THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, CHICAGO DEBUTS IMAGINING THE MUSEUM, FEATURING DECADES OF NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN MUSEUM CONCEPTS
Imagining the Museum showcases how exhibit ideas become a reality
CHICAGO (May 13, 2017)—The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s (MSI) newest exhibit, Imagining the Museum, debuts more than 70 never-before-seen illustrations and 3D models to give guests a detailed look at how the Museum and its famed exhibits have evolved over its nearly 84-year history. The exhibit, on display through spring of 2018, includes the original plans for some of the institution’s most popular exhibits such as the Coal Mine, the Museum’s very first exhibit; Science Storms, featuring the world’s only 40-foot swirling vortex; and The Great Train Story, which is home to more than 190 buildings custom-built for the miniature display.
“We’re excited to bring these incredible works out from the archives as they tell an integral part of the Museum of Science and Industry’s story,” said Kathleen McCarthy, director of collections and head curator. “The Museum has always celebrated creativity and innovation, and we believe that guests will really enjoy seeing this behind-the-scenes process of how the Museum has continually evolved, and exploring the cutting-edge technologies displayed over the past 84 years.”
The concepts detailed in Imagining the Museum, located in the Rita and John Canning Galleries on the Museum’s Lower Court, date back to the beginning of the Museum’s history, from the first exhibit ideas to the permanent exhibits currently open at MSI, including:
• Multiple original illustrations of the Coal Mine, MSI’s very first exhibit, that show the early plans of its construction and design methods that are still in use today.
• A miniature 3D model of The Great Train Story used by engineers to aid in the construction of the actual exhibit, which follows the journey from Chicago to Seattle along 1,400 feet of railroad track. Additional drawings also show how the initial plans mapped the trip from Chicago to Los Angeles before changing the final destination to Seattle because the display would have been too large to fit in the exhibit space.
• Vibrant renderings of the Museum’s iconic permanent exhibit, Science Storms, that depict how ideas for an exhibition take shape, evolve and ultimately come to life.
• 1950s-era concept sketches depicting a large-scale spaceship to celebrate the 100th anniversary of civil engineering in America.
Imagining the Museum will run at MSI through the spring of 2018 and is included with Museum Entry ($18 for adults and $11 for children ages 3-11).