March 2004 Update
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
& The Wilhelm Reich Museum
We thank you for your continual interest and support. For newcomers to our e-mail Update list, none of the names on this list--nor the names of any Museum visitors, conference attendees or bookstore customers--are shared with any other individuals or organizations. If at any time you wish to be removed from this list, please let us know.
All previous Updates, dating from March 2004, available online.
You can access them through the Updates option at the top of this page or via the Quick Links along the left side of the page. These Updates provide the best contemporaneous accounts of the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.
Wilhelm Reich Museum Website
Documenting the History of the Museum
The Wilhelm Reich Archives
A New Book
Future Bookstore Items
We Have Speakers Available
Grant & Fundraising Conference
THE WILHELM REICH MUSEUM WEBSITE
Our website is three years old, and serves as an arm out into
the world. For many people, it is their first point of contact
with Reich's work and the Museum. And we recognize the need
to improve its content and functionality. Today that effort is
being spearheaded by Phil Eskew, a graduate of the School of
Library and Information Science at Indiana University, with
webmaster experience that includes IU's Main Library website.
To upgrade our site, Phil tells us that "Our main considerations
are architecture, content, usability, and navigation." Our revamped
website will be completed by November and will be accessible at the
same address. Our current website will remain up to date until then,
so please continue to visit us at: www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org
THE READING ROOM
Work is now underway in the Museum's Conference Building for
the creation of a Reading Room which will open in July for our
summer season. The Museum Bookstore currently sells the
most comprehensive selection of Reich's work anywhere.
These same materials, and much more, will be available for study in our
Reading Room. While no definite times have been determined, we
anticipate extended hours during the summer, and "by appointment
only" for the remainder of the year, due to staffing constraints.
DOCUMENTING THE HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine is
a one-of-a-kind school, dedicated to documenting Maine stories
through writing, photography, photo-journalism, and radio. Since
the 1970s they have been publishing a magazine and compiling a
vast archive of Maine stories. Two Salt students, writer Andrea
Maio and photographer Kiersten Hanna, are collaborating on an
article about the history of the Wilhelm Reich Museum. In the
past few weeks they have visited Orgonon several times to tour
the property and facilities, read materials, conduct interviews
and take photographs. Their article will be completed in early May.
While Museum Director Mary Higgins has no imminent plans
to retire, she is pleased to announce that Kevin Hinchey, a
member of the Board of Directors of the Wilhelm Reich
Infant Trust, will succeed her as the next museum director.
Mr. Hinchey, a film and video writer/producer, currently works
with Mary, the office staff, and the Board of Directors on business
strategy, communications issues, fundraising, event planning, and
THE WILHELM REICH ARCHIVES
The Wilhelm Reich Archives are part of the Rare Books collection
at Harvard's Countway Library of Medicine in Boston, one of the
nation's premier medical libraries. The Board of Directors
of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust continues to consult with
archivists, scholars, and Countway librarians to develop criteria
and procedures for access to the Archives in late 2007 or
A NEW BOOK
Mary Higgins is working on another book of Reich's letters and
journals. This volume will pick up where American Odyssey
left off, continuing Reich's journey from 1948 through
the 1950s. As of now, there is no publication date.
FUTURE BOOKSTORE ITEMS
High on our "to do" list is assembling a collection of medical case
histories involving the use of orgone accumulators. Originally
published in the Orgone Energy Bulletins, they've been available
only on microfilm and, consequently, are not well-known materials.
These case histories offer the reader a compelling, user-friendly
look at the experimental medical uses of the orgone accumulator.
Those who attended last year's summer conference responded
favorably to our screenings of Reich's microscopic films of the
development of bions and live cancer cells. More than one person
suggested making these films available for sale. While we don't
have the financial resources at this time to do this, our future
plans include transferring these films to DVD and selling them.
Part of this project will require translating the films' German
subtitles into English. If anyone would like to assist us on this
project in any way, please contact us.
Last November Mary Higgins spoke on "The History and Future
of the Wilhelm Reich Museum, Archives, and Infant Trust" at a
fundraiser held at the Williams Club in New York City. Her remarks
will be available on CD at some point. Again, financial constraints
preclude our moving ahead on this project at the present time.
WE HAVE SPEAKERS AVAILABLE
Are you planning an event or are you part of an organization
where you'd like to hear more about the life and legacy of
Wilhelm Reich? Or more about the Museum or The Wilhelm Reich
Infant Trust? Mary Higgins and Kevin Hinchey are each available
to speak to your group. For more details, please contact us.
GRANT & FUNDRAISING CONFERENCE
Our habit of attending seminars to explore grant and fundraising
opportunities will bring us to Rockport, Maine on March 31st for
the Philanthropy Partners Conference. Mary Henderson, our
office manager, will attend as President of Friends of the
Wilhelm Reich Museum, the non-profit organization founded in
1977 to support the development of the museum as an
educational institution. Kevin Hinchey will represent the
Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust which administers Reich's estate,
operates the Museum, and manages the Archives.
Our annual operating budget now exceeds $130,000. That's
how much it costs to maintain our 175 acre property in the
mountains of western Maine, with an infrastructure that includes
the Observatory Building, the ticket office and bookstore, the
Conference Building, two rental cottages, a workshop, a barn,
and an outdoor classroom. Plus staff salaries and office
expenses. Every year it's a struggle to cover our costs,
so fundraising is an ongoing process.
As we work to maintain and improve our Conference Building for
its many uses, including the new Reading Room, these are the
expenses that we are now focusing on:
- Heat (Conference Bldg & Reading Room) $2500
- Couch & Chairs (Conference Bldg & Reading Room) $2000
- Rug (Reading Room) $350
- Floor Painting (Conference Bldg) $1000
- DVD Player and TV (Reading Room) $500
- Staffing (Reading Room) $1500
- Lamps & Lighting (Reading Room) $300
- Side Tables (Reading Room) $200
- 100 Upholstered Stack Chairs (Conference Bldg) $2500
- Curtains with travis rods (Conference Bldg) $1500
We hope you'll support us in any way you can. Checks can be
made out to The Wilhelm Reich Museum.
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
Please share this Update with colleagues, friends, and family who may be interested in the life and legacy of Wilhelm Reich and the good works of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and The Wilhelm Reich Museum. Thank you again for your friendship and support.