Museum of Science and Industry brings down the big top on once-beloved circus exhibit

One of the Museum of Science and Industry’s circus dioramas. The circus exhibit, in one form or another, has been on display since the early 1970s and now will be auctioned off to make way for a new exhibit.

Heidi Peters/Museum of Science and Industry

The circus exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry — with its small-scale models and dioramas — was an anachronism in a place that showcased technology.

Still, it was fun to see, particularly when it was much larger and originally sat in the MSI’s east rotunda in the years following its 1973 installation.

Visitors and school groups drawn to the museum to see the Apollo 8 space capsule or the U-505 submarine could also experience life under the big top, rendered in miniature.

But the circus exhibit’s days at the MSI have ended, with the show packed up and its pieces headed for auction this week.

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As the old show leaves, we couldn’t help but take a moment to wave farewell, and remind ourselves that change is constant — even in museums.

For instance, those of a certain age might likely remember the MSI’s popular Telefun Town, an exhibit dedicated to telephone communication and sponsored by Illinois Bell.

By the 1960s, the “town” included a Picturephone, a futuristic device that enabled users to see, as well as hear, the person on the other end of line.

Telefun Town is long gone now. And you might be reading this editorial on …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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