Georgia Museum of Agriculture

Museum Assistant Director and Curator Polly Huff (center) accepted three awards for the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at ABAC from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries (GAMG).  Pictured with Huff are, from left, David Moore, GAMG Awards Chair and Dr. Katherine Lewis, GAMG president.

TIFTON — Cited as a “very deserving recipient,” the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College captured three statewide awards at the recent annual meeting of the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries.

Museum Assistant Director and Curator Polly Huff joined 120 museum professionals from across the state for the meeting which honored the best in the industry across the state of Georgia.

Huff said the Museum received the Best Museum Exhibit Award; Best Museum Gallery Event Award, and the Best Educational Program Award. Presenting the awards were Dr. Catherine Lewis, Georgia Association President, and Awards Committee Chair David Moore.

“We are very pleased to present this trifecta of awards to a very deserving recipient,” said Lewis.  “Our members represent a good cross section of the museums and galleries in Georgia’s communities, large and small. We are happy to honor institutions, staff members, volunteers, patrons, exhibits, and special projects that have excelled in providing inspiring programs and leadership.”   

The Best Museum Exhibit Award honored the Museum’s project, “Women’s Faces,” which was a special curated exhibit featuring the work of traditional potters Janice and Pat Shields, along with the montage “Faces Make Places” created by the Tifton 20th Century Library Club.  

“The Tifton 20th Century Library Club helped us to honor more than 400 exceptional Tifton women in this exhibit,” Huff said.  “I think everyone really enjoyed it.”

The Museum also received the Best Museum Gallery Event Award for the project “The Cotton Mill Children-Tifton’s Impact on America.”  Huff said Museum staff members collaborated with Tifton public relations firm The Big Picture to create a traveling exhibit showcasing the story of five photographs taken in 1909 at the Tift Cotton Mill Village.

Huff worked with historian Joe Manning to tell the story of child labor in the early 1900s and uncover the story of the Young family featured in the five Lewis Hine photographs.  At the exhibit opening, more than 100 descendants of the children in the photos traveled to Tifton to meet some of their relatives for the first time.  They also heard Manning tell the incredible story of their family.  South Georgia Banking Company, one of the Museum’s community partners, helped to make Manning’s visit possible.

Huff said the Museum’s multifaceted educational outreach program was the key reason the Museum won the Best Educational Program Award.  The outreach program includes tours and workshops for students, adult skills classes and demonstrations, summer youth camps, and a unique and thriving Youth Apprentice program.

The Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries is a private, non-profit statewide organization dedicated to encouraging growth and improving professional practices of museums and non-profit galleries throughout the state.

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