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Exhibit Museum Top-Rated

Exhibit Museum Top-Rated image
Parent Issue
Day
2
Month
October
Year
1968
Copyright
Copyright Protected
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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

The University s Exhibit Museum in the triangle between N. University and Washtenaw Aves. is the largest and most visited museum on the U-M campus. "But," says Irving G. Reimann, museum director, "by far the largest attendance is by out-of-town and out-of-state people. A lot of local people don't know we have a good museum here." The experts who rate museums, however, recognize the U-M facility as something more than just a "good" museum since its recent improvements under the direction of Reimann. They now rate it among the top three university museums of its kind in the United States. During the 1967-68 fiscal year ending June 30, the U-M Exhibit! Museum had a total of 128,735; visitors, a steady yearly in! crease from the 41,457 personsti who visited the museum in 1958.H Of the past year's total, 2,298 visitors were from 26 Ann Arbor area schools, and 32,299 from more than 100 Michigan) schools outside of the area. In addition, other groups of school children carne with their teachers from schools in Ohio, Indiana, and Ontario to view the exhibits. Church groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, YM-YWCA; groups and those representing' other organizations accounted for an attendance of 6,779. U-Mij student groups added 8,583 to: the total. Although the primary purpose of the museum is that of a teaching and resource facility for the University, it also provides a service to the people of the state as evidenced by the large number of school children and others who come to see the exhibits each year. The Exhibit Museum shares the U-M Museums Building with the Museum of Zoology, Museum of Anthropology, and Museum of Paleontology, but only the Exhibit Museum is open to the public. The others are research and teaching units, with the Mu-; seum of Zoology being by f ar i the largest. The Exhibit Museum is openL :o the public f rom 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed, however, on major holidays. Group tours conducted by U-M student guides trained in the sciences may be arranged by calling 764-0478 between 1:30 and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Miss Heather G. Thorpe, coördinator of the Science Guide Service, has long been in charge of this public service. One of the newest features of the museum is a sales counter on the fourth floor where ' als, dinosaur kits, fossils, sea shells, postcards, and science books for children and adults are available. Proceeds from the sales are used to build uj! the mineral displays in the muiseum, which through the foresight oí Reimann contain many specimens that have become rare since their purchase. When a deposit of a new mineral is found somewhere ini the world, the museum director is quick to purchase specimens while the supply is still abundant and the price low. In a number of cases no additional deposits were found and the U-M specimens are now many times their original valué. More than 650 select minerals specimens are on display to illustrate the composition and classification of minerals, while ; about 170 more are exhibited to demónstrate characteristics emjployed in identification. A i-_ lection of 250 gems is also a feature of the museum. Among recent additions to the museum's exhibits is "Tam," a life-size transparent anotomical manikin who talks about herself at special demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Demonstrations are arranged for groups on a week's advance request. The museum's planetarium, a somewhat older but still relatively new feature, provides U-M students and the public with graphic lessons in astronomy that would be more difficult to obtain from text books. Fluorescent displays in an anteroom of the planetarium supplement the "bird's eye" view of the heavens. During fiscal 1967-68, a total j of 25,284 persons witnessed planetarium demonstrations at the museum, anincreaseof some 5,000 over the previous years. Among the more popular exhibits in the museum are the skeletons of two giant dinosaurs, an allosaurus and a stegosarus excavated in Utah; the skeleton of the great elephant-like mastodon which once roamed Michigan; and the dunkelosteus, a 300,000,000-year-old giant marine fish of the eastern Great Lakes area. Dioramas showing Indian life in North America and Michigan in years gone by, mounted specimens of most Michigan birds, exhibits of microscopio pond life, mounted animal specimens, primitive utensils and weapons. exhibits on evolution and others are additional features of the museum. "Future plans cali for establishment of a hall of evolution, a room for fossil plant displays and a room for fossil invertebrate displays," Reimann says. The Museums Building was, constructed in 1928 with U-M President Emeritus Alexandeiv G. Ruthven, who was then di-i rector of the University's Mu-[ seums of Zoology, b e i n g the prime mover. Completion of the building brought together collections that had been scattered in buildings across campus. But it wasn't until 1956 that the Exhibit Museum was established as a separate entity for the benefit of all U-M students and the public over the objections of those who wished to retain tb e building primarily as a research facility in the biological sciences. Crystal Thompson servcrï as the museum's first director,;1 being succeeded a year later by Reimann who proceeded to build it into the quality exhibit museum it is today. The fact that it is one of 10 museums in the United Statesl selected by the Welsh National: Museum for visits by its tor, atlests to its international reputation. The U-M Exhibit Museum now has a staff of 12 full and parttime employés, in addition to some 30 students who serve as guides on an hourly basis. Dr. Robert S. Butsch, curator of exhibits, is the taxidermist who prepares the mounted birds and animáis for exhibit. He also prepares the Amorican Iiiüian dioramas, in addition to teaching a course in museum ir.ethods. Fossil dioramas of fungi, flowers, reptiles and amphibians are prepared by George Marchand, while Dr. William A. Lunk, curator of exhibits, assisted by Howard Westman, prepares exhibit models. Exhibits in astronomy are under the direction of Louis Michel who will also be work-j ing on a new geological crosssection of the U.S. display. Joachin Knuepplholz, museum technician, designs and buüds the display cases. Mrs. Heien; Cazepis is the exhibit hall receptionist. Reimann says "the museum is primarily for students and the university family, both to serve as a supplement to ' courses in natural history and I anthropology, and to offer anf opportunity to acquire some background for those students who shall not have formal instruction in these subjects. "The simple fact that we exist introduces the responsibility to serve the community since we are the only such museum in a radius of some 60 miles. This we do at no sacrifice of our duties to the University."