“M.S.I. to Re-Open, Open Marvel Super-Heroes Exhibit in March”

Museum of Science & Industry to Re-Open (Again) and Open the Traveling Exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes

The Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) announced yesterday, Wednesday, January 27, A.D. 20021 that it would re-open to the public on Sunday, March 7, A.D. 2021, and the traveling exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes would open at M.S.I. on that same date.  The building and the exhibit will be open exclusively for Museum Members from Thursday, March 4, A.D. 2021 through Saturday, March 6, A.D. 2021.  This comes within weeks of two other major announcements from the M.S.I. 

On Tuesday, January 12, A.D. 2021, the M.S.I. announced that Chevy Humphrey had assumed the presidency of the institution.  On Wednesday, October 7, A.D. 2020, the Board of Trustees of the M.S.I. voted unanimously to name Chevy Humphrey the next President & Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of the M.S.I., effective in January of 2021. She had been the Hazel A. Hare President & C.E.O. of the Arizona Science Center (A.S.C.) in Phoenix.  Ms. Humphrey succeeds David Mosena, who announced in January of 2020 he would retire in October after twenty-three years in office, though he ended up serving out the year. Currently, Ms. Humphrey is Chair of the Board of the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association of Museums).  Previously, she served as Chair of the Board of the Association of Science and Technology Centers.

Figure 1 Credit Bruno Passigatti via the Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is Chevy Humphrey, the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum of Science and Industry.

On Monday, January 18, A.D. 2021 (Martin Luther King, Junior Day) the M.S.I. announced that it would be moving the annual Black Creativity festival and the Juried Art Exhibition from late winter to spring and summer for 2021.  Black Creativity will also be longer than normal, as it will extend over three months.  As of now, it is scheduled to open on April 7, A.D. 2021 and run through July 5, A.D. 2021. 

This is the second time the M.S.I. has re-opened after a novel corona virus (COVID-19) lockdown.  Initially, the M.S.I. announced on Friday, March 13, A.D. 2020 it would be closed from Saturday, March 14, A.D. 2020 through Monday, April 6, A.D. 2020. On March 27, A.D. 2020, the M.S.I. announced it would be closed through Friday, May 1, A.D. 2020.  Subsequently, the closure was made indefinite.   The M.S.I. announced Thursday, July 16, A.D. 2020 that it would re-open on Saturday, August 1, A.D. 2020. Before the M.S.I. re-opened to the public, it opened exclusively to Members from the 29th to the 31st of July. The M.S.I. announced that it would close on Wednesday, November 14, A.D. 2020 at 4:00 p.m. and remain “closed to guests until further notice.” 

The 2020-2021 Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light festivals opened on Tuesday, November 13, A.D. 2020, but, as stated above, the M.S.I. re-closed on November 14th.  Consequently, the M.S.I. sought to bring the 78th annual Christmas Around the World and 26th annual Holidays of Light to the public via its Website and social media.

Please note that the M.S.I. will be open Wednesdays through Sundays and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Visitors must reserve a timed-entry ticket in advance of their visits at https://www.msichicago.org.  Tickets will be delivered via e-mail for no-contact entry scanning on smartphones.

In the press release, the M.S.I. stated, “MSI will continue to follow rigorous safety procedures to ensure guests and staff remain safe.  Daily capacity is limited, and timed admission tickets and physical distancing measures will reduce crowding.  Face coverings are required for all staff and guests ages 2 and older.”

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes

The traveling exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, which was supposed to open at the M.S.I. last yearEarlier in January, the M.S.I. stated the exhibit would remain open through Monday, September 6, A.D. 2021, but in yesterday’s press release, the M.S.I. announced the exhibit had been extended through Sunday, October 24, A.D. 2021.

Marvel began in 1939, when pulp magazine publisher Martin Goodman (1908-1992) founded Timely Comics.  The first superhero comic book published by Timely Comics, with a cover date of October, 1939, was Marvel #1, which included Marvel’s first two superheroes: the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner.  In the 1960s, the company adopted the name Marvel. Today, Marvel Entertainment, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.  It has an I.P. (intellectual property) portfolio of 8,000 characters. 

In Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, guests will encounter concept art sketches, props, and costumes from movies including Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Captain Marvel (2019); take pictures of or selfies with representations of Marvel heroes including Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the Hulk; use augmented reality to test the capabilities of Iron man’s suit of armor inside Tony Stark’s lab; and view original art from some of the most noted comic books published by Marvel Comics over the past eighty years, including a copy of Marvel #1. Celebrating over eighty years of Marvel comics, the exhibit consists of 300 artifacts, including Marvel Cinematic Universe movie costumes, props, and original artworks. 

“We’re excited to invite everyone to safely explore science with us again, and are thrilled to offer an incredible experience as soon as we reopen our doors with Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes,” stated Chevy Humphrey, President and C.E.O. of the M.S.I.  “Keeping the exhibition at M.S.I. for a longer time offers even more opportunities for guests to plan their visit when they feel ready.”

Admission to the exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes is not covered by a Museum Entry (general admission) ticket and required a separate, timed-entry ticket.  A ticket for an adult is $18, a ticket for a child (three-to-eleven) is $14, and a ticket for a Museum Member is $9.  A ticket is free for Members at the Annual Fund level.

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Tickets

Ticket CategoriesTicket Prices
Adults$18
Children (3-11)$14
Museum Members$9
Members (Annual Fund level)Free

Tickets became available for sale yesterday.  To purchase tickets online, go to https://www.msichicago.org/marvelThis exhibit was organized by SC Exhibitions; the Museum of Popular Culture (“MoPop”) in Seattle, Washington; and Marvel Themed Entertainment. BMO Harris Bank is sponsoring the exhibit at M.S.I. 

Figure 2 Credit: Christine Mitchell Caption: The exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes includes immersive sets, including Dr. Strange’s Mirror Room from Doctor Strange (2016). Ms. Mitchell took this picture at the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle, Washington on April 21, 2018.

Figure 3 Credit: courtesy Museum of Science and Industry Caption: These are costumes from the film Black Panther (2018), a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[1]

Figure 4 Credit: Museum of Popular Culture courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This installation in the traveling exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes is devoted to the android Vision from the super team the Avengers.[2]

Figure 5 Credit: Sandro Vannini courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry This is a picture of a mockup of The Thing (Ben Grimm) from the Fantastic Four with a book in hand while the Incredible Hulk rages outside the window in the cityscape of New York from the exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes.[3] 

About the Museum of Science and Industry

      Often formerly stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.  

      The Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry is housed in the Palace of Fine Arts, also known as the Fine Arts Building, which is the last palace from the White City fairgrounds of Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), still standing in Jackson Park.  Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932), President of Sears, Roebuck & Company, founded the Museum of Science and Industry in 1926 through The Commercial Club of Chicago, of which he was a member.  The M.S.I. opened in three stages between 1933 and 1940, with the first opening ceremony on July 1, 1933.  These events coincided with Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34), which opened on June 1, 1933.

      OnThursday, October 3, A.D. 2019, the Museum of Science and Industry announced that the Board of Trustees had voted to accept a $125,000,000 gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund.  M.S.I. executives and board members felt it would consequently be appropriate to change the Museum of Science and Industry’s name to the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry.  A multi-billionaire, Mr. Griffin is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of Citadel, Inc., a Chicago-based hedge fund.  His gift is the largest in the history of the science and technology museum, and one of the largest gifts to any cultural institution in Chicago. 

The M.S.I. is located at the north end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, in the neighborhood of East Hyde Park, at the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and 57th Street, in the Hyde Park Community Area on the South Side of Chicago.  It is one of the Museums in the Park. The address of the M.S.I. is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

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ENDNOTES


[1] Writer Stan Lee (1922-2018) and artist Jack Kirby (1917-1994) created the character T’Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther), who first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 (with a cover date of July, 1966).  Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020) played T’Challa in Captain America Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).  

[2] Marvel Comics readers have been familiar with the character since 1968. He is familiar to the general public from Paul Bettany playing the character in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and the new miniseries WandaVision, which started streaming on Disney+ three weeks ago.

[3] Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the character in The Fantastic Four #1 in 1961 and he appeared in many cartoons.  Michael Chiklis played the part in Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), which were highly silly but entertaining films.  Jamie Bell played the part in Fantastic Four (2015), a reboot that was widely derided.  All three of those films were released by 20th Century Fox and none of them were part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  After The Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, Marvel Studios gained the film adaptation rights to the Fantastic Four characters.

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