'Eclectic Collections' exhibit features mix of Penn State museum offerings

David Kubarek
November 29, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s University Museum Consortium is hosting a public reception to celebrate "Eclectic Collections," a collaborative exhibit between University museums and galleries.

Hosted in the display cases in the HUB-Robeson Center, this one-of-a-kind exhibit showcases a unique selection of items on loan from the Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) Museum & Art Gallery, Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State, Ecosystem Science and Management Natural History Collection, Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State, Matson Museum of Anthropology, Palmer Museum of Art, Pasto Agricultural Museum, Penn State All-Sports Museum, Radiation Science and Engineering Center, Woskob Family Gallery, and the HUB-Robeson Galleries.

The exhibit, which began in September, runs through Jan. 5, 2019, in the HUB-Robeson Center’s Art Alley.

“It’s called 'Eclectic Collections' because we all have these things in our collection that most people looking might think ‘oh, that’s unique,’” said Julianne Snider, assistant director of exhibits and collections in the EMS Museum & Art Gallery. “It’s eclectic in the sense in that it has different meaning to different people. It could look like an accumulation of interesting items or it could look like a research collection. It depends on how you view what’s on exhibit.”

EMS Museum & Art Gallery selected several minerals from its vast collections that include more than 18,000 geological specimens. One of the specimens in the exhibit, wulfenite on calcite, is informally called “mashed potatoes and carrots” because of how the orange cubic minerals punch out from within the crystalized calcite. Snider said the items were selected based on three-dimensional aesthetics and presence.

Wulfenite on calcite

Wulfenite on calcite, one of the approximately 18,000 specimens from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery rocks and minerals collection, is on display at the HUB-Robeson Center in the Eclectic Collections exhibit.

IMAGE: David Kubarek

“We have to be judicious about what we put out,” Snider said. “This was an opportunity to pull out some of our items that are really remarkable. In particular, one from France is on the surface not obviously spectacular until you start examining it closer. All the pieces are from very well known localities.”

This is the first collaborative exhibit organized by the museum consortium, which formed several years ago as a network of Penn State museum and archive professionals and informal education specialists actively promoting engaged scholarship, hands-on learning, and getting the word out about the comprehensive and unique collections of art, artifacts, natural history specimens, and other objects across campus. Organizers also are in the planning stages of a University-wide museum crawl.  

For more information, visit the listing of campus museums and galleries.

  • Fluorite with druse quartz

    Fluorite with druse quartz, one of the approximately 18,000 specimens from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery rocks and minerals collection, is on display at the HUB-Robeson Center in the Eclectic Collections exhibit.

    IMAGE: David Kubarek
  • Iron rose hematite

    Iron rose hematite, one of the approximately 18,000 specimens from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery rocks and minerals collection, is on display at the HUB-Robeson Center in the Eclectic Collections exhibit.

    IMAGE: David Kubarek
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Last Updated December 05, 2018