The Chemical Heritage Foundation Presents New Exhibition and Walking Tour—Things Fall Apart

The Chemical Heritage Foundation opens a new exhibition on June 17, 2017, titled Things Fall Apart. This exhibition and walking tour explore the life and afterlife of things and why (and how) we preserve them.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Hope Koseff Corse
hcorse@chemheritage.org
Phone: 215-873-8294
Website: www.sciencehistory.org/thingsfallapart

Opens Saturday, June 17

OPENING EVENT: June 17, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
ADMISSION: Free and open to the public
HOURS: Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; open until 8:00 p.m. First Fridays

The Chemical Heritage Foundation opens a new exhibition on June 17, 2017, titled Things Fall Apart. This exhibition and walking tour explore the life and afterlife of things and why (and how) we preserve them. It includes objects from the Institute’s collections as well as items on loan from Eastern State Penitentiary, the Fox Historic Costume Collection at Drexel University, the National Park Service, and the Winterthur Museum’s Conservation Department. The exhibition also features contemporary art on themes of change, loss, and transformation by the winners of the Institute’s juried competition: Aubrie Costello, Dominique Ellis, Michelle Marcuse, and José Ortiz-Pagán. Things Fall Apart runs through Friday, February 2, 2018.

Why do we expect certain things to last forever while we are aware of matter’s fleeting nature? Visitors will explore this question through objects, many local to the Philadelphia area, including broken housewares, contemporary art, and a 19th-century door with connections to Alexander Hamilton. “We want people to look at these things, study their surfaces, and appreciate the difficulty in caring for things, and to prompt them to think about how to preserve and protect their own treasured belongings,” says exhibition curator Elisabeth Berry Drago.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Old City neighborhood also plays a role in an interactive part of the exhibition, Things Fall Apart: An Old City Walking Tour. This free audio walking tour, which includes interviews with curators and community leaders, allows participants to see the changing Old City landscape with new eyes. “The app is a chance to uncover what’s hidden,” Berry Drago says. “Old City has been a lot of different cities—it has so many layers. What it looks like now doesn’t necessarily reflect what it looked like 100 years ago, or 150, or 250.” Created in partnership with Detour, the walking tour app will be available for download beginning June 17. Visitors can also join the Institute’s preservation conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #WhatFallsApart.

Saturday, June 17, 2017
Things Fall Apart Opening Event Schedule

11:00 a.m.: Behind the Scenes

Meet the curator of Things Fall Apart and creator of Things Fall Apart: An Old City Walking Tour as they discuss the inspiration for the exhibition and walking tour app. Afterward, chat with the curator inside the exhibition, and go beyond the walls with the free digital walking tour.

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Sustainable Art

Things Fall Apart examines the life and afterlife of things—and why we fight to preserve them. But what about the things we don’t bother to preserve? Using materials collected from a cleanup of Penn Treaty Park, we’ll turn discarded trash into treasure with Fleisher Art Memorial’s mobile art studio, ColorWheels. While you’re engaging in creative artwork, learn about the importance of recycling in the City of Brotherly Love with representatives from Keep Philly Beautiful and United By Blue.

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Reception and Talk with Di Bruno Brothers (SOLD OUT)

Did you know there’s a delicious side to decay? Join our talk with Di Bruno Brothers, and learn about the fascinating (and delicious) process of aging cheese; then enjoy tasty samples and a chance to visit the exhibition.

The museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information visit our website.

About Things Fall Apart

If nothing lasts forever, how and why do we save what we save? Everything falls apart: compounds break down, solids crumble, surfaces rust. We’re surrounded by constant change as we reclaim, reuse, or reimagine our material environment. Yet decay is also connected to our hopes for the future and our understanding of the past. Our impulse to protect treasured objects is a desire to hold onto the stories they tell. But whose stories survive? This exhibition and walking tour explore the life and afterlife of things—and why we fight to preserve them.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation fosters dialogue on science and technology in society. Our staff and fellows study the past in order to understand the present and inform the future. We focus on matter and materials and their effects on our modern world in territory ranging from the physical sciences and industries, through the chemical sciences and engineering, to the life sciences and technologies. We collect, preserve, and exhibit historical artifacts; engage communities of scientists and engineers; and tell the stories of the people behind breakthroughs and innovations.