Swords and Shutterbugs: Our Samurai Pixel Party Recap

After-hours at the Museum on March 1, we hosted one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). For our first event of 2015, we gave photographers access to Samurai: The Way of the Warrior.

And here’s a small sampling of what they gave us in return:

B. Tse photography

B. Tse photography

B. Tse photography

B. Tse photography

scscphotography

scscphotography

Roberto Valerio

Roberto Valerio

Alfred J Fortier

Alfred J Fortier

Nicholas Foster

Nicholas Foster

James Woody

James Woody

Alfred J Fortier

Alfred J Fortier

Arie's Photography

Arie’s Photography

sulla55

sulla55

Reed's Photography

Reed’s Photography

Bethany Tiner

Bethany Tiner

Dwayne Fortier

Dwayne Fortier

Randall Pugh

Randall Pugh

We couldn’t fit all the wonderful photos into this blog post. To see even more photos from this event, please visit our HNNS Flickr Group page.

F-stops and Fabergé: Getting snap happy at HMNS Pixel Parties

After-hours at the Museum on November 2, we had another one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). This time around, we gave our photographers access to our newly re-opened Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg exhibit.

And here’s a sampling of what they gave us in return:

Faberge-1

Photo by Kirsten Tucker.

 

Faberge-2

Photo by Eddie Abbott Imagery

 

 

15706524155_8fc67a3f6e_z

Photo by Dwayne Fortier

15695356771_558babf236_z

Photo by James Woody

 

Faberge-3

Photo by Allison Buchtien

 

Faberge-4

Photo by Reed’s Photography

 

 

To see more photos from around the museum, please visit our HNNS Flickr Group page.

 

And stay tuned! We’ll be announcing our next Pixel Party date just after the new year.

100 Years – 100 Objects: Selection of Mineral Specimens

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 - meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

This description is from Lisa Rebori, the Museum’s Vice President of Collections. She’s chosen a selection of objects that represent our Museum’s history, and our collections of historical technologies, that we’ll be sharing here – and on hmns.org – throughout the year.

historic-minerals-4x6Right to Left:

1.  Kalinite, Esmeralda Co., Nevada, HMNS #1317
2.  Mercury, Knoxville, California, HMNS #285
3.  Cassiterite, Tin samples from Squaw Canyon, HMNS #782
4.  Soda-niter, White Plains, Nevada, HMNS #1248
5.  Mercury in soot, Reddington Mine, Knoxville, California, HMNS #285
6.  Chrysotile, Bajenova, Urals, U.S.S.R.
7.  Borax Crystals, New Boston, Nevada, HMNS #1251

8. (Laying down) “Stream tin”, Cassiterite, Malay Islands, Collected from Kepong Dredging, HMNS
     #791 (Milsaps no. M5478)

john-et-milsaps
John E.T. Milsaps 

One of the earliest collections acquired by the Museum belonged to John E.T. Milsaps, a native Houstonian.  As an adult, Milsaps joined the Salvation Army and eventually was given oversight for “all territories west of the Mississippi.”  In this capacity, he traveled widely, collecting wherever he went, and then sent his collection back to Houston. 

These mineral specimens are from his original collection and are representative of the storage and display techniques at that time.  The minerals were secured in the glass vials or bottles with a cork and wax seal.  This allowed the minerals to be handled, but prevented them from being contaminated and assured that they could be moved and set up for display easily.

When the Museum was first started in the early 1900s it was called the Houston Public Museum. The label you see here includes the original catalogue number M (for “Milsaps”)-5478 and the note of a second catalogue number “791.”  Beginning in 1970, in an effort to re-order the mineral collection, it was decided to catalogue all of the specimens a second time, starting the record making and numbering process all over again.
historic-minerals-original-detail-cassiterite

J.E.T. Milsaps contributed much to the citizens of Houston.  Throughout most of his life he not only collected objects and specimens, but bought many books.  He gifted these anonymously to the City of Houston.  Within the Public Library, his collection was known as the ‘Circle M Collection.’  The inventories were marked with a circle around the letter M.

Check back soon for more of the 100 most compelling objects from the museum’s collections – we’ll be posting the series throughout 2009 as we celebrate a centennial of science in Houston.

100 Years – 100 Objects : Elbaite (on Quartz)

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 - meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

This description is from Joel, the Museum’s President and Curator of Gems and Minerals. He’s chosen spectacular objects from the Museum’s mineralogy collection, which includes some of the most rare and fascinating mineral specimens in the world, that we’ll be sharing here – and on hmns.org – throughout the year.

main-elbaite-on-quartzTourmaline Queen Mine, San Diego County, California.
North America has produced some extraordinarily beautiful specimens of elbaite, a member of the tourmaline group, but the most admired are the bright red-pink crystals with blue caps found in 1972 at the Tourmaline Queen mine. The 24-cm example pictured here is the finest of the 33 major specimens recovered and is therefore the finest North American tourmaline. The lustrous, lusciously colored, undamaged pair of crystals at the top grow from an undamaged quartz crystal and are accompanied by smaller tourmaline crystals. It has been nicknamed “The Rabbit Ears.”

Marvel at the world’s most spectacular collection of natural mineral crystals in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

You can see larger and more detailed images of this rare specimen – as well as the others we’ve posted so far this year – in the photo gallery on hmns.org.