Posted by: COSI | February 23, 2009

Who Says Art & Science Can’t Mix!

I recently returned to the scene of my first post-braces talking gig to add a few comments to the opening of the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) big exhibit, “To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum.”

It is quite the exhibit, organized by the Brooklyn Museum and featuring more than 100 works from their world-renowned Egyptian art collection. So why was I making comments at the art museum’s opening? I’ve got to thank Nanette Maciejunes, the CMA director, as she’s been so open and encouraging of finding ways in which the cultural organizations in this community can work together. She saw the opportunity that our Lost Egypt exhibition that is in development would match up nicely with CMA’s hosting of their Egyptian exhibit, giving us the chance to create an Egyptian run in Columbus of over six months. With that timeframe we could work out some partnerships not only among COSI and CMA, but with local libraries.

Right behind dinosaurs it seems the Egypt holds the public’s (especially kids) attention. Our marketing teams came up with a Passport to Egypt that plays off of visiting both exhibits and the libraries—hopefully something that proves popular—including encouraging the use of our joint website.

Truthfully, though, it still interests me that many people see science and art in two different worlds. Yet there is so much natural overlap in thinking, expression, and trying to make meaning of the world around us that many scientists and or artists explore.



At COSI we have the huge skeleton “Gigantic” (aimed butt down towards my office windows by the way) 😉 that was an artwork looking for a home. The signature Science Spectrum out front is a piece of art that capitalizes on the wonderful qualities of visible light. And we’re in the process of installing an art/technology mobile named “Exquisite Bodies” above our new Innovation Showcase.

Spectrum Sculpture

Spectrum Sculpture


Exquisite Bodies

When I headed up the Roberson Museum and Science Center, we grappled hard with the breadth of audiences for a museum that covered art, history and science. We finally settled on our focus being “telling stories” and we would use all three disciplines as they helped the story—either through its telling or our use of materials we had. This way someone could “enter” the story through the “portal” they felt most comfortable with, be it history, art, or science. But once engaged in the story, someone had the chance of deepening their appreciation by looking at the material from its historic perspective or its artistic qualities – isn’t that the way life really operates? So I’m much appreciative of Nannette seeing the opportunity for us to create a joint experience where people can enter through the portals of art and history for her part of the Egyptian story while at COSI we start first through the portal of the science and scientific approaches that help us probe the story. Together, the art and science, make a rich way to help understand the lives, times, and meanings behind the fascinating and captivating Egyptian culture.

So go and enjoy the great exhibit at CMA, then stop in after May 30 when our Lost Egypt exhibition opens.

In the meantime, “Sarah” our full scale mountable camel, will traverse back to COSI from the Columbus Museum of Art, where I understand it was a huge hit (even making it to some people’s Facebook pages!).

Sarah the Camel

Sarah the Camel



  1. David: Thank you for the very kind words. I can’t wait until summer to see your exhibition. Collaborating with COSI has been a really great experience for all of us at the Columbus Museum of Art. I’m a true believer in the overlap between art and science. p.s. We’ll miss Sara.

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