University of Richmond Museums
Massive Rocks & Minerals: Selections from the Collection is on view in the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature from October 1, 2015, through May 13, 2016. The exhibition features some of the largest and most spectacular rock and mineral specimens from the museum’s permanent collection.
Extracted from mines all over the world, the minerals in this exhibition include dense quartz clusters from Arkansas, deep purple amethyst from Brazil, a massive 175-pound Peruvian pyrite, and exquisite okenite and stillbite specimens from India.
Featuring more than thirty specimens collectively weighing nearly two tons, Massive features a wide variety of minerals and crystal forms. Gypsum, a widespread and economically important calcium sulfate hydrate, is represented in the exhibition by several samples from Mexico, including a dramatic cluster of sandy-colored, bladed desert rose selenite crystals, a 101-pound “fishtail” selenite cluster of translucent twinned crystals, and a single, well-developed individual 37-inch long crystal. In contrast to these crystals, Massive features several specimens with smooth, globular habits, such as azurite and smithsonite from New Mexico, and deep-green malachite from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Public tours and educational programs will be presented during the run of the exhibition, and the Education Focus Gallery will feature hands-on specimens. K-12, homeschool, and community groups can learn about plate tectonics, rock types, mineral composition, and general mineralogy.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.