The Pentacrest Museums will be closed during our annual winter closure from Monday, December 30th - Friday, January 10th. We will reopen for regular hours on Saturday, January 11th.
Our museums use the closure to complete special projects and to install new exhibits. We'll miss you but are looking forward to welcoming you back in the new year!
Take a look at how we spent the closure last year in this article from January 2nd, 2019:
Winter breaks are for dusting eyeballs at the Museum of Natural History. You heard us right! Dusting eyeballs! Collections Manager Cindy Opitz uses the closure to take care of some routine maintenance on exhibits and specimens that is best done on quiet days.
Once a year, Opitz scours the galleries looking for dust that may have settled on the glass eyes of our display specimens. “Of course, they look much better once they’re cleaned, but there’s actually such a thing as glass disease,” she explains. “Dust attracts moisture from the air, which can destabilize the structure of the glass on and below the surface, causing cracking, crazing, or even weeping.”
Some of the glass panes in the long display cases in the bird and mammal galleries swing open when unlocked with a special key. Opitz, in socks, shimmies into the cases—often reaching with care past specimens blocking her target—and then, using a gentle, rolling technique with a cotton swab she forms herself before moistening with a mild enzymatic solution, she dusts. “Aside from the importance of cleaning for long-term preservation,” she notes, “it’s amazing, how simply cleaning dusty eyes can make a 100-year-old specimen look brand new.”
The Museum of Natural History will re-open for regular hours after our winter closure. Come see these shiny eyes!