|The front entrance of the museum.|
|The front also has these charming moose sculptures with leaves and vines in relief...very appropriate.|
In judging the overall quality of a museum display I think it is important to base my assessment on a few key criteria. I'll talk about the aesthetics of the gallery and my impressions on the quality of specimens displayed and how they looked. Second and most important, how are the specimens described and is the gallery effective at educating the public.
Overall Appeal and Specimen Quality
First, we'll do a quick virtual tour of the gallery. When you enter this is pretty much what you see in front of you. There is a cool rotating globe thing on the left that I didn't take a photo of as well. This section is on the origins of the solar system, the planet and meteorites, many of which are on display and some that you can touch.
Next, you turn to the left and enter the main mineral display area. Which has displays centrally arranged in a polygon shape and more displays on the outer walls...so lots and lots to see in here.
|The central polygon of displays|
|One of the display cabinets. Very colourful.|
|Canyon Diablo meteorite|
|Quart var. Chalcedony|
|Tourmaline var. Elbaite (Blue cap)|
The next criteria upon which every gallery should be evaluated is how well does it convey its message to the general public. I think that this is the most important category. I mean what is beauty without substance?
In general I felt the displays were very effective at conveying their message. The primary way to get information on the minerals in each case was with the little touch-screen console standing beside each one.
|Bad photo, but you get the idea.|
|Pick your shelf|
|Now pick your mineral|
Otherwise I was impressed at the clarity and readability of the text in the descriptions and on the panels at the edge of the room. There are also several other interactive displays around that teach about the uses of minerals in society and geology. Overall I score the educational presentation of the gallery an 8/10.
That is all for now. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post. I encourage you to visit the museum website for more information. The museum also contains a very extensive gallery on vertebrate paleontology and has some great dinosaur skeletons and other mid-Cretaceous fossils.
Canadian Museum of Nature: http://nature.ca/