Collective Voice: Intermission

Imagine if you just stopped cleaning your house. Well, you wouldn’t stop entirely—you’d wipe down surfaces, mop around the furniture, pick up anything you noticed had fallen on the floor. But what if you never did that deep clean that is necessary at least a couple of times a year? Never vacuumed behind the couch or dusted all your tchotchkes? Things would get pretty dirty.

Now imagine that, in addition to all this, your house had more than 600 individual artifacts and hundreds of people walking through it every month. That’s our reality: we haven’t shut down the Museum at CHF for a serious cleaning since opening in October 2008. But we finally found the time this year, and closed the museum for eight days at the beginning of February.

Much like spring cleaning in your home, this was a huge endeavor: A crew of installers and CHF museum staff and docents went around the museum case by case, de-installing all the objects:

Checking them:

And putting them back:

We cleared away layers of accumulated dust, issued condition reports on all of the objects, and got rid of more than one mummified insect that had made an unexpected home on the lid of an instrument.

We hope we didn’t inconvenience too many visitors while we took this short break, and we certainly hope you’ll come back to see our shiny and shipshape gallery. As an extra incentive, we have some new artifacts to share with you in Making Modernity, our permanent exhibition—and mark your calendar for March 2, when we open our newest exhibit, the retrospective Inspiring Youth in Chemistry: IYC 2011.

Gigi Naglak is outreach coordinator for CHF’s Eddleman Institute. Collective Voice, dispatches from CHF's collections team, appears every second Tuesday on Periodic Tabloid.

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Posted In: Education

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