Michigan State University

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Adventures in Time and the 3rd Dimension: Through the Stereoscope

See a companion exhibit featuring more historical artifacts at the MSU Federal Credit Union headquarters, 3777 West Road in East Lansing.

The MSU Museum will stage an exhibit that takes us back – and forward – in time, and lets us explore how we perceive our world in its three physical dimensions.
We wander through the Museum’s rich collection of stereo-viewing technology, and see how the world of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was transformed into 3D images for fun and education. Visit a stereo-photographer’s studio from the late 1800s. Relax with a Victorian family as they enjoy exploring the world through stereo-photographs.
Then jump through time to visit a movie theatre of the 1960s and watch a 3D film wearing red-blue glasses. Why do simple two-color glasses make a flat image appear to have physical depth?
Today, the world of three dimensional viewing continues to expand. We will see the latest in 3D television screens and

learn how that technology works. 3D movies have come a long way from the old technologies of the 1960s. Learn about the technological advances as you watch excerpts from some of the latest 3D films.

For children of all ages, there will be optical games that reveal a lot about how we sense the dimensions of the world around us. What can make a flat surface appear to have three dimensions? What can obscure three dimensionality in a solid object?
Remember the “Magic Eye“ hidden 3D images? Why can some people so easily make out the camouflaged image while others cannot?

Adventures in Time and the 3rd Dimension will be an exhibit that will appeal to the history buff, with a rich array of stereo-viewing artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Adventures will also appeal to the technophile who is fascinated by ‘how things work.’ It will also be an exhibit for anyone who is intrigued by how and why we see the world as we do. For children and families, there will be games and visual tests to challenge and intrigue. This is an exhibit that blends history, technology, the physiology of the human eye, and the workings of the human brain.

A special centerpiece of the exhibition is the Val Roy Berryman Stereo Photography Collection — a set of some 18,000 catalogued stereographs covering wars, Worlds Fairs, advances in industry, transportation and aviation, and rare images of famous historic personalities — begun in 1955 while it was still the private collection of the Berryman. He donated the collection to the MSU Museum in 2007.

Sadly, Berryman, curator of history, passed away in January 2013, just short of a remarkable 50 years with the MSU Museum. His final exhibit was to be about the very subject that inspired his interest in history and collecting.Museum colleagues and friends have rallied to complete “Adventures in Time,” and a special reception to honor Berryman’s contributions will be held on March 28, 5-7 p.m.

–Thanks to our exhibition sponsor, Celebration Cinema of Lansing!

New on view: From HA 491/History of Photography, Spring 2013

Twenty-one stereo cards were created by students in HA 491/Special Topics: The History of Photography course at Michigan State University. Professor Laura Smith developed the assignment with (the late) curator Val Roy Berryman using the MSU Museum special exhibition, “Adventures in Time and the 3rd Dimension: Through the Stereoscope,” which explores historic and emerging 3D technology.

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