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September-October 2017

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Museum Notes

FABULOUS FABERGÉ

Opening the weekend of 7–9 April at the Houston Museum of Natural Science was the new state-of-the-art Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Gallery in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. The gallery showcases the McFerrin Fabergé collection, currently numbering more than six hundred pieces, making it the largest private collection of Fabergé in the world.

The highlight of Fabergé: Royal Gifts is the Fabergé Imperial Diamond Trellis Egg reunited with its missing “surprise,” a jeweled elephant designed to fit inside it. The pieces are brought together for the first time in nearly a century, thanks to a loan from Queen Elizabeth II to the museum. The elephant was only recently discovered to be the egg's missing surprise. The egg was originally an Easter gift from Russian Tsar Alexander III to his wife, Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, in 1892. The elephant walks and moves its head when wound. It will be on display until the spring of 2018.

The Fabergé Diamond Trellis Egg reunited with the jeweled elephant, now at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Photo courtesy Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The Fabergé Diamond Trellis Egg reunited with the jeweled elephant, now at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Photo courtesy Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Fabergé made only fifty eggs for the Russian royal family as Easter gifts; forty-three are known to survive.

FOSSIL BONANZA

The Karl E. Limper Geology Museum at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently received a major donation of several fossils and one meteorite from university alumnus Walter Gross III. Included, along with several other important specimens, were the skull of a mammal-like reptile from the Upper Permian of Russia; a Mississippian crinoid from Crawfordsville, Indiana; and a plate of large Cambrian trilobites from Morocco.

Three recent donations to the Limper Museum. Top: Crinoid, Cyathocrinites paryibrachiatus, approximately 32 inches across. Above: Trilobite plate, Acadoparadoxides sp., approximately 27 × 50 inches. Right: Therapsid, Estemmenosuchus sp., approximately 5 inches across. Photos courtesy Limper Museum, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Three recent donations to the Limper Museum. Top: Crinoid, Cyathocrinites paryibrachiatus, approximately 32 inches across. Above: Trilobite plate, Acadoparadoxides sp., approximately 27 × 50 inches. Right: Therapsid, Estemmenosuchus sp., approximately 5 inches across. Photos courtesy Limper Museum, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Display design and implementation are currently underway at the Limper Museum in its new facility in the recently renovated Shideler Hall. Approximately one-third of the displays are complete, and the rest are expected to be installed by late 2017 or early 2018. The museum is also home to a 4-foot-diameter OmniGlobe® digital spherical display capable of showing a wide range of maps and animations covering geological, geophysical, oceanographic, atmospheric, astronomical, cultural, and climatic themes.

PLANNING AHEAD

The twenty-second meeting of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) will be held 13–17 August 2018. The IMA is an umbrella organization that unites professional associations from thirty-eight countries, and its meetings, held every four years, provide the largest global forum for making contacts and exchanging information with mineral scientists worldwide. The meeting will be hosted by the Geological Society of Australia and held in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Field trips, socials, lectures, poster sessions, business meetings, and more are scheduled. Of special interest to museum personnel is the session on Mineral Museums.

COLOR SPONSOR for the Museum Notes column for 2017 is Laura Delano of LLD Productions, Inc.

JURASSIC EXHIBITION

Get closer to dinosaurs than ever before in Jurassic World: The Exhibition at Chicago's Field Museum until 7 January 2018. From its opening in late May 2017, this exhibition, which is based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, has been immersing crowds in record numbers in scenes inspired by the film. Visitors can stare in wonder at a towering Brachiosaurus, have a face-to-face encounter with a Velociraptor, and get a rare up-close look at a Tyrannosaurus rex. Renowned paleontologist Jack Horner worked in close collaboration with the creators of the exhibition, insuring that it is infused with interactive educational elements.

Entrance to Jurassic World: The Exhibition, now at the Field Museum in Chicago. Photo courtesy Field Museum.

Entrance to Jurassic World: The Exhibition, now at the Field Museum in Chicago. Photo courtesy Field Museum.

M.E.H.

 

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