New competition for the country's oldest, and currently only, ad museum could come from up to three other cities. The William F. Eisner Advertising Museum is slated to open in Milwaukee next October. There are also moves to open museums for international advertising in Tokyo and Toronto by the year 2000.
YEAR OF TRANSITION
The past year has been difficult for the American Advertising Museum as it was forced to look for a new home. "It's been a transitional year for us," said Jan Kurtz, national director.
In August 1994, the museum lost the lease to its permanent exhibition site and offices, sending the organization on a six-month search for a new location. The museum now has a new display space and offices, but the full permanent collection may not be on display till the end of 1996.
The 8-year-old museum's traveling exhibition program has continued to thrive. Ms. Kurtz played down the importance of a permanent collection display and said that most museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, have developed traveling national exhibits to increase exposure and fund-raising.
The advertising museum's current traveling exhibition is titled "Dream Girls: Images of Women in Advertising." Next May, it plans to debut "Driving the American Dream: 100 Years of Auto Advertising" in Detroit.
Funding is another concern for the museum. Ms. Kurtz estimates she needs $150,000 annually to run the institution, and she plans to start a regular membership club to bring in more money.
LOCATION IS A CHALLENGE
Ms. Kurtz agreed part of the museum's problems in the past year could stem from its Pacific Northwest location.
"Yes, certainly having a location that is removed from the heart of the industry makes fund-raising a challenge," she said.
Ms. Kurtz said she isn't worried about competition.
She has already had discussions about sharing resources with organizers of the Milwaukee ad museum. Plans are being made to cooperate on a "Century of Advertising History" display that would be a permanent feature at both museums.