Monday, August 28, 2006

Harrisburg: The State Museum

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA
August 26, 2006
The governmental heart of Harrisburg was fascinatingly deserted this past Saturday. The only other people we saw wandering about as we tried to make our way around the capitol building were also tourists. Despite the apparent lack of people in the area, the planetarium was surprisingly full for the 1:00 show.

There is much more to see at the (boringly named) State Museum than just the planetarium show . There is a Juried Art exhibit going on on the ground floor featuring painting, photography, design, sculpture, and crafts. (This is also where the bathrooms are, which is how we found it.) One floor down there is a gift shop and a desk where you buy the tickets to the planetarium show. On the second floor are exhibitions of human technology - wagons and carts, a gristmill and other such things. The third floor, in addition to the planetarium, hosts a collection of rocks and minerals, an exhibition of dinosaurs, the skeleton of a Wooly Mammoth found in Marshalls Creek and a recreation of the creature as it appeared with flesh and muscles and hair, a hall of more recent mammals (Elk, Bison, mountain lion, timber wolf), exhibitions of insects, reptiles, birds, squirrels, and wildlife of all sorts, and an impressive display of Civil War paintings and memorabilia.

Somebody needs to tell the curators that this model of Tyrannosaurus posture was generally abandoned quite a while ago in favor of the horizontally-slung spine seen in movies like Jurassic Park.

You can easily spend an entire day just wandering around the State Museum, taking it all in. Admission is free, parking is free on the weekends, and it's really worth your while. Go and see for yourself!

1 comment:

betz said...

this article made me so tempted to go to the museum harold.