This year’s design features popular 19th century scientific instrument
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 BY
The University of Mississippi Museum has unveiled its 17th annual keepsake ornament, a design featuring the Barlow’s Planetarium, part of the collection of antique scientific instruments on display at the museum.
The planetarium, also known as an orrery, has a storied history with Ole Miss. Designer Thomas H. Barlow of Lexington, Kentucky, who created and sold several of these instruments to universities and museums throughout the United States, made the university’s orrery in 1854.
The ornaments alternate annually between highlights of the museum’s 20,000-object permanent collection, campus landmarks and sites around Oxford, said Robert Saarnio, museum director.
“This mid-19th century astronomical model occupies a place of great prominence in the museum’s exhibition galleries and is a much-beloved historical artifact of countless museum visitors,” Saarnio said. “All ornament sales proceeds directly support programs of the University Museum, and we are very grateful to those campus and community members for whom these collectibles are eagerly-awaited annual Museum Store offerings.”
In the late 1850s, Chancellor F.A.P. Barnard, who also served as chair and professor of mathematics, astronomy and natural philosophy, purchased the orrery for the university. The orrery and other scientific instruments were used in classrooms and laboratories until they became obsolete in the 1870s.
The planetarium aligns the planets based on a specific date. At the museum, the date is set to Nov. 7 1848, the day the university first opened its doors to students.
The Barlow’s Planetarium commemorative ornament is available for $25, plus tax. It can be purchased in the Museum Store or by phone with a credit card at 662-915-7073. A flat $7 shipping and handling fee will be added to all orders to be shipped within the 48 contiguous states, and all sales are final.
Orders must be placed by Dec. 13 to arrive in time for Christmas Day.
Collectible ornaments from previous years still available in the Museum Store include the Old Skipwith House, Brandt Memory House, Ventress Hall, Lafayette County Courthouse, Oxford City Hall, the Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Jersey, Theora Hamblett House, Theora Hamblett’s “Christmas Trees,” Walk of Champions, Oxford’s Double Decker Bus and the Herakles Neck Amphora. All previous year’s ornaments are $20, plus tax.
Museum members and Friends of the Museum receive a 10 percent discount on all merchandise in the Museum Store.
The University Museum is at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Holiday Hours for the Museum Store are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, and 10a.m.-6p.m. Saturdays.
Museum gallery visiting hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
For information about events and exhibits, visit https://museum.olemiss.edu/.