“Moon Room 1968 Opens at the Museum of Science & Industry” by S.M. O’Connor

As part of 50th anniversary celebrations of N.A.S.A.’s Apollo 8 mission, visitors at the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) can re-live the experiences millions of Americans had in watching the Apollo 8 mission orbiting the Moon on television in their living rooms in the pop-up exhibition “Moon Room 1968.”  It opened to the public on Friday, December 6, 2018.

Although the temporary exhibit Smart Home Green + Wired closed in 2013, the house remains standing in the courtyard between the East Pavilion and the Henry Crown Space Center, as I explained in an Instagram post last month, and the ground floor has now been repurposed to house the exhibition “Moon Room 1968.” [1]  [This courtyard was formerly called Beaver Park and is now known as Smart Park.]  Guests access Moon Room 1968 from the Henry Crown Space Center, which is home to the original Apollo 8 Command Module, occupied astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Junior; and William Anders during their lunar orbital mission from Saturday, December 21, 1968 to Friday, December 27, 1968.

Moon Room 1968Figure 1 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is the aluminum Christmas tree with era-appropriate toys including a Lite-Brite, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and a Radio Flyer wagon.

Moon Room 1968Figure 2 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is view of “Moon Room 1968” that includes the aluminum Christmas tree and a vintage television as well as a sofa and bookcases.

PhotographerFigure 3 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: The dining room in the Smart Home has also been redecorated to reflect how dining rooms in some upper middle-class homes looked back in 1968.  The dining room table, the six chairs, the chandeliers, and the centerpiece on the dining room table are different.  The print on the wall is new.  That was formerly a bare wall.

Moon Room 1968Figure 4 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: The pop-up “Moon Room 1968” includes both the living room and dining room in the Smart Home.

Smart HomeFigure 5 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: This is the Smart Home from the exhibit Smart Home Green + Wired, which was open from 2008 to 2013, as seen on Thursday, November 15, 2018.   It is a three-story modular home designed by Michelle Kaufmann Designs and All American Homes.  The pop-up exhibition “Moon Room 1968” occupies part of the ground floor.

In addition to the living room, the space features a vintage retail shop that offers limited-edition souvenirs with retro M.S.I. logos, and era-inspired items including Lite-Brites, Slinkys, record players, and more.  Moon Room 1968 is open through Sunday, January 6, 2019 (the Feast of Epiphany).  It is included in Museum Entry (general admission) tickets.  The living room was created in partnership with home furnishings and antique store Scout, and Oscar Isberian Rugs.  According to a museum spokeswoman, “Inside the 1960s-inspired living room, guests can watch the Apollo 8 footage on a vintage television surrounded by eta décor; type a letter to Apollo 8 crewmembers Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders; and sit for a holiday photo complete with an aluminum tree, a decorative staple that dominated many homes during eth height of the Space Age.”

“MSI is a museum has always been a ‘please touch’ museum that puts guests at the center of any experience,” stated Anne Rashford, Director of Temporary Exhibits and Business Partnerships.  “The Apollo 8 mission was so transformative in the race to the Moon that we felt the best way to celebrate the 50th anniversary was to put guests into a setting that allows them to really feel the energy and excitement felt by the entire country.”

“We are thrilled to again have partnered with MSI – a world-class institution – to honor one of the most significant events of the 20th Century, stated Larry Vodok, owner of Scout, who partnered with the M.S.I. to decorate its previous Smart Home exhibit in 2008.  “Everything about mid-century décor has become iconic, which creates an immediate vision in guests’ minds.  It was a fun challenge to design an experience that would surprise and delight guests while still honoring the mission and the crew.”

Apollo8_0005Figure 6 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is the Apollo 8 in the Henry Crown Space Center, as seen on Wednesday, December 10, 2008.

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Figure 7 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is former astronaut Captain Jim Lovell, Jr. U.S. Navy (Retired) with the Apollo 8 Command Module in the Henry Crown Space Center in 2009.

 

 

The Museum of Science and Industry is offering multiple events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission under the banner “To the Moon and Back Again.”  “Conspiracy Theories” was at the Revival Theater on Friday, December 6, 2018.  “Full Moon Fest” will be on Saturday, December 22, 2018.  This is a chance to celebrate the last full moon of 2018 with a nighttime, all-ages festival.  Gaze at the brightest object in out night sky through telescopes in the Smart Park, get one’s face painted with sparkling space patterns, learn how to make “galaxy slime,” see special live performances, and more.  This will be included with Museum Entry.

 

Image (45)Figure 8 Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is the back cover of the 2018 Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Exhibit Guide.  The Museum of Science and Industry is also celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of N.A.S.A.’s Apollo 8 mission, as I noted at the start of the month.

 

Journey to Space (2015) , narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart, began playing in the Giant Dome Theater on Saturday, December 1, 2018 and will play through Sunday, January 6, 2019.  It is screened daily at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.  On days with extended hours, it is also screened at 5:00 p.m.

Live Science Experiences are N.A.S.A.-themed from Monday, November 26, 2018 through Sunday, January 6, 2019.  Children can get hands-on with oobleck at the Space Slime cartm learn about N.A.S.A.’s new space “Refabricator” 3D printer at the Trash or Treasure Cart, and the N.A.S.A. Innovations cart will show visitors N.A.S.A. inventions we encounter in everyday life.  This is included in Museum Entry.  Check at the Info Desk in Rosenwald Court (North Court) in the Central Pavilion on the Main Level for times and locations of these demonstrations.

A new Earth Revealed program began on Monday, November 19, 2018 that will run through Sunday, January 6, 2019.  The new program illustrates how space exploration inspires new scientific discoveries, and, practical applications of those scientific discoveries leads to new technologies.  Using the Earth Revealed sphere, guests will see firsthand how the Apollo 8 mission improved the science and society of its time, and discuss where we should go next: back to the Moon or on to Mars.  This exhibit in the West Corridor on the Main Level is included with Museum Entry.

On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, the M.S.I. reverted to regular hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).  On the weekend of Saturday, November 17, 2018 and Sunday, November 18, 2018, the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The M.S.I. will be closed on the First Day of Christmas (Tuesday, December 25, 2018).  Extended hours (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) will be in play again on Saturday, December 1, 2018 and Sunday, December 2, 2018; Saturday, December 8, 2018 and Sunday, December 9, 2018; Saturday, December 15, 2018 and Sunday, December 2016; Sunday, December 23, 2018; and Wednesday, December 26, 2018 through Sunday, December 30, 2018.  There will be longer hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 22, 2018.  On Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24, 2018) and New Year’s Eve (Monday, December 31, 2018), the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  On New Year’s Day (Tuesday, January 1, 2019), the M.S.I. will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  From Wednesday, January 2, 2019 through Friday, January 4, 2019, the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Regular hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will resume on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  The Museum of Science and Industry regularly makes small adjustments to this schedule, so when planning a trip there, check this Webpage and the M.S.I.’s social media for updates.

EXTENDED HOURS AND EXCEPTIONS

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 15, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

 

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 23, 2018
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve

(Monday, December 24, 2018)

Closed Christmas Day

(Tuesday, December 25, 2018)

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sunday, December 30, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve

(Monday, December 31, 2018)

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. New Year’s Day

(Tuesday, January 1, 2019)

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

 

Often stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.  The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The M.S.I. is open every day of the year with two exceptions: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  On most days, it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but during peak periods it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

 

 

 

ENDNOTE

[1] The difference between an exhibit and an exhibition at a museum is the duration.  An exhibition is on display for less than three months.  If it is on display for more than three months, it is an exhibit. An exhibit labeled as a “temporary exhibit” may be open for anywhere from three months to a few years but the curators, executives, and spokesmen or spokeswomen want visitors to know the exhibit will only be open for a limited time and they cannot expect to come back and see it for generations the way they have been able to see the Coal Mine, Yesterday’s Main Street, the Gallery of Model Ships, or U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry; or the mummies or the Lions of Tsavo at The Field Museum of Natural History; or the Thorne Rooms at The Art Institute of Chicago; or the Atwood Sphere, which used to be at the Chicago Academy of Sciences and is now at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.

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