Special Exhibitions


Scale:  A Matter of Perspective

Scale Exhibit Banner
 

Alice in Wonderland IllustrationScale: A Matter of Perspective explores the concept of scale from multiple perspectives, including investigation of the cosmos with telescopes and microscopes, models that scale things up (e.g., molecular models, glass flowers, embryological models) and those that scale things down (e.g., celestial and terrestrial globes, or ethnographic dioramas of village life), scale in literature (such as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland), and social scale (Just how large was that crowd on the National Mall?).

 

 

 

Bruce TelescopeThe central focus object is the optics of the 125-year-old Bruce photographic telescope (right), recently discovered and restored. Accompanying the Bruce lenses will be astronomical photographs on glass plates taken in Peru that were annotated by Henrietta Leavitt, a “computer” at Harvard College Observatory, and her logbooks.  Leavitt’s discovery of the period-luminosity relationship of Cepheid variable stars fundamentally altered our view of the scale of the universe.Scale: A Matter of Perspective examines the concept of scale and its power to transform perceptions of the universe and our place in it, inviting visitors to make connections to the world in surprising new ways. 

 

"Scale..." in the Media


"'Scale' tells the story of how, and what, we measure," Harvard Gazette, 4/18/17

“Scale: A Matter of Perspective” examines how scale stimulates mind, captivates imagination"
The Daily Free Press, Boston University, 3/16/17

 

Acknowledgements
 

CURATORIAL TEAM
 

Joyce Chaplin
James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History

Scott Chimileski
Post-doctoral Fellow, Kolter Lab, Harvard Medical School

Jean-Francois Gauvin
Director of Administration / Lecturer, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

Pamela Gerardi 
Director (Research & Collections, Development), Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

Lisa Randall
Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science

Jan Sacco
Director of Exhibitions, Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Sara J. Schechner
David P. Wheatland Curator, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
300th Anniversary University Professor

 

HMSC EXHIBITION TEAM
 

Sylvie Laborde (Project Manager & Senior Designer)
Jennifer Berglund
Don Bissex
Tony Greaney
Bill McCann
Tristan Rocher
James Skatges


TELESCOPE RESTORATION & ENGINEERING

Kenneth J. Launie
Edmund Puches

SUPPORT GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY 

David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust

 

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE STAFF OF THE INSTITUTIONS WHO KINDLY LENT ITEMS AND OFFERED GUIDANCE
 
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute
Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments
General Artemas Ward House Museum
Harvard College Observatory 
Harvard Semitic Museum
Harvard University Herbaria
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Harvard Mineralogical & Geological Museum
Museum of Comparative Zoology
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Warren Anatomical Museum 
RECOGNITION OF THE UNSTINTING SUPPORT OF THE COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS
 
Peter Galison, Pellegrino University Professor and Faculty Director
Jean-François Gauvin, Administrative Director
Sara J. Schechner, David P. Wheatland Curator
Sara Frankel, Collections Manager and Registrar
Maureen Ton, Photographer and Designer
Michael Kelley, Technology and Applications Coordinator
Richard Wright, Curatorial Technician
Karen Woodward Massey, Financial Associate
Suzanne Sroka, Collection Management Assistant
Michael Grasso, Digital Content Designer
Kenneth Launie, Consulting Curatorial Engineer
Martha Richardson, Collections Manager Emerita

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March 10 through December 9, 2017
The Special Exhibitions Gallery, Science Center 251