Museum Las Vegas. Some Friends are helping to assemble a herbarium that emphasizes plant species which serve as host plants for Nevada butterflies and moths. Other volunteers are transcribing the museum library’s index cards to create a digital card catalogue. One volunteer has been working with the museum’s guest curator of textiles and costuming to preserve and display stage costumes from Las Vegas casino shows.

     At various public events many Friends have staffed information tables to spread the word on both the state museum and the Friends.

You’re invited to a panel discussion and reception at 1 p.m. on Aug. 12 to mark the opening of a new museum exhibit, “The Artistry of Pete Menefee, Costume Design for the Nevada Stage.”

     Costume designer Pete Menefee will be present at the event. He did costuming for shows on the Las Vegas Strip, including “Jubilee” and “Splash.”

     Other panelists include stage professionals who did dancing, wardrobe work and costume archiving.


     The Friends of Nevada State Museum Las Vegas has received a $3,915 grant from the Nevada Humanities Council, made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

     The Friends’ grant will allow the museum to replenish the trunks which local teachers can borrow when students are studying Nevada topics such as mining or the Mojave Desert. Each trunk contains artifacts and teaching resources related to its specific theme.

     We thank Stacy Irvin, the museum’s education curator, for her assistance in completing the grant application.

     For 43 years, the Nevada Humanities Council has provided opportunities for Nevadans to explore and understand the world around them. It creates programs and support projects that define the Nevada experience, feature local culture and heritage, and facilitate the investigation of ideas that matter to Nevadans and their communities.

     To meet the Nevada Council’s auditing requirements, Friends president Mary Savage and treasurer Laura Eisenberg recently met with accountant Cindy Howard. We thank her for helping the officers select and set up accounting software.



     Wayne Pichler and Mary Savage manned an informational booth on behalf of the Friends at a July 6 event at which the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas and the Las Vegas News Bureau asked members of the public to help identify historical photos in their archives.


     The museum and the Las Vegas News Bureau are jointly sponsoring “Undiscovered Vegas” on July 6, an evening at which they will present unlabeled but interesting photographs from their archives in hopes that audience members will be able to provide names of people depicted, as well as info on each photo’s context.

     The Friends are seeking volunteers to staff an informational table about our organization at “Undiscovered Vegas.” If you are available, please send an email to members@nsmlv.org.

     The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road.





     Thank you to all who helped staff the Friends’ informational booth at the genealogy fair held June 11 at the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson. Pictured are two who volunteered: Barbara Ciocca, at left, and Margurite Walton.

     Insect scientist John Dooley, retired from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, enthralled attendees of the Friends’ June 15 meeting by talking about his volunteer work at the museum, which entails identifying and organizing the museum’s extensive butterfly collection.


     The Friends have recruited a professor and several students in UNLV’s entertainment engineering program to come up with a better donation box for the museum! The goal is to increase impromptu financial gifts by museum visitors.

     The UNLV team will design and build a donation box that is interactive — which will encourage giving by using lights or motion or a clever motif, shape or coloring.

     This project is a step further than the Friends’ initial suggestion for museum staff to place the present generic donation box in more a prominent location. Simply moving the box from a wall to the center of the hallway to the galleries has resulted in a significant increase in donations.

     UNLV’s Professor Si Kim is overseeing this student project. The box’s construction is made possible by a $300 donation from an anonymous Friend. The deadline for completion is at the end of December.

    The photo shows Professor Kim, at far left, and his students standing behind the present donation box. The team did a site visit to the museum in May to scope out the museum’s theming and floor plan.

     Thank you, Design Team!

     Decipher the past by studying the trash!

     Death Valley National Park archeologist Wanda Raschkow will unravel the mysteries of old trash such as bottles and cans, using artifacts from the desert and a hands-on activity.

     She will speak at the museum 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, as part of Nevada’s Historic Preservation and Archaeological Awareness Month.

     Free with Springs Preserve admission or museum membership. (Friends membership is not the same as museum membership.)

     Trish Geran, author of “Beyond the Glimmering Lights: Pride and Perseverance of African Americans in Las Vegas,” is the featured guest at the May 18 general meeting of the Friends.

     Her book combines a memoir about her Aunt Magnolia with a history of the Las Vegas black community.

     Geran will talk about Las Vegas’ “Westside” — which is short-hand for a central district in the Las Vegas Valley that was traditionally inhabited by blacks — and about the F Street Project, a successful efforts to re-open F Street, an artery into the Westside neighborhood, which had been closed off by road design.