Museum Exhibit or Construction Zone?

Door to the Van Vleck Library while the exhibition creation is underway.

Door to the Van Vleck Library while the exhibition creation is underway. Photo by the author.

At this point, it’s hard to tell. Creating a permanent museum exhibit on a budget is…let’s say…challenging. To cut down on costs, we’re creating a lot of what goes into the exhibit ourselves. Everything from the lighting to the shelving to the mat board that goes behind the shelving is student and staff-constructed. We’ve got Roy, Amrys, and Paul calling the shots, Tom Castelli at the Science Machine Shop doing all sorts of crazy things with leftover wood, leftover plexiglass, and an assortment of power tools, and the students who are willing to do just about anything else.

Tom has put together a bunch of the museum cabinet covers. When actually placed in front of a cabinet, it really feels like we are creating a museum!

Protective glass for cabinet space against cabinet.

Door to the Van Vleck Library while the exhibition creation is underway. Photo by the author.

Melissa’s been cutting and trimming mat board to fit into the cabinets, brightening up the space a bit with a soft green hue.

Cut mat board to go in cabinets.

Cut mat board to go in cabinets. Labor by Melissa Joskow. Photo by the author.

Matt’s been assembling light fixtures, literally brightening up the cabinet spaces. The lights will illuminate exhibit objects.

Matt creates lighting fixtures for the museum cabinets

Matt assembles lighting fixtures for the museum cabinets. Photo by the author.

Matt shows off a light fixture that he'd been working on.

It works! Matt shows off a light fixture that he’d been working on. Photo by the author.

Michaela’s cleaned up the vitrine in the hallway and lathered on a new coat of paint. The cabinet used to display objects like the Van Vleck guestbook, chronomoters, sextants, and other cool astronomical artifacts. Now a lot of that will be going into the permanent exhibit!

IMG_4795

Note the protective plastic bagging of the Fisk telescope on the left. Photo by the author.

As for me, I started on cleaning all the shelves in the library itself. Paul gave a hand, and then Roy and Melissa finished the job up another day.

Materials for cleaning the library shelves.

Materials for cleaning the library shelves. Photo by the author.

There’s a thousand things left to do for this project, but everyone seems really excited and ready to work! Can’t wait to see how things shape up in just the next couple weeks!

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