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Stunning 'Museum of the Moon' landing in Minnesota May 21-June 9

The Bell Museum is bringing Earth's Moon to the Twin Cities in the form of a vivid, large-scale art installation


March 25, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS/ST.PAUL (3/22/19) - The Bell Museum will showcase "Museum of the Moon," by UK artist Luke Jerram, from May 21–June 9, 2019. The installation is part of the Bell's yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, Year of Apollo: The Moon & Beyond. The Bell's installation also coincides with the anniversary of NASA's Apollo 10 mission that orbited the Moon May 18-26, 1969, the "dress rehearsal" for the first Moon landing.

The seven meter spherical sculpture of Earth's Moon is a fusion of NASA imagery, simulated moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimeter of the internally lit sphere represents five kilometers of the lunar surface.

"Museum of the Moon" will be suspended from the ceiling in the Bell Museum's Horizon Hall and have only a few feet between it and the floor. The museum will host a series of special events to get a close look at the artwork, which will technically be on view day and night thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that flank the north and south ends of the museum's large lobby.

When the Bell opened its new facility in 2018, it returned a dedicated public planetarium to Minnesota as well as a home for astronomy and space learning, including telescope observation events, a traveling planetarium, and free guides to help budding astronomers study local skies.

"We are Minnesota's astronomy classroom," said Bell Museum executive director Denise Young. "What better way to marvel at the cosmos, celebrate what we have learned over the last 50 years, and imagine future explorations than to stand face to face with our Moon?"

The massive 21 meter wide, high resolution image used for the sculpture was created by the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. The imagery was taken by a NASA satellite carrying the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera launched in 2010.

"I wanted to make the artwork seem as authentic and realistic as possible to give the public the opportunity to fly to the Moon." says artist Luke Jerram. "For most people, this will be the closest encounter they will ever have with the Moon."

"Museum of the Moon" has drawn crowds in Iceland, China, Australia, Europe and the UK. As the stunning, internally lit sculpture travels the world, Jerram's interpretation of the Moon has brought that moonlit inspiration a wide audience.

"Depending on where the artwork is presented, the meaning and interpretation of it shifts," said Jerram. "Every culture has its own relationship to the Moon and each host venue programs a series of events."

Throughout history the moon has inspired artists, poets, scientists, writers and musicians the world over. Bell Museum visitors will have a chance to share that inspiration and enjoy regular moon tours, family-friendly storytime readings, and a variety of lunar-inspired programs that celebrate cultural perspectives, nocturnal plant and animal behavior and more.

Special 'Moon' Events

After Hours - May 22, May 29 and June 5, 5-10 p.m.

See the 'Museum of the Moon' as the sun sets, when it glows even brighter in the Bell's Horizon Hall. Guests curate their evening from a host of activities, including sketching the moon, NASA spaceflight artifacts, a show in the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium, outdoor stargazing (weather permitting) and a guided tour of Moon geography, geology, and historic landmarks. Standard admission and ticket fees apply.

Guest Speakers:

May 22 - Night Moves - Look into nocturnal plant and animal behaviors. A talk by University of Minnesota researchers Tom Gable and Joseph Bump from the Voyageurs Wolf Project will reveal what they've learned about the secret lives of wolves, including the first-ever video of a pack fishing at night in Voyageurs National Park.

May 29 - Moonlit Memories - Bell Museum resident artist and poet Erin Sharkey will offer a reminder to look up as she leads an open writing workshop to reflect on experiences on Earth's Moon and nature at night

June 5 - Moon Through Dakota & Ojibwe Eyes - Čhaŋtémaza (Neil McKay), University of Minnesota Dakota Language Specialist and Kaagegaabaw (James Vukelich), Minneapolis Public Schools indigenous linguist will lead a talk about indigenous perspectives of the moon.

Moon Yoga

June 1, 8:30-9:30 a.m., $20 for adults and $10 for youth ages 10-18

Give "moon salutations" a whole new meaning with an inclusive yoga experience in view of the stunning 'Museum of the Moon' installation.

Super Moon Pajama Party

June 1, 6-9 p.m., $20 for adults, $15 youth ages 3-18

A family-friendly late-over at the museum. Tickets include the 'Museum of the Moon,' a planetarium show, DIY space dioramas, and a moon cookie.

One Giant Leap Planetarium Premiere

June 8, showtimes vary, regular ticket fees apply

The Bell Museum's latest original planetarium production, One Giant Leap premiers June 8 and runs all summer long. One Giant Leap puts audiences on the surface of the Moon with Neil Armstrong by transforming archival footage of the Moon landing into a 360 experience.

Apollo Anniversary & Cosmic 5K: July 20

On Saturday, July 20, the Bell will host a daylong celebration and 5K fundraiser. Games, crafts, lunar samples, NASA artifacts, and learning activities will be available throughout the day.

About Museum of the Moon

"Museum of the Moon" was co-commissioned by a number of creative organizations brought together by Luke Jerram and Norfolk & Norwich Festival. These include: At-Bristol, Kimmel Center, Lakes Alive, Provincial Domain Dommelhof, Brighton Festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Without Walls, Les Tombées de la Nuit, Rennes and Cork Midsummer Festival. The artwork has also been created in partnership with the UK Space Agency, University of Bristol and The Association for Science and Discovery Centres.

About Bell Museum

The Bell Museum is Minnesota's official natural history museum, founded in 1872 and held in trust at the University of Minnesota. A proud part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, our mission is to ignite curiosity and wonder, explore our connections to nature and the universe, and create a better future for our evolving world. For details, visit or find @bellmuseum on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

We strive to make our facility and events accessible to all. Audio description, ASL interpretation, or other accommodations can be arranged with a two-week notice. Contact the accessibility office at 612-624-4268 or for details.


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