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March-April 2015

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Museum Notes

MINERALS ON LOAN

Attracting its share of attention at the Petroleum Museum, in Midland, Texas, is an assortment of spectacular mineral specimens on loan from seven members of the Mineralogical Association of Dallas (MAD). Some sixty specimens are on display in the mineral gallery where they will remain for approximately one year in support of the goal of popularizing mineral collecting. In addition, a few Midland collectors also supplied specimens.

An overview of the loaned specimens on display in the Petroleum Museum's mineral gallery.

Two of the specimens currently at the Petroleum Museum. An azurite, 22.6 cm across, from the Milpillas mine, Mexico; on loan from Jeff Kremer, Joe Budd photo.

A tourmaline, 49 cm tall, from Kunar, Afghanistan; on loan from The Arkenstone, Joe Budd photo.

DRAMATIC SPECIMEN

Harvard University's Mineralogical and Geological Museum, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has a spectacular specimen of stibnite crystals on loan and on display through June of this year. Weighing nearly 400 pounds and measuring 90 × 76 cm, the immense stibnite specimen is called “Swords of China” and is on loan from a private collector.

HONORED

Until his retirement a couple of years ago from Michigan Technological University, George Robinson and his wife, Susan, worked tirelessly at the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, in Houghton, Michigan, for nearly two decades, George as curator and Susan as honorary curator. Together they elevated the museum to international status. In recognition of their dedication and lasting legacy, the Robinsons received an Honorary Alumni Award from the university this past summer.

George, of course, is a longtime member of the editorial board of Rocks & Minerals as well as an author of many articles, and Susan writes the Rocks & Minerals' article series on earth science artists.

A COMING ATTRACTION

The Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto, will be hosting the Canadian premiere of Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano from 13 June of this year to 3 January 2016. The exhibition includes approximately two hundred objects that tell the story of Pompeii, the ancient Roman city captured in time by ash and debris that buried it during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in southern Italy. After remaining hidden for nearly seventeen hundred years, archaeological excavations uncovered the city nearly intact.

The wide range of artifacts from Pompeii, a World Heritage Site, include statues in marble and bronze, sculptures, silver dining ware, exquisite jewelry of gold and precious stones, coins, and much, much more. The exhibition is complemented by a full calendar of programing for adults, families, and scholars.

UNDERGOING RENOVATION

The displays in the Limper Geology Museum at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, are currently in storage due to the ongoing renovation of Shideler Hall, home to the Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science. The renovation is scheduled for completion in early 2016, and the museum will be reopening later that year. The new museum will be a totally redesigned, modern facility and will be located on the first floor next to the main building entrance.

A schematic of the layout planned for Miami University's Limper Geology Museum in Oxford, Ohio.

The museum will include systematic and special displays of meteorites, rocks, and minerals, including Ohio and fluorescent minerals; displays of local Late Ordovician marine invertebrate fossils; a diorama of the Late Ordovician sea; a real-time seismic and volcanic activity monitor; and a 48-inch diameter digital globe. The design of this new facility will provide visitors with an engaging overview of the composition and history of our planet, its dynamic nature, and the connections between its many systems.

EXTRAORDINARY ROCK COLLECTION

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, Maine—a start-up that hasn't yet opened its doors—is developing an extraordinary rock collection that will be on display 24/7! Large specimens to represent the geology of Maine and its past and present rock industries are being installed on the museum's grounds. An 11-ton glacial erratic with a fascinating geological history and a large block of pegmatite with tourmaline from the Havey quarry in East Poland have already been installed. Two tall slabs of white granite from Hallowell buttressed by a contrasting block of distinctive pink granite from Deer Isle will stand at the corner of Main and Chapman streets. They will be a new Bethel landmark!

Barbra Barrett, museum director, and Myles Felch selecting a dramatic megalith of Hallowell granite for the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum's rock garden.

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