DEARBORN, MI – The Henry Ford announced today the new acquisition of Mathematica, an exhibition conceptualized, designed and realized by Charles and Ray Eames in 1961 that conveys the world of numbers and mathematics through interactivity. The exhibition, acquired from the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, will be on permanent display in its entirety inside Henry Ford Museum in 2016.
“Mathematica not only changed the way exhibitions were designed, but it was created to address a specific problem within the museum and education community that is still relevant today, which is a better way to convey mathematical principles and ideas to visitors,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “Learning by doing has always been an important concept for our organization and with this acquisition we can now fully provide our visitors with unique, educational and entertaining elements that incorporate the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) platform.”
Originally created through funding by IBM, Mathematica uses kinetic installations, models, timelines, quotations, imagery, and physical interaction to explain mathematical principles, phenomena, ideas and applications.
“Mathematica reveals that the “world of numbers” represents a tiny percentage of the world of mathematics,” said Marc Greuther, chief curator and senior director, historical resources at The Henry Ford. “The exhibit sidesteps boundaries between education, play, art, and science—plus it’s recognized historically as an Eames design landmark.”
The Eames office created a total of three versions of the exhibition. The first is now installed in the New York Hall of Science and the second is owned by the Museum of Science in Boston. The third version, originally installed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair went on to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle before becoming the property of the present day Eames Office. This latter version, incorporates interactive elements unique to it, has now been acquired by The Henry Ford. The Henry Ford is currently working on the design and location for Mathematica’s permanent display. Details on when the exhibition will be open to the public will be released at a later time.
About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized cultural destination that brings the past forward by immersing visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. A national historic landmark with an unparalleled collection of artifacts from 300 years of American history, The Henry Ford is a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. More than 1.6 million visitors annually experience its five attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus. In 2014, The Henry Ford premiered its first-ever national television series, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, showcasing present-day change-makers and The Henry Ford’s artifacts and unique visitor experiences. Hosted by news correspondent and humorist, Mo Rocca, this weekly half-hour show airs Saturday mornings on CBS.