MSI will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 23. More Hours

Press

Ships Gallery Reopens at MSI

ICONIC SHIPS GALLERY UNDERGOES CONSERVATION PROJECT AT MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, CHICAGO

CHICAGO (November 3, 2016)—The Museum of Science and Industry has conserved its historic collection of model ships and renovated the iconic Ships Gallery exhibit. The new Ships Gallery, presented by Captain Dave Truitt, showcases the highlights of ship design and evolution through beautifully detailed model ships. The permanent exhibit will officially reopen to the public on November 10, 2016 after five months of conservation and renovation.

MSI has consistently displayed an eclectic ship model collection to its guests since opening in 1933. In January 2015, MSI began plans to completely reinvent the exhibit and conserve all of its delicate model ships. The project kicked off in June 2016, temporarily closing down the gallery. The new Ships Gallery presents 43 exquisitely crafted scale ship models, retelling the ships’ storied backgrounds—from the earliest beginnings to today’s mega-ships.

New features in the Ships Gallery include:

  • 15 newly-exhibited ships, including 10 custom-made models, specifically created for the exhibition. High-tech racing yachts, modern-day fishing vessels and a cutting-edge scientific research ship are among the new models that guests will enjoy.
  • Scientifically cleaned and conserved historic ship models by a team of trained conservators from Litas Lipriani.
  • Four new dioramas, commissioned to show the highlights of shipping history, built by Model Builders, Inc. Scenic artist Sean Murtha created custom backdrop paintings to bring these scenes to life.
  • The addition of a racing section, including Oracle Team USA’s high-tech catamaran from America’s Cup.
  • Restoration of the hands-on sailing ship deck, a perennial favorite, to its original beauty. Take the ship’s wheel and bark out pirate’s orders! Exhibit renovation by Ravenswood Studio.
  • New exhibit storyline and graphics by a dedicated MSI exhibits team. 
  • New energy-efficient LED lighting that protects and beautifully showcases the models 
  • The return of two freshly cleaned antique ships’ figureheads from the 19th century, which welcome guests into the exhibit.

“Our goal is to inspire each guest by tapping into their curiosity to look closer at the details of these magnificent ships, and learn more about this globally connected system,” said John Llewellyn, Ships project lead at MSI. “The Ships Gallery is a historic favorite of our guests, and this contemporary upgrade will give the next generation the opportunity to appreciate these model ships for many more years to come.”

The Ships Gallery provides an unparalleled look into ship design and evolution. In a new, richly detailed series of dioramas, highlights of nautical history will come to life, from the humble beginnings of maritime trade, all the way to the present day. Guests will learn about shipping and navigation, including advances in early ship design, boating as a sport, ocean liners and how the modern global economy that depends on ships. 

More press photos and b-roll of the conservation and renovation are available here.

The Ships Gallery is located on the Lower Level and is included in Museum Entry ($18 for adults, $13 for kids 3-11). For more information, visit msichicago.org. 

About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414.

# # #

Ships Gallery Press Release

Ships Gallery Press Release (PDF)

Press Photos

Click "Download Image" to open the full-size version.

The new Ships Gallery, presented by Captain Dave Truitt, showcases the highlights of ship design and evolution through beautifully detailed model ships

[J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Model ships were scientifically cleaned and conserved by a team of trained conservators from Litas Lipriani.

[J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

The new Ships Gallery presents 43 exquisitely crafted scale ship models, retelling the ships’ storied backgrounds

[J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

The new Ships Gallery includes new custom-built dioramas, setting the scene for each model ship.

[J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Images presented here are for the express use for promoting the Museum of Science and Industry. All images must be properly credited. Images may not be reproduced by third parties without express written permission from the Museum of Science and Industry.