Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Viewing Minerals at Yale University: 2015 and 2017

A lot has changed. At left are pictured  cabinets with most of the minerals on public display at Yale University prior to the  October, 2016, Grand Opening of the new David Friend Mineral Hall at Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History at 170 Whitney Avenue in New Haven.

Despite being a rock rather than a mineral specimen or gem, the orgasmic sandstone concretion at right from Fontainbleu France is but one example of what is in the Museum's new home for visually and aesthetically over the top specimens. Quite appropriately, it is from the collection of David Friend,  mineral aficionado  and 1965 Yale graduate (BS in Engineering).  Mr. Friend's leadership, guidance, and philanthropy paved the way to establish the museum's grand new addition.

 Many of the largest and most eye-catching specimens here are  on loan from prominent collectors such as Dr. Rob Lavinsky, Jim and Gail Spann, or Gene and Rosalind Meiran.  Among them are pieces that could be the best of  their genre known to exist. It is only natural that those who visit will be interested in viewing such  "eye candy,"

The David Friend Hall is on the 3rd floor of the Peabody Museum in a renovated space that an auditorium once filled. To the right of the hallway leading to it are the foot by 18 inches pink calcite twin from Scott City Missouri  at left amd the.300 pound baryte specimen pictured directly beneath it from nearby Branchville, Connecticut. Yale owns both of these specimens.

In a room to the left of this hallway is the Treasures of the Mineral World  room.  Most if not all of the rocks and minerals therein along with some jewelry have been selected from Yale's collection of more than 40,000 specimens. The displays are didvided  into categories such as mineral specimens placed according to their nature of origin and locality, minerals that fluoresce, radioactive minerals, some jewelry, and a cabinet with large examples of of well known rocks. Of particular interest is an exhibit of minerals collected in Connecticut.  Almost for sure, it is the "best" Connecticut suite in existence. Quite remarkable is the magnificent sillimanite shown at left. Sillimanite is eponymous with Benjamin Silliman, the Yale Professor who in 1802 began assembling and for more than 50 years curated Yale's  mineral collection.

Regardless of  knowledge about or interest in minerals,  however, upon reaching  the David Friend Hall of Minerals, visitors are in for an experience that should blow their minds.  The theme is world class specimens enhanced by world class lighting. In number, there are more than enough to appreciate, but not so many as to overwhelm. Pictured below are just a few images of what is there.

                               Malachite, Azurite                                    
Liufengshan, Guichi District  
Anhui Province, China

Wuning Mne
Jiangxi Province, China

Yaoganxian Mine
Hunan Province, China

Fluorite, Baryte
La Cabana
Asturias, Spain
Yunnan Province