Beyond Planet Earth Exhibition to Open at the Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History has spent the last 18 months collecting artifacts ranging from space garbage to space suits for the new temporary exhibition “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration.” The exhibition, which opens to the public on November 19th, aims to illustrate the past, present and future of space exploration. The show was initiated by the museum curator and AMNH’s exhibition department, with help from the museum’s education department. All teams involved had a say in what was included in the display, and other museums, scientists, companies and collectors participated as well. “The objects from the space program are some of the most exciting objects we’ve got” said Martin Schwabacher, one of the exhibition writers. “We have real space food and real space garbage and a prototype spacesuit from MIT. At the last minute we got a Mars meteorite.” Preserving the Artifacts Transporting the objects was no simple process. Experts are required to inspect every item that arrives, and to document its condition, as well as determine the best way to preserve it. “I have an understanding of the material science, how things are potentially going to degrade, how they’re going to be affected by various environments, and that’s what I bring to the table” explained Elizabeth Nunan, the conservator of the space show. “There’s a high dork factor” she joked. Some objects are more likely to be damaged than others. “Meteorites, for example, tend to be less susceptible to environmental risks, except if they are iron-containing meteorites, then they are susceptible to relative humidity and rusting” Nunan said. She added that objects have certain “tells” that help her determine their weaknesses. For example, the bolt used by NASA to hold down the space shuttle was heavier than she expected. “When you pick up an object like this and it’s heavier than you expect, that generally means there’s some lead content, because lead is a heavy metal, and here you see rust, so that tells me there’s some iron content....

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Glass Lamps from Brooklyn on Display in the Met

Jun 23, 11 Glass Lamps from Brooklyn on Display in the Met

Posted by in Art, Museums

Pier Glass, an art glass firm in Red Hook, Brooklyn has undertaken the task of creating 16 glass lamps for the new Islamic wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The lamps are meant to recreate the look and feel of traditional Islamic lamps, which are generally ceramic. Four Years in the Making The project began over four years ago when the owners of Pier Glass, Kevin Kutch and Mary Ellen Buxton, measured two lamps from the Mamluk Dynasty, an Islamic dynasty which dates back to the mid-13th to the early 16th centuries, in order to recreate the look and feel of the ancient lamp in a more modern style. The lamp is about 14 inches tall,   10 inches wide, and weighs about 6 pounds upon completion. The modern lamps will add a local feel to the museum’s 15 new Islamic galleries. Original Lights are ‘Stunning’ “The original mosque lights, these things are absolutely stunning,” said Kutch, who has been blowing glass since 1981. “It’s a precious feeling to know our work is going to be in the museum alongside them.” It’s awesome,” agreed Buxton, his wife as well as business partner. Awesome “When we saw the first lantern hung in the museum the two of us looked up at it and just started smiling at each other,” Buxton added. “There are no words to describe seeing all 14 of these hanging in this beautiful room. Both Kevin and I were just like awed.” The Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, including Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia are scheduled to open on November 1st at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These 15 new galleries will follow the development and inter-influences of the broad variety of Islamic arts and ideas. For more information go to metmuseum.org. Pier Glass offers private lessons in the art of blowing glass. No previous experience is required. The one-on-one lesson costs $150. Call 718-237-0273 for reservations and more...

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CGJC Offers Hands On Learning to New York’s Children

May 10, 11 CGJC Offers Hands On Learning to New York’s Children

Posted by in Entertainment, Museums

The Children’s Galleries for Jewish Culture was founded in 1995 as the Jewish Children’s Learning Lab. Its mandate was to create new and exciting ways to engage and inspire children and their families to a greater appreciation and love of Jewish culture. Using the proven methods of other highly successful children’s museum’s the CGJC strives to bring the rich heritage of the Jewish people to life for its visitors. Home to Home: Jewish Immigration to America 1996 major donations allowed the Jewish Children’s Learning Lab (JCLL) to create the exhibit “From Home to Home: Jewish Immigration to America.” “Home to Home” is traveling exhibition which is entirely interactive for children ages 6 thru 12. Since it opening at the sol Goldman Y of the Educational Alliance “Home to Home” has educated and inspired children in 14 communities throughout the United States. Thirty five thousand children and adults and 250 school groups visited “Home to Home” and it was refurbished in the year 2000. From Tent to Temple: Life in the Ancient Near East In 1999 the JCLL finished developing their second traveling exhibit, “From Tent to Temple: Life in the Ancient Near East.” Its opening was in the new Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History. “Tent to Temple” was seen there from Spring 2000 until January 2001, when it changed venues to Overland Park in Kansas and then traveled to the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne. The JCLL opened a new space in February, 2002 in the gallery district of Chelsea in New York City. The space has 3400 square feet in which the newly named Children’s Galleries for Jewish Culture can better offer their exhibitions and many innovative programs to audiences in the New York area on a yearly basis. Go Explore and Play at the CGJC On May 29 from 2pm until 5pm the CGJC will allow visitors to create beautiful “ancient” jewelry with beads and sheet metal. Participants will build a miniature scene from life in the “old...

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