Skip Navigation

November-December 2010

Print
Email
ResizeResize Text: Original Large XLarge

Museum Notes

A NEW MUSEUM

A new mineral museum project is under way this fall in Granite Gap, New Mexico. The John H. Eicher Mineral Museum is being constructed a short distance north of Animas, New Mexico, about 2.5 hours' drive southeast of Tucson, just over the New Mexico border. The museum will be a blend of astronomy, mineralogy, archeology, and mining history; birding, equestrian activities, and a large lake at the site will provide recreational opportunities. Helping to bring mineral collecting to a new generation of young science-minded people is a primary goal as the project moves forward.

Rocks & Minerals welcomes museum news items and related photographs for this column. Correspondence should be directed to the editor-in-chief, 5341 Thrasher Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45247; rocksandminerals@fuse.net.

The museum is being built beside a planetarium; both will be of world-class quality. The mineral museum will contain eight galleries, including a species gallery, meteorite gallery, special/changing exhibits gallery, minerals of Arizona and New Mexico gallery, laboratory gallery (with microscopes for study), history of mining gallery, an outdoor gallery with large specimens, and a lapidary gallery that will cater to craft and jewelry projects.

The facility is named for John Harold Eicher (b. 1921), emeritus professor of organic chemistry at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), Manhattan Project scientist, and longtime mineral collector and enthusiast. Eicher's son, David J. Eicher, is editor of Astronomy magazine and is an active partner in the educational activities planned for Granite Gap.

Caption: A sketch of the Eicher Mineral Museum, now under construction in Granite Gap, New Mexico, a short distance north of Animas.

Caption: A sketch of the Eicher Mineral Museum, now under construction in Granite Gap, New Mexico, a short distance north of Animas.

SPECIAL EXHIBIT

The Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, at the University of Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia, is currently presenting the special exhibit Nature's Forms: Pattern, Texture, and Rhythm in Natural Objects. The exhibition focuses on seashells, minerals, and gems; included among many others are specimens of smoky quartz, a large polished slab of multicolored petrified wood, a 17-inch-long stalactite, pyrite crystals, and “puffballs” of mesolite crystals. The display continues until 26 June 2011.

Caption: A 21.5-cm smithsonite specimen, from the Kelly mine, Socorro County, New Mexico, part of a display currently at the Lora Robins Gallery, University of Richmond.

Caption: A 21.5-cm smithsonite specimen, from the Kelly mine, Socorro County, New Mexico, part of a display currently at the Lora Robins Gallery, University of Richmond.

MOVING EXPERIENCE

In the coming months, the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, in Houghton, Michigan, will be moving to a new on-campus building that will serve as its transitional home. Although the new structure was built to museum specifications, the long-range plan is still to move the mineral museum into two historic buildings adjacent to the Quincy mine in Hancock. When this occurs, it will free up space for other departments.

Conveniently located on Sharon Avenue, the new single-story building will enable the museum to continue to grow and will further enhance its reputation and that of the university. Museum visitors will enjoy easy access to parking shared with the university's Advanced Technology Development Complex. Visitors to the new building will enter the museum from the adjacent parking lot, through a spacious new gift shop, and into the main exhibit area. The main exhibit hall will feature sections devoted to the beauty of minerals, gems, the minerals of Michigan, the uses of minerals, sustainable mining, fluorescent minerals, a systematic (Dana) collection, and a new gallery developed around the theme of geological and mineral-forming processes. The building will also include sufficient space for current and future collection management and conservation as well as for staff offices.

Construction of the new building began in September, and plans call for the facility to begin welcoming visitors in the summer of 2011. This aggressive schedule requires that the museum be closed for an extended period of time for packing, moving, and then unpacking. Please refer to the museum website (www.museum.mtu.edu) for updates on this exciting project.

PERSONNEL CHANGES

This past June Dr. Stefan Nicolescu took over as collections manager for the Division of Mineralogy at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. He replaced Ellen Faller, who had retired from that position last year, although she now is a volunteer working with the collection.

CORRECTION

The July/August Museum Notes column ran a lovely photo by Michael Bainbridge of a serandite and analcime with manganoneptunite specimen from the collection of the Canadian Museum of Nature. The only problem was the “serandite” was inadvertently dropped from the caption. We apologize for the omission.

M.E.H.

Subscribe Become a Subscriber   |   Access for Current Subscribers Access for Current Subscribers

In this Issue

Taylor & Francis Group

© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group · 530 Walnut Street, Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA · 19106