A conceptual rendering of the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, opening in fall 2020 at the American Museum of Natural History. Rendering courtesy American Museum of Natural History.
The American Museum of Natural History announced this week that the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will be opening in fall of 2020. Named for longtime museum supporters Roberto and Allison Mignone, the long-awaited redesign will be a dazzling showcase for one of the greatest collections of its kind. The new Halls will be connected to Studio Gang’s 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation.
The 11,000-square-foot halls will feature recently acquired specimens and a world-renowned collection including two stunning amethyst geodes that are among the largest in the world, a gallery of gems that features treasures like the 563-carat “Star of India” sapphire and 632-carat Patricia emerald, a wall-sized panel of fluorescently glowing rock, and the halls’ first temporary exhibition gallery, which will open with “Beautiful Creatures,” a celebration of historic and contemporary jewelry inspired by animals. The redesigned space will also offer the current Science of Mineral Formation exhibition.
Through interactive and touchable displays and media, the new Halls will introduce visitors to the remarkable diversity of mineral types—how they came to be, how scientists classify them, and how people have used them throughout history. The renovation is part of the initiatives that mark the museum’s 150th anniversary celebration, which will culminate in the opening of AMNH’s $340 million expansion.
Ralph Appelbaum Associates is handling the renovation of the 11,000-square-foot space. The Halls previously ended in a cul-de-sac, but the new Halls will connect to Studio Gang’s 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation.
Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History, said in a statement, “The opening of the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will be a milestone in a wide range of capital and programmatic enhancements commemorating the Museum’s 150th anniversary. By telling the fascinating stories of the complex processes that gave rise to the extraordinary diversity of minerals on our dynamic planet and describing how people have used them throughout history for personal adornment, tools, and technology, the Halls will not just be glittering but also intellectually engaging.”
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