The Artifact Project

A few years ago, I wrote an essay about Lumen Martin Winter’s Fra Mauro, as part of SiTE:LAB’s Artifact Project. Originally an online effort to document the stories of archived museum artifacts, SiTE:LAB ultimately selected my piece for inclusion in a book based on the project. The link below will take you to the original, online version of the essay.

Lumen Martin Winter’s Fra Mauro

…Many of the artifacts in the planetarium exhibit hall seemed enormous to eight-year-old me, which seemed fitting for a place dedicated to planets, stars, and galaxies. I’d spend ages hovering over a large mechanical model of the Solar System. It was almost always stuck or broken, but that never mattered because, “Dude! Check out these rad black lights!” The hall’s giant Earth globe was another popular favorite among visitors. Its creaky, clunky motor made the globe’s escape seem marvelously inevitable. When the ball started rolling, I knew I’d finally be able to perform my well-planned, Indiana Jones-style dash as it chased me through the museum’s Gaslight Village. (I was a weird kid.) Only one item in the exhibit hall was even bigger than that globe. It was a giant painting; one that stands out clearly in my memory, although in those days I rarely spared it more than a passing glance…