Friday, July 20, 2012

University of Missouri Museums

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the University of Missouri in Columbia. We were especially impressed with the free museums on campus.

There were cases and cases of birds in one building.

And then we headed over to the heads from all over the world. We said we could just imagine the phone conversation from the wealthy widow: "I will provide another endowment for the university, but you have to take Henry's heads!"

We went to see the entomology collection.

And in the anthropology and classics section were fascinating finds, too. I said this Hopi kachina doll looked like me at school: Ten little kids climbing all over me on the floor, and I am singing.

And then we came to the cast of characters: these were plaster casts from the originals.

They were simply stunning.

Even the drain cover in the ladies' room was bronze art!

There were more contemporary pieces, as well. This sculpture is called Anten-nalope.

Our son spotted this small notice taped on the sheetrock. 

It turns out the present art museum, built in 1892 and on the National Historic Record, was once a chemistry lab where radium was prepared for Marie Curie. At that time, it was not well understood how careful one needs to be when working with the element. Online, I read that the amounts of radiation found in the building is minuscule. But now, all of the workers in the building wear a dosimeter that registers the amount of radioactivity that he or she is coming into contact with. This is monitored as a precaution. Curiously, the worker who was explaining to us the meaning of the notice, had tremors. I certainly hope that there is some other explanation. 

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