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September-October 2013

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Museum Notes

SCHOOL OF MINES UPDATE

In our July/August issue, the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum issued an open invitation to their reception to be held from 6 to 9 P.M. on 11 September of this year, the Wednesday prior to the Denver Show (13–15 September). Now comes news of a few of the temporary exhibits on loan especially for the event. Martin Zinn will be displaying some of his tourmalines from worldwide localities and Dennis Streetman will exhibit some of his spectacular rhodochrosites. Plus arrangements are being made for a display of Colorado fluorites. All this is in addition to the museum's renowned permanent and rotating displays.

CURATORS HONORED

During its monthly meeting this past April, the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club (CCRMC) unveiled a new case in the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, which is part of Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. In so doing, the club dedicated the case in honor of Dr. George Robinson, curator, and his wife, Susan, honorary curator, in recognition of their contributions to the mineral hobby during George's many years at the museum (at that time, his retirement was only two months away). The Robinsons were also presented with a few gifts from the club in appreciation of all they had accomplished.

The April dedication of the case given to the Seaman Museum in honor of Susan and George Robinson by the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club (CCRMC). From left: The Robinsons, Norm Gruber (president, CCRMC), and Ted Bornhorst (director, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum).

The April dedication of the case given to the Seaman Museum in honor of Susan and George Robinson by the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club (CCRMC). From left: The Robinsons, Norm Gruber (president, CCRMC), and Ted Bornhorst (director, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum).

The CCRMC sponsored the building of the handsome freestanding exhibit case for the Lake Superior Iron Ranges Gallery to house the museum's finest specimens from that district. The case, which is approximately 6 × 3 × 6 feet, was custom-built by the same local craftsman who designed and built the museum's new exhibit cases as well as oversaw the removal of the wall cases from the Seaman's former home and their installation in the new facility.

A ROARIN' GOOD TIME

On 13 June, the Cincinnati Museum Center welcomed some of the largest and most unusual dinosaurs to have ever roamed the planet in the U.S. premiere of Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana. The exhibition, which will continue at the museum through December, features a combination of real dinosaur skeletons and twenty full-scale skeletal casts surrounded by lifelike environmental murals. Visitors come face-to-face with these giant creatures through the use of Augmented Reality, layering virtual experiences over real environments and bringing the dinosaurs to life during the twilight of the Age of Dinosaurs. In addition, there's a Dino Adventure Trail for children as well as a variety of hands-on activities.

Two of the many dinosaur skeletons now on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The 42-foot dinosaur in the foreground, Giganotosaurus, is possibly the largest land predator that ever lived.

Two of the many dinosaur skeletons now on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The 42-foot dinosaur in the foreground, Giganotosaurus, is possibly the largest land predator that ever lived.

As a companion to the exhibition, the museum's Omnimax Theater is showing the film Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia.

DIRECTOR HIRED

Barbra van der Schow Barrett was recently named as director of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum (MMGM), located on Main Street in Bethel, Maine. She came to the museum in July 2012 as chief of operations of the still-developing facility and worked in that capacity until her promotion this past spring.

Barbra Barrett, new director of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, shown holding a beryl crystal section from the Songo Pond quarry (formerly known as Kimball Ledge quarry) in Albany, Oxford County, Maine, a site about 4 miles from the museum.

Barbra Barrett, new director of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, shown holding a beryl crystal section from the Songo Pond quarry (formerly known as Kimball Ledge quarry) in Albany, Oxford County, Maine, a site about 4 miles from the museum.

Plans call for the MMGM to open in the spring of 2014. It is being billed as a world-class museum in a quaint village setting, where it will be a resource committed to the heritage, economy, and tourism of western Maine. The museum will tell the story of mining in Maine, representing past and present miners and displaying objects, archives, gems, and mineral specimens.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum's display of Maine's tourmaline bonanza dazzled participants in the Sixth Annual International Pegmatite Symposium on Granitic Pegmatites, held in Bartlett, New Hampshire, 26 May–2 June.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum's display of Maine's tourmaline bonanza dazzled participants in the Sixth Annual International Pegmatite Symposium on Granitic Pegmatites, held in Bartlett, New Hampshire, 26 May–2 June.

As part of its outreach, the museum has been wowing collectors these past few months by displaying a sampling of its choicest specimens at several shows and symposia, including those in Tucson, Rochester, Cincinnati, and Bartlett (New Hampshire).

NEW CURATOR

It late May, Mark J. Pospisil became the gem and mineral curator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas. His keen interest in minerals and fossils dates back to a childhood visit to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He obtained his bachelor's degree in geology from Arizona State University and later an MBA from the University of Dallas. After thirty-four years in the oil and gas industry, he recently retired from XTO Energy, now a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, where he was the senior vice-president of geology and geophysics.

Mark J. Pospisil, new gem and mineral curator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, shown at the entrance to the museum's Lyda Hill Mineral Gallery.

Mark J. Pospisil, new gem and mineral curator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, shown at the entrance to the museum's Lyda Hill Mineral Gallery.

For the past seven years, Pospisil has had many mineral specimens on loan to the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and he currently has twenty-five specimens on display in the Perot Museum.

COLOR SPONSORS for the Museum Notes column for 2013 are John and Maryanne Fender of Fender Natural Resources, Richardson, Texas.

Rocks & Minerals welcomes museum news items and photographs for this column.

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