Jarrow Hall Museum

Jarrow Hall Museum

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Jarrow Hall Museum is a living history museum in Jarrow, South Tyneside, which tells the story of Anglo-Saxon life in Northumbria and the life and times of the famous Anglo-Saxon writer Bede.

Jarrow Hall Museum history

During the Anglo-Saxon period, the Jarrow area was at the centre of a thriving scholarly community due to its eminent double monastery – Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey.

It was here that the Anglo-Saxon monk Bede lived, wrote, and died, giving rise to the fame and historical intrigue of the area. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People established him as the leading historical authority in England during his lifetime, and today he is often referred to as ‘The Father of English History’.

Seizing upon this famous figure’s legacy and the wealth of fascinating history in the area, in 1993 the first attraction at the Jarrow Hall Museum site was opened. Operating at first as ‘Bede’s World’, the site was reopened in 2017 in the form it is found today.

Jarrow Hall Museum today

Today the Jarrow Hall complex contains a replica Anglo-Saxon farm and village, the Bede Museum, and the Grade II listed Jarrow Hall House. Within the Anglo-Saxon farm and village are a number of reconstructed buildings that appear as they would have in the year 700, indicating what life may have looked like during that time. Anglo-Saxon crop and animal husbandry techniques are displayed, as well as a number of animals bred to mirror those farmed at the time.

The Bede Museum explores Bede’s extraordinary life, as well as the 1300-year-old history of the area, helping to bring to life the era once known as the ‘dark ages’. It contains a number of fascinating artefacts, including the largest collection of coloured glass from the 7th and 8th century in Europe and a unique collection of stonework from the era.

A full-scale replica of the Codex Amiatinus, the oldest complete Latin Bible in the world may also be viewed, the original of which was produced in the nearby Abbey. A pleasant coffee shop may be enjoyed in Jarrow Hall House itself, amongst the stunning 18th century building’s architecture and recently-refurbished Georgian interior.

Getting to Jarrow Hall Museum

Jarrow Hall is located in Jarrow, South Tyneside just off the B1297 road. The nearest rail stations are the Jarrow and Bede Metro stations, both a 20-minute walk away, while the nearest bus stop to the site is the High Street stop, a 2-minute walk away.

Jarrow and Bede

Jarrow is a special place in the history of the English speaking world for no other place is more closely associated with Bede, the man who first recorded the history of the English people.

Church of St Paul Jarrow: Photo © David Simpson

Jarrow was the place where Bede shone as a light of learning in an otherwise dark period of history – an era about which we would know much less if it were not for Bede. His legacy was felt throughout Europe. In the ninth a century, a monk in far away Switzerland neatly summed up Bede’s influential status when he wrote:

“God, the orderer of natures, who raised the Sun from the East on the fourth day of Creation, in the sixth day of the world, has made Bede rise from the West as a new Sun to illuminate the world”

In his life, the Venerable Bede, or St. Bede as he may also be called is not thought to have ventured beyond his home Kingdom of Northumbria. It was one of a number of kingdoms in which English or at least the now almost unrecognisable, Germanic tongue of the Anglo-Saxons was spoken. Bede was keen to stress the shared history of these English speaking kingdoms. He was the greatest scholar of his age and no other Anglo-Saxon comes close to his fame other than perhaps Alfred the Great, a later king of Wessex who lived after Bede’s time but revered Bede as one of the key figures of the Anglo-Saxon era.

Bede is known to have travelled south to York and north to Lindisfarne but seems to have rarely ventured beyond the boundaries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, which he regarded as one monastery in two places. At one point Pope Sergius invited Bede to visit Rome but there is no evidence that Bede took up this opportunity.

Former Bede's World museum to reopen as Jarrow Hall

The museum, which employed 27 people, will now be run by charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle.

It said it would reopen in October as Jarrow Hall - Anglo Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum.

Andrew Watts, the charity's executive director, said: "This is a new dawn for this well-known, well-loved and highly important history centre.

"It is essential that its celebration of the life of the Venerable Bede, through the museum and other educational services, remains a key element of its work, but recent history has shown that it must have broader appeal.

"The site has many amazing features and attractions which will be reflected in a new calendar of activities and events.

"This will include special themed events, an educational programme for schools, heritage skills workshops, space for businesses and events space."

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council, which owns the the land and buildings, said: "We believe we have found a solution to ensure this venue has a long-term future for the people of South Tyneside and the wider region."

Bede lived from 672 AD to 735 AD and is considered the father of English history.

He lived in the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, where he wrote and translated dozens of books on theology, history, nature, astronomy and poetry.

His most famous work remains The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which was the first work of history to use the AD system of dating.

Collection and expeditions

Our collection began with objects that had been on display at the exposition, from anthropological artifacts and geological specimens to an extensive botany collection. The Museum’s earliest acquisitions included the Ward’s natural history collection, the entire Tiffany & Co. gem display, a collection of pre-Columbian gold ornaments, musical instruments from Samoa and Java, and a large collection of Native American objects.

Museum researchers went on expeditions right from the start—beginning in 1894—as a way to both expand the collection and document diverse life and environments around the world. In 1896, Carl Akeley and David Giraud Elliot traveled to Africa, the first expedition there organized by a North American museum. Expeditions continued on through two world wars, and our scientists are still traveling to all corners of the earth.

Today, the collection contains nearly 40 million objects, only a fraction of which are on display to the public—and our collections staff continually works to make more of our specimens and artifacts accessible in new ways. World-renowned items on display include Egyptian mummies, the man-eating lions of Tsavo, and SUE, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered—and there is so much more in the research collections.

Jarrow Hall Museum - History

The Firefighters Hall and Museum houses the premier museum in the upper Midwest dedicated to presenting and preserving the history of firefighting.

It is located in Minneapolis at 664 – 22nd Avenue NE, between University and Central Avenues. The Firefighters Hall and Museum was established after the National Firefighters Memorial Museum closed for financial reasons.

Former Minneapolis Fire Chief Clarence Nimmerfroh first organized a museum committee in 1974 with the purpose of starting a fire museum. The committee began to collect items for a fire museum, many being stored temporarily in Minneapolis fire stations until a museum could be established.

A temporary warehouse was acquired in 1979 at 7th Street and 11th Avenue South to store the many acquisitions Chief Nimmerfroh and his committee had collected. In 1985 the National Firefighters Memorial Museum moved into a rental property at 1100 Van Buren Street NE. The Museum remained there until it lost its lease in 1995.

Upon the death of Bill and Bonnie Daniels, the courts oversaw the trust left by them to establish a firefighters meeting hall and museum. The current Firefighters Hall and Museum was purchased and rebuilt with the trust money left by retired Minneapolis Fire Captain Bill Daniels and his wife Bonnie, other donations, and several thousand hours of volunteer time. Volunteers continue to donate their time in an effort to make sure this critical historical resource is not lost. The challenge now is to raise funds for its operation and maintenance.

The Firefighters Hall & Museum contains a variety of vehicles, equipment, literature, and photographs related to firefighting and firefighters in over 12,000 square feet of air conditioned space. The entrance façade was designed in the style of a turn of the century Minneapolis Fire Station. The permanent display includes an 1865 operating hand pumper, an 1894 Waterous steam fire engine, a 1919 American LaFrance Ladder Truck from Mankato and a 1932 FWD pumper built by the Minneapolis Fire Department shop.

There is also an extensive library where you can conduct research. It also contains information on former Minneapolis and St. Paul firefighters and other historical items dating back as far as the 1860s.

The Museum has an event center that can be rented for special functions such as meetings and parties and can hold up to 115 people.

We also host several interactive displays for children including a sliding fire pole, fire alarm box, open and enclosed tiller cabs, turn out gear, and makes a great place for a special birthday party.

The museum is seeking individual and organization members to support its continuing operation. Individual memberships are $36 per year and family memberships are $48 per year. Other memberships are also available and donations are always appreciated.

True to the spirit of its past, PEM is dedicated to creating a museum experience that celebrates art and the world in which it was made.

In the early 20th century, the Peabody Academy of Science changed its name to the Peabody Museum of Salem and continued to focus on collecting international art and culture. Capitalizing on growing interest in early American architecture and historic preservation, the Essex Institute acquired many important historic houses and was at the forefront of historical interpretation.

With their physical proximity, closely connected boards and overlapping collections, the possibility of consolidating the Essex and the Peabody had been discussed over the years. After in-depth studies showed the benefits of such a merger, the consolidation of these two organizations into the new PEM was effected in July 1992. The museum possessed extraordinary collections — more than 840,000 works of art and culture featuring maritime art and history American art Asian, Oceanic, and African art Asian export art two large libraries with over 400,000 books, manuscripts, and documents and 22 historic buildings. Today’s collection has grown to include 1.8 more than a million works and Yin Yu Tang, the only complete Qing Dynasty house outside China.

True to the spirit of its past, PEM is dedicated to creating a museum experience that celebrates art and the world in which it was made. By presenting art and culture in new ways, by linking past and present, and by embracing artistic and cultural achievements worldwide, the museum offers unique opportunities to explore a multilayered and interconnected world of creative expression.

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating and collecting museum in the United States. Far from a typical museum, it is more an amalgamation of entities, a collection of collections. Although these collections are not encyclopedic, they make for a multidimensional and multifaceted museum. While PEM as such goes back only to the 1992 merger of the Peabody Museum of Salem and the Essex Institute, its history is long and complex, marked by a series of changes and reinventions originating with the founding of the East India Marine Society in 1799.

Established as a cabinet for the display of curiosities assembled by seafarers who wanted to share their global experience and knowledge, the East India Marine Society was also a community welfare organization dedicated to supporting the families of mariners lost at sea. The society’s feasts, parties, banquets, and parades were occasions of celebration in what was then, in the early nineteenth century, one of the wealthiest and most successful trading cities in the country. As a vital center for Salem’s social and intellectual life, the society was a precursor of the notion of the museum as a town square or forum, an idea at the center of modern urban planning practices such as creative placemaking. Salem’s architecture, furniture, and fashions were the pride of the country. It was a city of brilliant people — notably Nathaniel Bowditch, autodidact and polymath the Reverend William Bentley, intellectual and diarist Samuel McIntire, architect and designer Sarah Parker Remond, anti-slavery activist and medical doctor Nathaniel Hawthorne, renowned writer and Joseph Story, the youngest person ever to be nominated for the United States Supreme Court and a founding force of Harvard Law School.

Unlike most of its peers, PEM was not formed by royalty or big-city plutocrats or from a single private collection. At its origins was a group of twenty-two sea captains and traders who wished to help people understand the world. Awe and wonder have long been a feature of Salem, and its globe-traveling ships brought back marvels.

PEM’S roots engage deep relationships between art and science. Far from seeing these disciplines as distinct, PEM and its antecedents envisaged a holistic world where art and nature, the sciences and the humanities are intertwined. Founded in 1848, the Essex Institute became one of the greatest documentary repositories of the history of an American region—Essex County—and of those who lived there. The Peabody Museum of Salem, established in 1867 as the Peabody Academy of Science, had a preoccupation with creating “transporting moments” for visitors through eclectic displays of natural history and handmade objects from all parts of the globe. A strong interest in new technologies prevailed and, of course, maritime navigation depended on such advances. Exploration and discovery were as much at the core of the museum’s history as were art and design, libraries and archives.

Since the 1992 merger of these institutions, PEM has undergone one of the most remarkable transformations in American museum history. Fueled by extraordinary ambition and private funding, the museum—now comprising three campuses and thirty-five buildings—has expanded its staff, budget, square footage under roof, attendance, and endowment. Our main campus in Salem centers on the historic East India Marine Hall of 1825, joined by the various additions built adjacent to it over the years, and includes thirty-three other buildings, twenty-four of which are historic houses. The second campus, located fifteen miles away in Rowley, Massachusetts, features the impressive Collection Center, which, in addition to providing object storage, houses the Phillips Library and offers facilities for conservation, photography, and digitization. A third, “metaphorical” campus embraces the museum’s digital and virtual realms.

Large and ambitious yet approachable and authentic to its history, PEM is an international museum with deep local and regional roots, a contemporary institution with DNA stretching back more than two centuries. PEM is a museum of art and culture, but, like all collecting museums, it is also a museum of history. As historical records of human creativity and imagination, its collections follow a broad definition of works of art because they contain objects and artifacts made for different purposes in many different parts of the world. PEM exists to tell the story of the entwined histories that enrich our human awareness and understanding of where we live and how we are connected to one another and with the world. PEM and its predecessor entities have long celebrated different customs from around the world and a variety of skills and technical expertise, bringing all this together to form a kind of “global narrative.”

The Peabody Essex Museum embraces and recognizes its history— one of democratizing innovation that is global in focus and based on international trade yet rooted in its founding place. We acknowledge that the museum was built on the ancestral lands of Indigenous people who have lived and moved through this place for hundreds of generations— people who continue to live and work in the region today.

PEM continues today as an educational resource of profound dimensions—a museum, library, and archive committed to art, science, nature, and human achievement. As we move forward, we will continue to be a place of cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary activity immersed in multisensory learning. We are for the lifelong learner, the amateur, and the expert. We will build on our recent trajectory of growth, endeavoring to engage communities by embracing the spirit and pursuit of fun, experience, and learning. PEM will engage imaginative new technologies and looks forward with enthusiasm and excitement to the museum’s coming decades.

Text excerpted from the Peabody Essex Museum Guide (2020) which is available for purchase in the PEM Shop.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall, Chestnut Street facade

Independence Hall is the birthplace of America. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed inside this building. The legacy of the nation's founding documents - universal principles of freedom and democracy - has influenced lawmakers around the world and distinguished Independence Hall as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Construction on the building started in 1732. Built to be the Pennsylvania State House, the building originally housed all three branches of Pennsylvania's colonial government. The Pennsylvania legislature loaned their Assembly Room out for the meetings of the Second Continental Congress and later, the Constitutional Convention. Here, George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1781, and Benjamin Franklin gazed upon the "Rising Sun" chair in 1787.

There is much history to explore - from the Georgian architecture, to bells and clocks, to fugitive slave hearings - in addition to the founding of the nation. Planning a visit? Learn more about hours, tickets and programs.

Assembly Room of Independence Hall

The Assembly Room
The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both signed in this room. Later, the room became a shrine to the founding of the nation, proudly displaying the Liberty Bell and original paintings of the Founding Fathers. That was the scene when President-elect Abraham Lincoln visited the Assembly Room and praised the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Following his assassination, Lincoln's body lay in repose here for two days. Visitors today can ponder their own role in the on-going experiment in self-government.

Courtroom on the first floor of Independence Hall.

Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania sat in this room in the 1700s. On July 8, 1776, an act of defiance occurred here when a group of Pennsylvania militiamen stormed in and tore down British King George III's coat of arms. A hundred years later, visitors came to this room during the Centennial to experience the National Museum, a collection of artifacts celebrating the founding of the nation,

Long Gallery on the second floor of Independence Hall

Long Gallery
The Long Gallery on the second floor of Independence Hall served as a reception area for visitors meeting with Pennsylvania's governor. It was also the scene of dinners and celebrations. During the British occupation of Philadelphia, the Long Gallery became a hospital for wounded American prisoners of war. Later visitors to this room marveled at Peale's Museum, one of the earliest museums in America.

Governor's Council Chamber on the second floor of Independence Hall.

Governor's Council Chamber
Pennsylvania's Supreme Executive Council met in this room in the 18th century. Later use of the room includes U.S. District Court, the scene of fugitive slave trials in the 1850s. Displayed on the table today is the surveyor's tool used by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to determine the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Committee of the Assembly Chamber on the second floor of Independence Hall.

Jarrow Hall Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum

Jarrow Hall features at its heart a museum dedicated to exploring the fascinating life and legacy of Bede an extensive Anglo-Saxon demonstration farm with rare-breed animals and extensive grounds featuring reconstructed historic dwellings, a picnic area, medieval herb garden and more.

With everything from farm talks to face-painting, combat to crafts, learning to lectures and more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Jarrow Hall.

Max Card holder goes free, £1 off for up to two additional attendees (adult or child) How to Redeem: Present Max Card on arrival. Terms and Conditions: • Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.
• Limited to one child and two additional attendees (adult or child) per Max Card.
• Not to be used in conjunction with any other special offer (other concessions may apply so adult visitors will always pay the lowest price available or enjoy free entry if eligible)

Across the two floors of the Jane G. Pisano Dinosaur Hall, you’ll roam under, around, and above 20 mounted skeletons of the largest and most interesting dinosaurs and sea creatures to ever inhabit prehistoric Earth. Examine over 300 fossils, just like real paleontologists, to study dinosaurs and their ancient world.

Learn how big dinosaurs could get.

Look down on the T. rex trio from the balcony of the Dinosaur Hall.

In Photos: See Inside the American Museum of Natural History’s New Hall of Gems, Dedicated to ‘Nature’s Art’ (and Rihanna’s Necklace)

This slab of amphibolite rock sourced from Gore Mountain in upstate New York contains huge almandine garnet crystals that formed more than a billion years ago. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Four years ago, the Halls of Gems and Minerals at New York’s American Museum of Natural History closed for long-overdue renovations. The cavelike space, deliberately designed to evoke the feeling of the mines where many of the specimens on display had been excavated, had been essentially untouched since 1976.

This week, it reopens to the public and features some 5,500 objects, from polished diamonds to rough-hewn sandstone.

“I think it’s fair to say that no space, no gallery is quite as glittering as these new halls,” museum president Ellen Futter said at the press preview.

The 11,000-square-foot halls have traditionally been one of the museum’s most beloved attractions, and the museum is predicting that it will be a major draw for tourists returning to the city.

Visitors in Minerals Hall at the American Museum of Natural History (1976) examine the Singing Stone, a 4.5 ton block of vibrant blue azurite and green malachite from Arizona that hums with changes in humidity. The climate control in the new hall prevents this from happening. Photo courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.

“There is something truly elemental and visceral about our connection to the minerals and materials of the earth on which we live,” Futter said. “Didn’t we all collect rocks as children?… And who among us doesn’t appreciate a spectacular gem?”

Remade by exhibition design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates courtesy of benefactors and new namesakes Roberto and Allison Mignone, the hall is virtually unrecognizable from the dark gallery with carpeted ramps and floor-level display cases it used to be.

“I called [it] the jungle gym and the nanny-dom,” George Harlow, the museum’s curator of the department of earth and planetary sciences, said at the press preview.

The entrance to the new galleries features a pair of towering amethyst geodes that are among the world’s largest on display. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

New explanations about the evolution of minerals also reflect the latest scientific research.

Today, the most widely accepted theory is that most of the 5,500 known minerals evolved in tandem with life. (The Earth has 10 times more minerals than anywhere else in the Solar System.)

The hypotheses, introduced in 2008, holds that there was an explosion in mineral diversification during the Great Oxidation Event that began some 3 billion years ago, introducing oxygen into the atmosphere and leading to boldly colorful minerals.

This display illustrates the concept of mineral evolution, a theory which has developed over the past 15 years. Photo by D. Finnin, ©AMNH.

“Without minerals, there really isn’t life,” Harlow said. “Getting people to understand that we have a relationship with minerals makes them more approachable beyond the fact that they can be gobsmackingly beautiful.”

All minerals are naturally occurring solids with crystalline structures and uniform chemical compositions, but they can form in different ways, leading to dramatically different appearances.

Amethyst, citrine, agate, and jasper are all varieties of quartz. Rocks can contain several different minerals. Granite, for instance, is typically a mix of quartz, feldspar, and mica. And then there are the gems—cut and polished minerals that are hard and durable enough to be worn as jewelry.

At 563 carats, the Star of India is the world’s largest gem-quality blue star sapphire. Some 2 billion years old, it is one of the most well-known objects in the world. Photo by D. Finnin, ©AMNH.

New additions to the collection include the diamond and platinum Organdie Necklace, worn by Rihanna on the cover of Essence and donated by the New York jewelry dealer Siegelson.

The cream of the crop is perhaps the 563-carat Star of India sapphire, the world’s largest-known gem-quality blue star sapphire. The most famous piece in the museum’s gem collection, it was stolen in a 1964 jewelry heist and later recovered in a Florida bus terminal locker.

The Organdie Diamond Necklace, a lattice-work girandole bib necklace set with 2,190 round and pear-shape diamonds set in platinum, designed by Michele Ong for Carnet. Rihanna wore this necklace on the cover of Essence magazine in February 2021.

Part of the fun of exploring the hall is discovering all the unfamiliar mineral names: Wulfenite, Almandine, Cubanite, Proustite, and Tantalite, to name just a few.

Then there are the showstoppers, like the Singing Stone, a massive block of bright blue azurite and green malachite from Arizona shown at 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It emits a high-pitched sound when the humidity changes. (An effect sadly not in evidence in the climate-controlled museum.)

Sterling Hill Fluorescent Rock Panel. The centerpiece of the Minerals & Light room is a wall-sized panel of fluorescent rock that glows in shades of orange and green, sourced from Sterling Hill in New Jersey. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Other highlights include the cherry red Tarugo, an Elbaite Tourmaline that at three feet tall is one of the world’s largest intact mineral crystal clusters. And then there’s a 10-ton rock from New Jersey’s Sterling Mine, which fluoresces in red and green when seen under ultraviolet light in a dramatic display.

But perhaps the most memorable are the two monumental amethyst geodes in the “Crystal Garden” display that greet visitors at the hall’s entrance. Striking in their otherworldly beauty, they measure nine and 13 feet tall and weigh in at over 12,000 and 9,000 pounds, respectively.

The 135-million-year-old specimens are from the Bolsa Mine in Artigas, Uruguay, and were created when gas bubbles in magma-formed cavities. As groundwater flowed in, dissolved silica turned into quartz, creating the stunning purple crystals.

“This is a piece of art,” Futter said. “It’s nature’s sculpture.”

See more photos from the halls below.

Almandine Subway Garnet. This incredible 10-pound almandine is known as the Subway Garnet. It was discovered in 1885 under 35th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway, near Herald Square. The name is misleading because it was actually found during excavation for sewer pipes. Photo by D. Finnin, ©AMNH.

This grouping of topaz gems includes the Brazilian Princess, a 221-facet, 9.5-pound pale blue topaz that once was the largest cut gem in the world. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

A slice of petrified dawn redwood from central Oregon. The metasequoia specimen is part of the same sub-family as the giant redwood in the museum’s Hall of North American Forests. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Known as the Singing Stone, this massive 4.5 ton block of vibrant blue azurite and green malachite from Arizona was first exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. After it was first displayed at the museum, this block was dubbed the Singing Stone because of the high-pitched sounds it made when the humidity changed with the weather and seasons. Now that it is exhibited in a controlled environment, it has stopped singing. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The Gems Hall displays nearly 2,500 objects from the museum’s collection. These include precious stones, carvings, and stunning jewelry from around the world that were fashioned from naturally beautiful minerals. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Weighing almost half a ton and showcasing hundreds of swordlike crystals, this is one of the largest stibnite specimens on public display, and is sourced from southeastern China. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

This 3-foot-tall cranberry-red elbaite tourmaline known as the Tarugo is one of the most fantastic mineral crystal clusters ever found. It was discovered in 1978 in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Ranging from blue-green aquamarines, sunny yellow heliodors, and pink morganites to familiar green emeralds, beryls include some of the most popular gemstones. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

In 1902, transparent lilac-pink crystals arrived at the Tiffany & Company office of George Kunz, who helped establish the gem and mineral collections at the Museum. The sender believed they were tourmaline. Kunz, however, identified the crystals as a new variety of spodumene—the first that wasn’t yellow or green—and it was named kunzite in his honor. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

This case highlighting iridescent specimens is part of the Minerals & Light room, which explores the optical properties of minerals and their interaction with light. Photo by Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Sterling Hill Fluorescent Rock Panel. The centerpiece of the Minerals & Light room is a wall-sized panel of fluorescent rock that glows in shades of orange and green, sourced from Sterling Hill in New Jersey. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Birthstones are associated with the 12 months of the year and the 12 symbols of the Zodiac, but the specific gems for each month or sign have varied over the centuries and across cultures. The list of birthstones common in the U.S. today dates back to the 1900s, when gemological organizations in the United States and Europe arrived at several standardized lists. The gems in the case represent four different cultural traditions. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The 632-carat Patricia Emerald is a dihexagonal, or 12-sided, crystal and is considered one of the great emeralds in the world. Found in Colombia in 1920, it was named after the mine owner’s daughter. This specimen is one of the very few large emeralds that have been preserved uncut. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

A carving of the Buddhist deity Guan Yin in lavender jadeite jade, fashioned in China during the late Qing Dynasty. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

This case in the Gem Hall features organic gems—those originally produced by living organisms, like jet (formed from wood), coral (formed from exoskeletons), pearl (formed by mollusks) and amber (formed from tree sap)—and opals, which are brittle and often difficult to set as jewelry. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The entrance to the Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

This case displays various specimens of jade, a tough and dense material that’s most famously green, but can also be white, black, or purple. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

An iridescent block of labradorite from Madagascar, made up of large crystals of feldspar that display vibrant colors with changes in viewing angle. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The entrance to the Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

In addition to the Guan Yin statue (top), other carvings in the Gem Hall include, from left, a vase with monster handles made out of nephrite jade, Budai—a wandering monk celebrated as god of good fortune—made from quartz, and a vase with phoenixes made from nephrite jade. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The installation of an orbicular granite from the Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia in the all-new Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Exhibition staff members install specimens in the all-new Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Exhibition staff members install a nearly-half-ton stibnite specimen in the all-new Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Exhibition staff members install specimens in the all-new Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

Exhibition staff members install specimens in the all-new Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin, ©American Museum of Natural History.

The Halls of Gems and Minerals opens at the American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, New York, on June 12, 2021.

Watch the video: Year One at Jarrow Hall (July 2022).


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