Cincinnati Museum Center packs up 480 million years of Cincinnati history

. April 29, 2016

Guests get unique opportunity to see curators in action

CINCINNATI – As Union Terminal prepares to undergo much-needed repairs and restoration, you can see some of your favorite exhibits like never before. Go behind the scenes with Cincinnati Museum Center’s curators and exhibits team as they begin the process of carefully crating and moving artifacts and scientific specimens.

Cincinnati Museum Center RepairsYour next visit to Cincinnati Museum Center will surely include all of your favorites: twisting through The Cave of the Museum of Natural History & Science, strolling along The Public Landing in the Cincinnati History Museum and crawling through The Woods of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. But there will be a few other things that you’ll want to make sure you see. World War II uniforms being packed into garment boxes. Or a mastodon ribcage being lowered into a crate.

Cincinnati Museum Center’s curators and exhibits team are beginning the process of de-installing exhibits and packing collections for removal to the Museum Center’s offsite collections facility. The nuts and bolts (literally) of artifact removal involves many trained hands, but often the work is done away from the public eye before or after the museums close. Now you can take advantage of the rare opportunity to see them in action.

“Everyone who visits Cincinnati Museum Center has their favorite exhibit or artifact,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “This is a rare opportunity to see how we care for and are preserving those artifacts. For example, guests will be able to watch as we take apart the mastodon piece by piece and pack it with careful precision. It’s really going to be a treat for people to see our curators do their work.”

The mastodon, welcoming visitors at the entrance of the Museum of Natural History & Science for over 25 years, will be methodically taken apart piece by piece and crated over several days beginning the morning of May 9. On the morning of May 16 the World War II-era Aeronca Defender airplane, built in Middletown, Ohio, will be lowered from the ceiling of the Cincinnati History Museum. Once down, the plane’s wings will be removed so it can pass out the doors of the Cincinnati History Museum and moved to its temporary storage location. On June 20, curators and artifact handlers will begin to disassemble the Allosaurus skeleton, the centerpiece of the Museum of Natural History & Science’s Dino Hall.

As artifacts and exhibits begin moving out of the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Cincinnati History Museum, you’ll also see new ones move in to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the special exhibits gallery. Inside the Grin , an interactive oral health exhibit, will open in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum on April 30. Da Vinci – The Genius, opening May 20 in the special exhibits gallery, will showcase the wide range of Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance with reproductions of the artist’s many inventions in actual size.

Now 83 years old, Union Terminal has suffered decades of deterioration, accelerated by water damage. Rusting steel, crumbling masonry and outdated mechanical systems threaten to render the national historic landmark obsolete, jeopardizing the thousands of historic and scientific artifacts housed within it. The full structural restoration will address those issues, preserving Union Terminal for generations to come and continuing to serve as the home of Cincinnati Museum Center, which welcomes over 1.4 million visitors each year.

To facilitate the restoration of Union Terminal, the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Cincinnati History Museum will temporarily close on June 30 for the duration of the project. The process of moving thousands of artifacts by that date is already underway. The Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater will close on July 5. The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and special exhibits gallery, both renovated in the late 1990s, are scheduled to remain open through the restoration project.

Check the timeline below to see when you might catch Cincinnati Museum Center’s curators in action. If you can’t follow along in person, follow on Facebook and Twitter with #LoveCincyMuseum.
(All dates are subject to change, based on each object’s installation and de-installation needs.)

Week of May 2
Cincinnati Goes to War, Cincinnati History Museum
Victory Celebration display, Cincinnati History Museum
Ice Age exhibit upper gallery, Museum of Natural History & Science

Week of May 9
Mastodon, Museum of Natural History & Science
Early Settlement gallery, Cincinnati History Museum
Machine Tools gallery, Cincinnati History Museum

Week of May 16
Earth Works, Museum of Natural History & Science
Space exhibit, including the moon rock and the replica of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit, Museum of Natural History & Science
Flatboat gallery, Cincinnati History Museum

May 22
Tower A, the original control tower for Union Terminal, will close

Week of May 23
Pathways to Change exhibit, Museum of Natural History & Science

Week of June 6
Earth Stories exhibit, Museum of Natural History & Science
Cincinnati Under the Sea exhibit, Museum of Natural History & Science

Week of June 13
STEM Discovery Lab, Museum of Natural History & Science
Dino Hall , Museum of Natural History & Science
The Public Landing, Cincinnati History Museum

For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org

Category: Museum News

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