Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope, currently on view at the Corning Museum of Glass, explores the evolution of the microscope, from the simple 17th-century model by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to elaborate ones like an 18th-century compound microscope adorned with ray skin. The exhibition concludes with the future of microscopy, which may be modest in material but is more accessible than the scientific instruments of the past. One of those contemporary designs is the Foldscope, a pocket-sized, $1 microscope that anyone can assemble like origami.
The Foldscope was designed by Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski at Stanford University and launched in a pilot program in 2014. Its waterproof paper body can be folded into existence from one sheet and used to hold microscope slides, to enhance your iPhone camera, or as a projector.
Thousands of Foldscopes have been dispersed in over 130 countries, many to schools where students might not have access to more expensive microscopes. Now, through a Kickstarter campaign, you can acquire a Foldscope of your own or, even better, fulfill kit needs at schools around the world.
Prakash, in his 2012 TED talk, notes that while education and engaging the public with everyday microscopic activity are essential goals of the Foldscope, it could also play an important public health role — for example, by making it easier to do field testing for malaria. Since it can magnify specimens up to 2,000 times and is compact, durable, and easily replaceable, the Foldscope offers a design solution for scientists working in such fluctuating environments as deserts and rainforests.
You can explore the diverse uses of the Foldscope on the project’s community hub page, including views of larvae collected in Mexico City, “drunk” mosquitos inspected in India, and flowers examined up close at a girls’ hostel in Sri Lanka. As the Foldscope team states in its mission, the aim is to “break down the price barrier between people and the curiosity and excitement of scientific exploration.”
Foldscope: The Origami Paper Microscope is fundraising on Kickstarter through December 21.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.
Haggerty Museum of Art Presents Tomás Saraceno in Dialogue With Dr. Somesh Roy
The artist and researcher will explore soot’s effects on climate change and public health in this online conversation.
Hundreds of Artworks by NYC Teenagers Go on View at the Met
The talented seventh through twelfth-grade students are recipients of the 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
NYC’s Flatiron Building Sells for a Whopping $190M
The sale to outsider bidder Jacob Garlick puts an end to the protracted legal battle between the iconic skyscraper’s five former owners.
McKnight Visual Artist Fellows Discussion Series at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The series features 2021 Fellows David Bowen, Mara Duvra, Rotem Tamir, Ben Moren, and Dyani White Hawk in conversation with renowned curators and critics.
The Best Memes Roasting the “We ❤️ NYC” Campaign
A graphic designer on Twitter created a hilarious send-up of the universally reviled logo, and the rest is history.
Did You Know These Museums Were Free for New Yorkers?
The “Free Admission” campaign is advocating to make ticket pricing information more transparent to visitors, who may be confused or misled by institutions’ language.