Wednesday, November 25, 2009

American Museum of Natural History gives a nod to another evolutionary revolutionary

Just as the world marked the sesquicentennial of the publication of Charles Darwin's landmark text On the Origin of Species this week, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is honoring Darwin's colleague, who also did groundbreaking biological research in the mid-nineteenth century and came to many of the same conclusions. In fact, Alfred Russel Wallace independently conceived the idea of evolution by natural selection, but he is a much lesser-known figure because of Darwin's successful publication of his On the Origin of Species.

The New York Times has a nice article about Wallace's natural history collection cabinet, which is currently on loan to AMNH and is being exhibited in conjunction with their celebration of Origin's anniversary.

Museum Is Displaying Treasures of the Other Evolution Pioneer

Museum Is Displaying Treasures of the Other Evolution Pioneer
Published: November 24, 2009
A piece once owned by Alfred Russel Wallace will be on display at the American Museum of Natural History.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Galileo's missing fingers found in jar |

Galileo's head was on the block
The crime was looking up the truth
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode
I try to trace them to my youth…

How long till my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision
King of insight
** Galileo, The Indigo Girls, 1992

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
November 23, 2009 -- Updated 1405 GMT (2205 HKT)

To me, it seems kind of ironic that a man who was excommunicated by the Catholic Church should have had three fingers (and a tooth) stolen from his corpse as was widely practiced by clergy salvaging pieces of their saints. In any case, all three of his remaining fingers have now been reunited at the Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy.

** Pardon the gratuitous musical reference, but Galileo is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Moment: To the MAXXI | Zaha Hadid’s Museum in Rome

The New York Times' The Moment blog has a great review and some compelling photos of Rome's haute new MAXXI museum.

Published: November 16, 2009
Opening festivities at the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Investigators Use Insect Experts to Search for Clues at Cleveland House of Horrors - ABC News

Investigators Use Insect Experts to Search for Clues at Cleveland House of Horrors - ABC News

Joe Keiper, Director of Science and Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, is once again helping police investigators at a grisly Cleveland crime scene. From my days on staff at CMNH, I remember Joe being very fond of flies, but not half as charmed by some of the places his expertise about those animals took him. Nonetheless, Joe is a great scientist and a consummate professional, so when the Cleveland Police and Coroner's office need a forensic entomologist, they find one of the best in Joe.

"Jackie Curtis and Rita Red" painting by Alice Neel coming back to CMA

Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer has the complete story of how the Cleveland Museum of Art made sure this contemporary classic would find a permanent home in their museum.

By, Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer
November 12, 2009, 7:00AM

Image: Plain Dealer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Metropole to become world-class 21c Museum hotel |

I had never heard of the 21c Museum hotel in Louisville, Kentucky before reading about their planned renovation of the old Metropole Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. Currently, the Metropole apartment building serves low-income tenants, but soon renovation will begin to transform the site into a lavish hotel featuring the finest contemporary art.

Apparently, the Louisville 21c Museum Hotel ranks among the best in the in world. As quoted on the hotel's website, William Weathersby, Jr. of Architectural Record describes the 21c Museum as "creatively balancing art and commerce," going on to say, "the hotel is a community crossroads that breathes new life into a rebounding urban corridor." I must admit that the idea of housing a contemporary art museum within, and throughout, a hotel is innovatively compelling, but I cannot help but wonder how the free museum might be impacted if the luxury hotel ever fell upon hard times. Cincinnati, like so many cities in Ohio and the rest of the Rust Belt, has certainly seen its fair share of hard times and lagging tourism, but kudos to them for investing in a brighter future.

For now, it seems the arts district in downtown Cincinnati will be receiving a very high-end shot in the arm from the new 21c Museum, while at the the same time the current low-income and less fortunate residents of the existing apartments will have to relocate to a no doubt less up-and-coming address.

Metropole to become world-class hotel | | Cincinnati.Com

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