Monday, February 4, 2013

HMNS: Fabergé and Dinosaurs

The Houston Museum of Natural Science opened a Fabergé exhibit this weekend, and y'all know I am all about the bling.

I don't wear diamond pins, but then again, I don't have any (I'm open to offers). And the necklace (right) has the most beautiful moonstones I've ever seen. Jewelry exhibits should have replicas you can try on.

The enamelling on the egg is amazing. I don't know if you can see it, but all the edges are done with a millegrain technique. Very impressive. 

Isn't the bird delightful? The choice of stone with the natural blush falling in exactly the right places on the head and wings. I love how the bird's claws aren't exactly even on the ring, but slightly lopsided, just like a live bird.   
After oohing and ahhing over all the pretty things, I went to see the museum's new wing: The Morian Hall of Palentology.

Wow! Just wow! It's an amazing display. It's arranged so that the visitor goes through time, from the earliest, simple, uni-cellular organisms all the way to mastadons and modern humans. There is even a side section, devoted to fossilized trees called "Jurrasic Bark". (really) Who says museum curators don't have a sense of humor?
Stromatolite colony

This one is called "Happy Puppy" and is a coal age frog-oid. One of the highlights of the exhibit is how they tried to make the exhibits as dynamic as possible. The skeletons appear to swim, run and attack each other. Like I said earlier: Wow!

Before this exhibit, I didn't know that trilobites rolled up when attacked, like armadillos or doodlebugs.

I forget what these are, but they make great patterns on the rock.

Tails of a couple of dinosaurs.  Me trying to be artistic.

Don't forget to look up!  Some amazing things are suspended from the ceiling. This turtle is the size of my car.

Fossilized wood. To me the pattern looks like a reclining woman, with her arms stretched out. What do you see?

Museums have the best gift shops. 


  1. Adore the bird!

    As for the new paleontology exhibit... Now, I went right after it opened, so it could be that some finishing touches were still needed. That said, I was amazed by the layout and breadth, but disappointed that they didn't do a great job labeling the displays. Many times I couldn't figure out what type of dinosaur I was looking at or where it lived, what it ate, etc.


  2. I have to admit, I wasn't really looking at the labels, I was too wowed by all the dinosaurs.