Museum of Natural History Vienna

Concept for the new installation of the Meteorite Gallery

The meteorite collection at the Museum of Natural History Vienna was founded in the 19th century and has been continually enlarged ever since. It is renowned as the world's largest collection of this type and contains quite spectacular finds among its diverse exhibits. For the new installation of the Meteorite Gallery, a concept was developed in partnership with Arno Grünberger/spurwien to devise a modern method of knowledge tranfer, which sensitively combines the existing architecture with multimedia elements and exhibits. Video clips integrated into the historic glass display cases show pictures and in-depth information on specific topics, such as "Where and how can I find meteorites?", or "What are meteorites made of?" The topic of "Impact" includes an animation simulating the nosedive of a meteorite crashing to earth, as well as the collision and the subsequent crater formation. In addition, statistics relating to average meteorite hits per year are presented, along with the probability of a large object falling to earth. A dramatic presentation of the birth of the solar system is installed in the gallery in a large monitor installation, which never fails to excite the emotions of the public. An interactive hands-on station shows the creation of the elements and explains their origins in space. Visitors can look through a magnifying glass to see extraordinary facet patterns: information on structure, composition and special features are displayed on a screen behind the object. In an interactive quiz, visitors can guess whether an exhibited meteorite and stone pattern really did come from the skies or whether they originated on earth.