Union City, Tenn.— “Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” is now open at Discovery Park of America in the museum’s ATA Temporary Exhibit Hall and will remain open through Jan. 10, 2023.
The exhibit, created by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. in partnership with The Franklin Institute, features eight galleries, each inspired by different visionaries from the Victorian Age and focused on how their philosophy, art, innovation and science have shaped our world today.
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction inspired by the Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style and art, along with a celebration of 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.
Authors featured are: Mary Shelley, the English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel “Frankenstein;” Jules Verne, the French novelist, poet and playwright who wrote bestselling adventure novels including “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “Around the World in Eighty Days;” and H.G. Wells, the science fiction author who wrote “The Time Machine,” “War of the Worlds” and “The Invisible Man” and who is often remembered today as the “father of science fiction.”
Along with the visionary authors, the exhibit features four influential Victorian-era inventors: Isaac Singer, who developed the sewing machine; Thomas Blanchard, who worked on automation and the first automobiles; George Eastman, who helped popularize photography; and Jan Matzeliger, the son of a Surinamese slave, whose inventions made decent footwear accessible to the masses.
The exhibit uses steampunk to provide a fun opportunity for children and adults to experience the humanities, science, technology, engineering, art and math. It includes robotics, photography, automation and sculpture along with a variety of opportunities for hands-on learning.
“Having ‘Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” at Discovery Park is the perfect way to further the vision of the museum’s late founder, Robert Kirkland,” said Scott Williams, Discovery Park’s CEO. “On opening day, Robert Kirkland shared that he hoped in the future, guests would arrive for each visit with an expectation that they would experience innovation presented in a fun way. This exhibit certainly does that.”
Teachers and administrators wishing to book a school group should download Discovery Park’s Student Group Planning Guide, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call reservations at 731-885-5455, option 6.
“Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” is free with park admission or membership and will be at Discovery Park June 18, 2022 to Jan. 10, 2023. Visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com to plan your visit.
“Discover Steampunk” is funded in part by a grant from the Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.