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  • Fans donate to the Museum of the Moving Image

    Once upon a time, a major B5 fan saw an item on Ebay that struck the fan as being a piece of B5 history that shouldn't just disappear into a private collection only to be appreciated by a few. The item was a genuine G'Kar face prosthetic, mounted on a life mask of Andreas Katsulas with excellent provenance to support its origin. The fan, known as Amy G here, wanted to obtain the prosthetic for the purpose of donating it to a museum where it could be appreciated by many fans.

    Unfortunately, the item was *very* expensive and Amy couldn't swing it on her own so she put out a call to other fans to see if enough would chip in to help her obtain it.

    Think about it. She called on people who mostly knew her only online to send her possibly hundreds of dollars to buy an item they'd never even see in person. It worked. Not the first try, but the next time the item was listed, enough folks agreed to help that Amy was able to bid on and get the G'Kar prosthetic.

    And now, at long last, it's in its new home and on display online. Here's the press release from the Museum of the Moving Image.

    FANS OF THE TELEVISION SERIES ‘BABYLON 5’ POOL THEIR MONEY
    TO DONATE A SPECIAL-EFFECTS MASK TO MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE
    New York, NY, June 20, 2008—Eleven fans of the epic science fiction
    television series Babylon 5 (1994-98)—all previously
    unknown to one another, and living in places from Washington
    State to England—have bought a pristine prosthetic mask used on
    the show and donated it to Museum of the Moving Image. Worn by
    actor Andreas Katsulas in his role as the exiled alien ambassador
    G’Kar, the mask had been put up for auction on eBay. The donors
    pooled their resources to purchase it and then gave it as a gift to
    the Museum, so that the mask would be accessible to fans and to
    the general public.
    Jan
    proud to be part of the group of donors
    Last edited by Jan; 06-26-2008, 12:57 PM.
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Congratulations to all involved in this worthwhile project.

    Perhaps everyone could also give thought to any truly unique collectibles they have, and what should happen to them when they no longer want them or have use for them (i.e. dead). Having a plan for these items could allow these unique items to live on for future B5 fans.
    What a wonderful world you live in. -
    Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

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    • #3
      Do they have a copy of the scripts? Is it too late to try and pull off something like that?

      Comment


      • #4
        At some point, some museum will end up with my script collection. But not while I'm still alive and playing with them!

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #5
          I'd think that a library would be a better place for the scripts. The Museum of the Moving Image seems more about the physical aspects of making screen magic. Great words such as JMS's do deserve an honorable resting place, but that might not be it.

          Hey, there's also the Museum of Television and Radio, which might be more appropriate for that sort of thing. (And I'm such a Simpsons' fan, I can't help but think "The Museum of TV and Television" anytime that place is mentioned.)

          Jan, thanks for the succinct telling of the tale (I'm sure I would have been MUCH more wordy! )

          Amy

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          • #6
            Well done to Amy and all those who contributed. A fitting tribute to the actor and the show.

            A problem with libraries is that they often tend to split up collections and mess around with them (I do have some experience of them.) They also have issues in dealing with stuff that is not bound printed material in origin. (I'm guessing Jan's scripts are not...) A good archive or museum will box, catalogue and preserve any artefact they deem to be of value, and are more likely to keep a collection together. Some of the biggest museum collections I've seen have been of personal manuscripts and writings. Even so, you should scout around. MOMI is one, but are there any other sci-fi museums in the states ? Does Forest J/ Ackerman's private collection still exist in museum form ?
            Last edited by Darth_librarian; 06-27-2008, 03:18 AM.
            "Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance."
            -- Lyndon Baines Johnson, February 11, 1964

            -- "Gun's don't kill people, rappers do" The GLC

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            • #7
              That's truly great! Congrats to Amy and all involved!
              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Darth_librarian View Post
                Some of the biggest museum collections I've seen have been of personal manuscripts and writings. Even so, you should scout around. MOMI is one, but are there any other sci-fi museums in the states ?
                There's Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum in Seattle:

                http://www.empsfm.org/

                Although, they didn't have room for the G'Kar mask. At least, not at the time that we approached them.

                Say, Jan, crazy thought: why don't you ask Joe where he'd like his scripts to end up? Maybe he has an archive or museum of preference. My money is on the Paley Center/Museum of Radio and Television (http://www.mtr.org/).

                Amy

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                • #9
                  Is it currently on display?

                  I'm thinking about an NYC day trip sometime later in the summer and just might swing by...
                  Got movies? www.filmbuffonline.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is on display, but sadly, only in the online collection. The Museum has just broken ground on a new facility, which is unfortunately located on the grounds of their old facility, which means that they are not open to the public until that building gets finished. Probably early 2010.

                    It's a little disappointing, but it was still the right place to donate it, and when the Museum reopens its physical doors I promise to make a big fuss about it here and on the newsgroup so peopel can start planning their roadtrips!

                    Amy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jan View Post
                      At some point, some museum will end up with my script collection. But not while I'm still alive and playing with them!

                      Jan
                      Was it that obvious who I was refering to?
                      What a wonderful world you live in. -
                      Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Small update to this: the Babylon Podcast interviewed me about the museum donation for this week's installment (#119). If you'd like to hear it, you can get the podcast via iTunes or directly from their RSS, or download the mp3 from their site:

                        http://www.babylonpodcast.com/2008/0...cast-show-119/

                        Enjoy,

                        Amy

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