Bruce Museum hosts Mineral Masterpieces exhibition

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 11, visitors to the Bruce Museum can take a global tour of minerals as Treasures of the Earth: Mineral Masterpieces from the Robert R. Wiener Collection opens to the public.

Continuing through April 1, 2018, this exhibition offers a chance to discover the properties of world-class minerals from a private collection. Approximately 100 specimens will be on display, ranging from intricately connected cubes of pyrite, to clear crystals of selenite, to red hexagons of vanadinite.

Aquamarine and Cassiterite on Muscovite. —Photo by Paul Mutino

Aquamarine and Cassiterite on Muscovite. —Photo by Paul Mutino

Robert R. Wiener, chairman of MAXX Properties, a fourth-generation, family-owned real estate company based in Harrison, N.Y., has built this collection over the past four decades. The collection includes minerals from Madagascar, China, Peru, Australia, Morocco, the United States, and beyond. Many examples of unusual crystal forms, rare combinations of multiple minerals growing together, and eye-catchingly enormous specimens are all featured. Visitors will learn about the key aspects of mineralogy and the critical roles minerals play in everything from nutrition to smart phones.

“I’m delighted to be able to share my collection, and my passion,” said Wiener, whose own introduction to the world of minerals came on a visit to the Museum of Natural History with his grandmother, when he was seven. “The world of the dinosaurs was amazing … but the rooms filled with sparkling crystals? I was transfixed and fascinated,” Wiener adds. “It’s a happy experience to spread knowledge and open the eyes of the uninitiated to a world with an allure that lasts forever.”

“We are thrilled to exhibit these truly remarkable specimens,” says Dr. Daniel Ksepka, Curator of Science. “Each specimen brings to life a different facet of the seemingly endless variety of forms and colors found in the world of minerals. We hope the exhibition will introduce a new generation to the fascination of minerals.”

Exhibition programs

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of discussions, films, and programs for audiences of all ages. A panel discussion, “From the Earth to Your Fingertips,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6:30-8 p.m. and will include a Connecticut mining expert, a gemologist, a diamond geologist, and a mineral dealer.

On Jan. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., Dr. Einat Lev of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory will speak on the topic “Look, But Don’t Touch! Using Close-range Remote-sensing to Study Lava.” The Bruce Museum will also host a screening of “Visions of Iron” with question and answers with director Ed Kirby. Members and students with ID are admitted free of charge for all programs; nonmembers $10.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2-4:30 p.m., students in grades K-5 are invited to spend the afternoon off from school discovering, learning and creating at “Afternoon at the Bruce: Mineral Masterpieces.” Members $15; nonmembers $25; snack included. Register by Dec. 4, at noon at brucemuseum.org, where you can find details about additional programs as they are scheduled.

A catalogue of Treasures of the Earth: Mineral Masterpieces from the Robert R. Wiener Collection also will be available.

About the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum is located in a park setting just off I-95, exit 3, at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with ID, and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at 203-869-0376 or visit the website at brucemuseum.org.

Garnet, the state mineral of Connecticut, to be on display at the Bruce Museum’s upcoming “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition. Robert R. Wiener Collection. —Photo by Paul Mutino

Garnet, the state mineral of Connecticut, to be on display at the Bruce Museum’s upcoming “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition. Robert R. Wiener Collection. —Photo by Paul Mutino

The Bruce Museum’s upcoming “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition includes many examples of unusual crystal forms and rare combinations of multiple minerals growing together, like this Malachite on Azurite specimen. Robert R. Wiener Collection. —Photo by Paul Mutino.

The Bruce Museum’s upcoming “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition includes many examples of unusual crystal forms and rare combinations of multiple minerals growing together, like this Malachite on Azurite specimen. Robert R. Wiener Collection. —Photo by Paul Mutino.

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