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September-October 2010

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Museum Notes

MUSEUMS AT DENVER

This fall the place to see some of the finest specimens museums have to offer is at the annual Denver Gem and Mineral Show (17–19 September) in the Merchandise Mart. Last year's parade of exhibits in the center aisle included those brought by no less than twenty-seven museums, making for a most noteworthy gathering of minerals, gemstones, jewelry pieces, and fossils. This year's offering promises to be just as impressive.

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 Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) will hold its fall meeting at the Mart during the Denver Show on Friday, 17 September. The board will meet at 1:30 P.M. followed by the membership meeting at 2:00. The group will also provide an exhibit at the show highlighting a chosen theme.

As detailed in the Letters column (page 395), the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, in Golden, has issued an invitation to its reception/open house the Wednesday evening, 15 September, before the Denver Show. This now-annual event has become a favorite destination for show-goers.

Another museum not to miss if you are in Denver for the show is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Mineral attractions abound in the Coors Mineral Hall: a Mexican cavern filled with immense gypsum crystals, a 6-foot wall of glistening Sweet Home mine rhodochrosite crystals, breathtaking crystallized gold specimens, and hundreds of other specimens from worldwide localities.

DESIGNED TO DAZZLE

More than sixty exquisite jewelry pieces came together for the exhibit called Pittsburgh Adorned: Classic to Contemporary that is currently on display in the Wertz Gallery of Gems and Jewelry in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The jewelry came from local private collections and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Exploring design trends of the past two hundred years, the exhibition features works by Alexander Calder, Barry Kieselstein-Cord, and David Webb as well as contemporary local designers. It can be seen through 17 October.

METEORITE ON DISPLAY

Talk about making a grand entrance, on 1 March 2009, with a sound described as a “sonic boom,” a meteorite tore a hole in the roof of a home in Cartersville, Georgia, before crashing through the ceiling and ending its cosmic journey on a bedroom floor. No one was home at the time, but the homeowner found it a few days later. A few months later, it was brought to the Tellus Science Museum, also in Cartersville, for identification.

The 294-gram meteorite is now on display in the museum along with part of the house's roof, an attic rafter, and a section of the ceiling. The unusual exhibit is located at the entrance to the museum's Weinman Mineral Gallery. The Cartersville Meteorite, as it is now called, is only the twenty-fifth meteorite found in the state and is the state's first documented case of a meteorite hitting a house.

AN ELEGANT EVENING

On 2 October the Seaman Mineral Museum Society will host a dinner-dance, the Tourmaline Ball, their annual fundraiser for the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. In addition to the usual festivities, the evening includes the twelfth annual presentation of the prestigious Dr. Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Award. Details regarding time, place, and tickets are on the museum's website: www.museum.mtu.edu.

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