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Keeping it

The GRPM Blog

2023 Collections & Cocktails Curator Wishlist


April 20, 2023

Board member works with science curator with animal skull in Collections

What is a Curator Wishlist?

The Curator Wishlist, thoughtfully assembled with desired donation items, is designed to enhance the GRPM collection. In accordance with the theme of each year’s Collections & Cocktails event, the list not only highlights the cultural and ecological history of the greater West Michigan area but also fosters a strong connection to the event’s focus.

What is on this year's Curator wishlist?

Exhibit-Quality, Michigan-Related Rocks/Minerals

With their intricate patterns formed by mineral-rich waters filling cavities in ancient lava flows, Lake Superior agates offer vivid colors. Michigan’s state stone, Petoskey stones, boast a unique hexagonal pattern when polished, revealing their fossilized coral origins. Jaspillite features stunning red and silver-gray bands, while Yooperlites fluoresce a brilliant orange under ultraviolet light.

As Michigan’s state gemstone, Chlorastrolite, also known as Isle Royale Greenstone, is primarily found in Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale, displaying an alluring green color and intricate patterns. Donating raw Chlorastrolite and Greenstone jewelry enables supporters to help the museum highlight this gemstone’s beauty and rarity.

Michigan’s geological landscape boasts diverse rock formations, each with unique characteristics and history. To comprehensively represent these wonders, we seek large rock samples of all major units. For example, the Bayport Limestone reveals valuable information about ancient marine environments. Contributing rock samples will help showcase Michigan’s rich geology.

As Michigan’s state gemstone, Chlorastrolite (Isle Royale Greenstone) is primarily found in Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale, with a striking green color and intricate patterns. By donating raw Chlorastrolite and Greenstone jewelry, supporters help the museum showcase its beauty and rarity.

To enhance our collection and create an interactive exhibit, we seek rocks and minerals that fluoresce under black light. This display will inspire curiosity, foster appreciation for geology, and facilitate learning. The collection will highlight lesser-known aspects of mineralogy and create an unforgettable museum experience.

Enhancing the GRPM Collection

Michigan’s Indigenous communities deeply appreciate and utilize the state’s natural resources such as rocks, minerals, and gems. These resources serve various purposes such as tools, adornments, and ceremonial items. To honor this heritage, we seek rocks, minerals, and gems significant to these tribes, providing valuable insights into their cultural significance. Including these items in our collection celebrates Michigan’s geological resources’ historical and cultural significance within Indigenous communities.

As Michigan’s state gemstone, Chlorastrolite (Isle Royale Greenstone) is primarily found in Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale, with a striking green color and intricate patterns. By donating raw Chlorastrolite and Greenstone jewelry, supporters help the museum showcase its beauty and rarity.

Meteorites are of immense scientific value, as they offer critical insights into the formation and evolution of our solar system. To expand our understanding of the extraterrestrial origins of these fascinating objects and enrich our museum’s collection, we are actively seeking samples of meteorites found in Michigan.

Gold is a highly prized metal associated with wealth, power, and beauty. To demonstrate the metal’s significance in Michigan’s geological landscape, we are actively searching for a hand sample of native gold (not pyrite) to display in the museum.

Diamonds and Jewelry Education

Valued for their beauty, rarity, and cultural significance, gemstones are a true natural wonder. To showcase their variety and splendor, we seek raw and cut & polished gemstones, including the 12 birthstones. Donating these stones will aid in educating and inspiring visitors of all ages about the fascinating world of gemology.

Diamonds are evaluated based on the four Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. By acquiring a range of diamonds that exemplify these qualities, the museum can educate visitors on the factors that determine a diamond’s value and beauty. With these stunning specimens, visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of diamond evaluation and appreciate their significance.

Jewelry preserves memories and tells stories with personal and historical significance. We’re looking for a piece that holds historical importance or has been worn at a special occasion, giving visitors a special glimpse into the social value of these items. By showcasing treasured items, the museum can offer visitors a unique experience.

Local Connection

Jewelry has long held a significant place in society, often symbolizing love, status, and personal identity. In honor of the region’s artistic talent and craftsmanship, we’re calling on West Michigan and Grand Rapids designers and companies to donate jewelry to the museum’s collection. This will allow us to celebrate and showcase the timeless beauty and personal expression found within this art form.

To deepen our comprehension of Michigan’s geological history, we need access to old Grand Rapids gypsum mines to gather rock samples. This will provide valuable insights into the area’s geological landscape, both past and present.

We need a jewelry expert to donate time and identify our collection. They’ll help us document, preserve, and display the items, improving the visitor experience. By sharing their knowledge, they’ll deepen our understanding of the pieces’ historical and cultural significance, supporting our mission to educate and inspire.

Get Involved.

As we approach the exciting Collections & Cocktails 2023 event, we encourage the entire community to get involved and support the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Whether you can donate items from the curator wishlist, share your expertise, or simply attend the event, your participation will have a meaningful impact on our museum and the preservation of Michigan’s rich heritage.

Each donation and contribution directly supports the GRPM’s mission to educate and inspire through the celebration and preservation of our state’s history and natural wonders. Your generosity enables the museum to expand its collection, develop engaging exhibits, and provide invaluable educational resources for visitors of all ages. By participating in Collections & Cocktails 2023, you become an essential partner in sustaining and enhancing the museum’s role in the community.

Click Here to learn more about the Collections & Cocktails 2023 event,  or follow us on social media for updates and announcements.

Late Opening Notice.

On Saturday, May 11, the Museum will open at 12 p.m. due to road closures for the Amway River Bank Run.

Early Closure Notice.

The Museum will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 for Museum Adventure After Dark. Tickets are still available!