Scientific Revolution - Chat with the Curators Walking Tour

Schusterman Library, OU Tulsa campus
Schusterman Library, OU-Tulsa

On September 8, on the 5th floor of Bizzell Memorial Library in Norman, about 30 guests participated in a Walking Tour for the OU Tulsa reprise exhibit, "The Scientific Revolution." As advertised at

In this "Chat with the Curators" event, come explore a reprise of The Scientific Revolution exhibit, which was originally on display at the Schusterman Library on the OU-Tulsa campus as part of last year's Galileo's World exhibition.  In this walking tour, Kerry Magruder (Curator of Galileo's World) and Stewart Brower (Director, Schusterman Library) will discuss The Scientific Revolution, both the books now on display again for a two-month rotation, as well as the collaboration between the two campuses that made possible the original exhibit in Tulsa.

During the walk-through, we touched base on each book displayed, both for its own sake and why it was sent to Tulsa.  Everyone gained a new appreciation for the Schusterman and its mission from the discussion of how the exhibit fit in with the Schusterman and its setting in the University and in the Tulsa community.  

The evening featured a back-and-forth dialogue between participants and those involved in curating and producing the exhibit:  Stewart Brower and Katie Prentice (both from the Schusterman Library), David Davis (Head of Exhibits, OU Libraries), James Burnes, Brent Purkaple, Stu Ryan and JoAnn Palmeri from OU Libraries. JoAnn spoke on Shakespeare events, Brent described educational outreach, Stu discussed some of the instruments, and David talked about the instrument replicas from the Museo Galileo.  

To illustrate exhibit activity in Tulsa, numerous images of events held at the Schusterman were projected onto the big screen in the Exhibit Hall, including:

Schusterman Library, OU Tulsa campus:  Opening Reception Schusterman Library, OU Tulsa campus:  Opening Reception, telescopes
Opening Reception, Fall 2015

The Schusterman Library welcomed more than 360 people for their opening reception a year ago. With help from local amateur astronomers and educators, the opening event was a family-friendly activity fair, featuring telescopic viewing, storytelling for kids, and hands-on activities for kids and for the visually impaired.

Schusterman Library, OU Tulsa campus: Galileo event Schusterman Library, OU Tulsa campus: Galileo event
Galileo in Tulsa (Paul Austin)

A well-attended event last February featured an appearance by Galileo himself!  See him appearing in the first picture, above, left, abruptly interrupting the curator from behind and approaching the stairs.  He then came down the stairs to interrogate the curator about the Galileo's World exhibit.  Galileo was artfully played by Paul Austin, an OU actor, writer and poet.  Although we haven't yet mentioned him, Paul also came to the walk through, and spoke to us in his Tuscan accent.  After we played a short clip of his appearance as Galileo at the Tulsa event, Paul then said a few words about the upcoming production of Galileo’s Torch, a play by James Reston about Galileo’s trial that will have its international debut here at OU in February.  In that play, Paul will again play the part of Galileo. 

About 30 people participated.  For many, perhaps most, it was their first Galileo’s World event.  Many were from OKC, and off-campus folks outnumbered people from the university.  It was a pleasant diverse mixture of ages, both young and old.

For more info on future events like this one, see the Walking Tours page under "Meetups" in the "Participate" menu. For more info on the Reprise exhibit, see the pages in the "Galileo's World" menu.  For more info on "The Scientific Revolution" exhibit, see the Gallery at a Glance page in the "Galileo's World" menu.

by Kerry Magruder and Brent Purkaple