“Marvel Super Heroes Exhibit to Open at Museum of Science & Industry in March”

The traveling exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will open to the public and the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) in Chicago will re-open to the public on Sunday, March 7, A.D. 2021.  There was a press preview on the morning of Thursday, March 4, A.D. 2021.  The M.S.I. and Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes are open exclusively for Museum Members from the 4th to the 6th of March.  The exhibit will run through Sunday, October 24, A.D. 2021.  [This represents an extension, because earlier the M.S.I. announced it would run through Monday, September 6, A.D. 2021.]  Originally, it was supposed to open on Thursday, October 8, 2020 and remain on display through April of 2021, but that was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Celebrating over eighty years of Marvel comics, the exhibit consists of 300 artifacts, including Marvel Cinematic Universe movie costumes, props, and original artworks. 

Entry requires a separate, timed-entry ticket and it is already sold out through mid-April.  Tickets must be purchased in advance online at https://www.msichicago.org.  They will be delivered by e-mail.  Guests will then display the tickets on their smartphones for no-contact entry scanning.  For now, the M.S.I. will be open Wednesdays through Sundays and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Face coverings are required for employees and guests ages two-and-over.

“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 Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of the M.S.I.  “Keeping the exhibit at MSI for a longer time offers even more opportunities for guests to plan their visit when they feel ready.”

“We are excited to bring this exhibition to MSI because we believe Marvel’s message renovates with so many of our guests and connects with our mission,” stated Anne Rashford, the M.S.I.’s Director of Special Exhibitions and Business Partnerships.  “The comics and movies encourage us to find our inner strengths to make the world a better place, and as an institution we strive for our guests to realize their full potential so they can solve the challenges of today and in the future.”

Figure 1 Credit: Museum of Science and Industry Caption: Originally, the traveling exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes was supposed to open on Thursday, October 8, 2020 and remain on display through April of 2021, but that was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Figure 2 Credit: Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is a larger graphic for Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, which originally was supposed to open on Thursday, October 8, 2020, but that was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

            In a press release, the M.S.I. stated, “Inside Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, guests will follow the story of Marvel and its influence on visual culture, while uncovering the narratives of characters and gaining insight into how Marvel has impacted drawn inspiration from the ever-changing tides of popular culture.”

“The exhibition traces how Marvel stories have responded to historical events and addressed wider issues such as gender, race and disabilities while honoring pioneering creators such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, whose imagination made Marvel into the endlessly expansive fictional universe we know today,” the M.S.I. stated.  “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will thrill longtime and casual fans, with its immersive set pieces and interactive installations accompanied by a soundscape created by acclaimed composer Lorne Balfe that brings the Marvel Universe to life. The exhibition has been curated by a team that includes three scholars of comics – Benjamin Saunders, Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan, all of whom are university professors and experts in their field. Renowned comic book writers and editors Ann Nocenti and Danny Fingeroth also contributed their time and knowledge in order to create a fully formed picture of the Marvel phenomenon.”

      In Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, visitors will find 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 super 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 an copy of Marvel Comics #1.

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes is not covered by Museum Entry (general admission) tickets.  Exhibit entry requires a separate, timed-entry ticket.  Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for children (ages three-to-eleven).  Members pay just $9.  Entry is free for Annual Fund Members.  Tickets are available to pre-purchase now.  Click here to purchase tickets online. 

This exhibit was organized by SC Exhibitions; the Museum of Popular Culture (“MoPop”) in Seattle, Washington; and Marvel Themed Entertainment. This exhibit is presented at the M.S.I. by BMO Harris. 

Figure 3 Credit: Sandro Vannini Caption: The exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes fills two exhibit galleries with 300 artifacts.

Figure 4 Credit: Sandro Vannini Caption: This is the augmented reality experience that enables guests to test Iron Man’s powered armor.

Figure 5 Credit: Sandro Vannini Caption: This is a Dora Milage costume from Black Panther.  They appear in the films Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).[1]

Figure 6 Credit: Sandro Vannini Caption: Guests can take pictures next to life-sized representations of Marvel super-heroes, including Spider-Man.

Figure 7 Credit: Museum of Popular Culture (“MoPop”) Caption: Guests view costumes from Marvel Studios films, including these three Iron Man powered exoskeletal suits of armor.

Figure 8 Credit: Sandro Vannini Caption: In the exhibit, guests view comic books and comic book art, such as Marvel #1.

MoPOP Marvel Opening (Photo by Christine Mitchell)
Figure 9 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.

      SC Exhibitions creates exhibits and exhibitions which travel around the world and hosts exhibitions in the German-speaking Central European countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  It is a division of Semmel Concerts, a large German producer and promoter of live entertainment.  Semmel Concerts, in turn, is part of EVENTIM LIVE and organizes over 1,600 events per year.  That parent company ranked fourth in the magazine Pollstar’s international Top 100 promoter list in 2018, with nearly 4,500,000 tickets sold.  Since SC Exhibitions started touring the exhibits Tutankhamun – His Tomb and His Treasures, The Discovery of King Tut, and Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, they have reached an audience of over 7,000,000 people around the world and created a network within museums, science centers, and other cultural venues, as well as creative companies.  This network is the basis for TEEM – The Experience Economy Meeting, which was supposed to take place in Los Angeles, California from the 1st to the 3rd of May, 2020.  TEEM would have been the world’s only conference dedicated exclusively to touring exhibits and experiences.

COVID-19 Protocols

Museum employees, volunteers, contractors, and visitors (ages two-and-over) must wear masks.[2]  Parties should stay at least six feet apart.[3]  This includes in the Entry Hall, exhibit galleries, gift shops, dining areas, elevators, and washrooms.  Tours of the U-505 and the Coal Mine are not taking place.

All M.S.I. employees submit to daily health assessments.  They must stay home if they are ill.

High-touch surfaces are being disinfected with products approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) at least once an hour.  Hand sanitizer is available throughout the public areas of the building.  Air-conditioning is running to keep humidity and circulation at recommended levels.  Water fountains have been turned off.  Visitors may bring their own water bottles or purchase water bottles from the M.S.I.’s vending machines.

After your e-tickets are scanned, you will be handed a rubber-tipped stylus.  Use it rather than your finger to touch screens and buttons in exhibits.

The Brain Food Court is open and offering salads, sandwiches, and coffee.  Smacks and beverages are also available from Lower Level vending machines in the dining area outside the Ships Gallery.  Please note that you may not remove your face covering except when actively eating when seated and for the moment while drinking from water bottles elsewhere in the building.

Currently, the Museum of Science and Industry is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The plan is for it to be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for Spring Break on Saturday, March 21, A.D. 2021 and Sunday, March 22, A.D. 2021; from Wednesday, March 24, A.D. 2021 through Sunday, March 28, A.D. 2021; on Wednesday, March 31, A.D. 2021; and from Thursday, April 1, A.D. 2021 through Saturday, April 3, A.D. 2021.[4]  All the Museum Entry (general admission) tickets for a given day may sell out in advance, not just Marvel: Universe of Super Hero tickets, so it is advisable to plan a visit as far in advance as possible.

Museum Entry tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.95 for children (ages three-to-eleven).  Members get in for free.  Please note that Museum Entry tickets do not cover parking.  Tickets for Fab Lab and Learning Labs are $12 for adults and $9 for children (ages ten and eleven).  Members get in for free.  Marvel: Universe of Super Hero tickets are $18 for adults, $14 for children (ages three-to-eleven), or $9 for Members.  To learn more, go to https://www.msichicago.org/visit/know-before-you-go/.

About the Museum of Science & 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.

      On Thursday, 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 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.

END NOTES


[1] In Marvel comics, Marvel cartoons, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wakanda is a hermit kingdom ruled by a line of warrior-kings each of whom adopts the identity of the Black Panther.  The best warrior women from the eighteen tribes of Wakanda form the Dora Milage (“Adored Ones”), a war band the members of which serve as royal guards and shock troops for the kings of Wakanada.  Kings of Wakanda choose their consorts from the ranks of the Dora Milage. 

[2] Wear your mask snugly.  Masks with vents are not acceptable.  Do not substitute a bandana for a mask.  Even if you are wearing a face shield, you must wear a mask under it.

[3] In other words, if you have a party consisting of you, your spouse, your three kids, and your Great-Aunt Ethyl, the six of you don’t have to stay six feet apart from each other, but your party must stay at least six feet apart from other parties.

[4] For context, Good Friday will be Friday, April 2, A.D. 2021; Holy Saturday will Saturday, April 2, A.D. 2021; and Easter Sunday will be Sunday, April 3, A.D. 2021.

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