National Memorial to Peace and Justice

A New Tabernacle: Remembering Lynching in Montgomery, Alabama

In his September 2018 letter, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander reflects on his recent visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Dedicated to the nearly 4,400 recorded victims of racial terror lynching, the memorial centers on hundreds of hanging columns, on which are inscribed the

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Removing a ribbon from a tree

Trees as Witnesses: Honoring the Survivors

In his August 2018 letter, Museum Director Mark Auslander reflects on the approximately 221 teal bows and ribbons on campus, tied around trees to honor the survivors of the horrific sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry Nasser. Recently, the parents and allies who placed the ribbons decided to remove them, to

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Image of Science on a Sphere

Pondering “Science on a Sphere”: Fire and the Singer of Tales

In his July 2018 letter, MSU Museum director Mark Auslander considers plans to bring the powerful learning technology, “Science on a Sphere”, to the Museum, with a projected grand opening in October 2019. Although the system draws upon some of the most sophisticated scientific research and computational analysis of the

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Photo of basket woven by Pat Courtney Gold

Making Visible: Hanford Sturgeon and Indigenous Nuclear Art

In his June 2018 letter, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander reflects on a remarkable Native American basket in the Museum’s collection, by artist Pat Courtney Gold, evoking radioactive contamination along the Columbia River. The work may highlight both environmental dangers and the striking resilience of animals and persons in the

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Young women from ITEC's 2020 Girls Program

A Perfect and Absolute Blank: Mapping Mars with the 2020 Girls

In his May 2018 Letter, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander describes the opening of the exhibit “Martian Design Studio.” Ten young women from New Tech in Lansing’s Everett School have been working with Museum staff and ITEC’s 2020 Girls Program to design a Martian city of the future. How have

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Mark Bradford

Turning Points: From Pickett’s Charge to Facing the “Anthropocene”

In his April 2018 letter, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander reflects on Mark Bradford’s artwork “Pickett’s Charge“, a vast and important work of site-specific art currently on display in the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum. Bradford reflects on the hidden histories embedded within the epic turning point of the Battle of Gettysburg.

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Image of Cycles of Childhood

Of Bicycles and Martian Voyages

In his March 2018 letter, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander describes a recent visit to the Johnson Space Center and reflects upon the Museum’s new collaboration with the non-profit ITEC/2020Girls program, as middle schoolers in Lansing design a self-sustaining Martian City of the future. The non-profit ITEC works to increase

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Image of manatee

Darwin and the Manatee

In his February letter, Museum director Mark Auslander reflects on the Museum’s specimen of a manatee, also known as a sea cow.  Studying creatures such as the sea cow and its similarities to land-based mammals appears to have aided Charles Darwin, whose 209th birthday we celebrate this month, as he

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Image of Cloth

Worlds Lost and Worlds Regained

Inspired by the exhibition “War and Speech” and by the approaching 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander reflects on a precious object of personal family memory, evoking “lost worlds” in Europe prior to the Great War and the Holocaust. As we begin

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Image of Girls in the 2020 Girls Program at ITEC

All Aboard: Museum Objects in Transit

In his December 2017 letter, MSU Museum Director Mark Auslander reflects on the Museum’s evocation of a 1918 train station and a traveling train museum during World War One. How can museums put our objects “in transit” to new audiences, and recreate some of the exciting buzz of train stations

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