Speaker explores challenges of creating monuments

July 14, 2014

Image with caption: The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. (photo by David Bjorgen, Creative Commons)

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. (photo by David Bjorgen, Creative Commons)

Members of the UNMC community are invited to bring a lunch and join Martin Moeller, senior curator from the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., as he explores how art and technology have come together to create some of the world's most impressive and moving memorials.

  • What: Discussion by Martin Moeller, senior curator from the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.
  • When: Noon on July 22
  • Where: Sorrell Center, Room 2014

Moeller's presentation, "Designing Memory: The Art and Technology of Monuments," will include edifices such as the Washington Monument, widely admired for its dignified simplicity. Few visitors realize the enormous technical challenges (and aesthetic debates) that had to be overcome in order to build such a structure.

He will also discuss the Astronauts Memorial in Titusville, Fla., made possible only because of sophisticated new material technologies and complicated machinery that allowed the structure to track the sun's movement across the sky (although this was perhaps too complicated, since the memorial is now stationery due to deferred maintenance).

Other examples will range from the Lincoln Memorial, with its innovative ceiling of thin marble panels soaked in beeswax to make them translucent, to the Europe Gate, celebrating Hungary's admittance to the European Union, which is made of concrete blocks embedded with fiber optics to transmit light through the apparently solid material.

RSVPs are requested. If you are planning to attend, please email the events coordinator.

The presentation is part of the Durham Museum and UNMC's Time Travelers partnership program. The program provides free museum admission for medical center employees, students and their immediate family with a valid identification badge, while also offering lectures, workshops and other events on the medical center campus.

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