These are photos from last Thursday, April 23. Already, a lot more work has been done. (I can't keep pace.) Many of our walls must have extraordinarily smooth finishes, because they will have photo murals applied. So any pictures for the next week or so will probably be of the walls, and the plainer the better!
The wall finishes in the Entry Gallery range from 10' high on the north wall to 17' on the south wall.
A view of the People of the Plains enclosure, left, and the passage from the Entry Gallery, right.
The steel structure supporting the rising, curved wall of the Tornado Theater is now covered. In the third and fourth photos, the overlook from the mezzanine has been sealed (the area above the red line). In the fifth photo, you can see how the sheetrock has been bent to follow the curvature of the existing corner. The last photo is the interior of the closet that will hold equipment for "Terrible Tuesday," the presentation inside the theater.
Ironically, one of the plainest walls in the gallery eventually will become "Artistry of the Plains." Should be a bit more attractive then.
The main part of the gallery will be a large, open space. Well, except for a couple of walls that will be 12' high and 24' long.
This is the area in and around the Oklahoma Museum Network (OMN) Gallery, where every six months we rotate science-based exhibits for kids. It's a popular place in the museum, even for grown-ups.
This is the area in and around the Terry K Bell Exhibition Gallery. When I took these photos, the overhead lights were casting a shadow of the windmill fan on the wall outside the Bell Gallery.
Last, but definitely not least, photos of Prehistory.... All of the plywood has been covered now with wallboard. Just like in the Tornado Theater area, I didn't know you could bend plywood/wallboard in a 90-degree curvature like that.
Representatives of our grantor, the Donald W Reynolds Foundation, met us recently in St Paul for an inspection trip. Here are some photos of what the Science Museum Minnesota had prepared for us. Pretty cool.
This scale model windmill was once used by a traveling salesman. The Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) folk have turned it into an interactive that demonstrates some of the features.
Some of our recently fabricated text panels.
This interactive cleverly illustrates one principle behind the operation of both an alfalfa huller and a peanut thresher exhibited in the main gallery.
Another so-so photo, but of a neat interactive that shows the operation of a windmill pump.
In the "wind turbine test bed," visitors can try different blade configurations (left) to generate electricity using the fan (right). Can you generate enough power for all three model houses?
This guy is about six feet tall. Using the wheel, he rolls up a rough sketch (still in production) of a typical prairie grass plant, to show the length of the roots.
For our print shop installation, SMM has designed a "set your name in type" interactive. Today, computers have replaced manual typesetting--although old-style artisan presses are enjoying a revival. (We saw one in downtown St Paul.)
Adjacent to the Tingley Store diorama, we'll have a beadwork activity where visitors can try their hand at design.
In the main gallery, we'll exhibit a hide painting by Comanche artist Juanita Pahdopony. Nearby, visitors can build their own story using the supplied images. Or, go freestyle and draw your own!
A confab about details of the large floor map of the Great Plains that will dominate the museum's Entry Gallery.
The "take-apart bison" installation. Pull out some organs, twist off a hoof... Poor, sad-looking buffalo. Don't think she likes having her guts out. Oh well.
This one's a marvel, the "tornado theater" set. Wreckage on the outside, cellar on the inside. If this experience doesn't stick in your head, then not much will!
Based on an actual Wichita pot from the museum's collection, you can try your hand at reassembling the fragments, just like an archaeologist.
The beginnings of the "People of the Plains" installation. Jim Thorpe, Maria Tallchief, and a table from an Indiahoma bank. Don't fret, it'll all make sense when it's done.
Part of a much larger set, this dig area for smaller children is one component in a big interactive diorama, based on the 11,000 year-old Domebo mammoth kill site.
Come and get it! The scene around the chuck wagon is so real looking that you might be tempted to stop for a bite.
Want to try your hand at scraping a bison hide? Well, we've made it easy. You don't have to make cooked brains or anything (that's a teaser).
What's that? Buffalo meat hung out to dry? It even feels like the real deal. Kind of creepy.
It's the mid-nineteenth century, and you're a Native American on the Southern Plains. Time to move to a new camp, so pack your bags and get ready to go!
Man's best friend was once a beast of burden on the Plains. Poor dog. But it looks happier than the take-apart bison. Wouldn't you?
It's the early twentieth century, and you're a recent arrival on the Plains. Nice trunk there. Now shave, read your books, play the harmonica, wear your medals, and look at the map to see where the heck you are.
The General Store. "If it isn't here, then you really don't need it." A great set, pretty much all of it meant to be used by visitors for roleplay. Always wanted to be an early shopkeeper? Well, we've got your covered.
A couple of us were gone from the office for a few days--to check on the work at the Science Museum of Minnesota--and look what happened while we were gone! When we left, we had bare metal studs. When we came back, we had walls!
Beginning Thursday, April 9, the outdoor area at the museum will reopen to the public. Visitors can access the grounds through a side gate just east of the main entrance. Join our living history crew in the Trading Post, inspect the steam locomotive, or try some activities in the Schoolhouse. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Please note the main building will remain closed, and no public restrooms are available.
We've set the date! The main building will reopen on October 10, 2015!
From time to time, we'll post info here about what's going-on at the museum.