Rice Northwest Museum Featured on What’s Hot in Tucson 2015

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals’ exhibit at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show(R) was featured in “What’s Hot in Tucson 2015,” documentary produced by Blue Cap Productions.  Each year Blue Cap Productions produces a feature length documentary of the Tucson show, the world’s largest show of its kind.

Host Bob Jones is a long-time fan of the Rice Northwest Museum. He interviewed Leslie Moclock, our curator, about the uniqueness of the exhibit. The theme of the event was minerals from western Europe. The Rice Northwest Museum exhibit broadened the scope focusing on Lead Minerals from Europe featuring pyromorphite found in Germany in 1894, the largest known sample of phosgenite, and other rare lead crystals, winning the Friends of Mineralogy Educational Award for best educational exhibit by an institution. Lead is typically thought of as a dull grayish substance used in batteries and solder, and the goal of this exhibit was to show off the beauty of classic minerals that contain lead.

Executive Director Julian Gray talked about the history and development of the museum, and its change from a private to public non-profit, expanding the scope and future of the museum.

This is a great look at the many outreach programs Rice Northwest Museum offers at various rock, gem, and mineral shows around North America as well as the educational programs we offer, expanding your ideas on rocks, gems, and minerals.

Press Release: The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Now Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution

Hillsboro, Oregon, April 17, 2015

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has been named as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This mark of distinction signifies the achievement of a goal long held by the Rice Museum’s originators, according to co-founder Sharleen Harvey. Her parents, Richard and Helen Rice, “had great respect for the Smithsonian Institution and used their collections as a high standard for quality and beauty when building the Rice Museum collection,” Mrs. Harvey explained. “Being a Smithsonian Affiliate confirms that our museum has the high caliber required to assist our schools and community in earth science education. It assures that visitors and supporters of the museum can have confidence in the quality and content of the exhibits, plus enjoyment in viewing fine minerals, fossils, meteorites, and lapidary specimens.”

“The Smithsonian is very proud of its new Affiliation with the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals,” stated Harold A. Closter, director of the Smithsonian Affiliations program. “The Museum has a well-deserved reputation for engaging generations in earth sciences through its scholarship, exhibitions, and education programs. Our partnership offers the opportunity to underscore the importance of science as a source of inspiration in our daily lives and in the years ahead.”

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and other educational and cultural organizations in order to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a mutual relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across the United States.

The new relationship between the Rice Museum and the Smithsonian will bring great things to museum visitors in the Pacific Northwest. Not only will the Rice Museum be able to borrow objects and exhibits from the Smithsonian’s collections, but the Museum will also gain opportunities to collaborate on research projects and to sponsor exciting programs from renowned visiting scholars.

“We expect the Affiliation to serve our community well,” explains Julian Gray, Rice Museum executive director. “It will help us increase awareness of our excellent museum and attract more visitors to the area, allowing more people to experience our own world-class exhibits, events, and educational programs.”

Board President and Intel Senior Fellow (retired) Gene Meieran hopes that “this association will lead to the creation of next-generation collectors, curators, and scientists who will continue to preserve and understand our fascinating and ever-changing natural history.”

The Rice Museum houses a premier collection of rocks and minerals recognized as the finest in the Pacific Northwest and one of the best in the nation. The museum is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, just west of Portland (exit 61 off highway 26). Its educational programs include organized school field trips as well as ongoing educational outreach throughout the community at large. A variety of public and private events are hosted throughout the year as well. The museum is listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes for its unique architectural style and its use of natural stone and extraordinary native Oregon woodwork throughout the building.

For more information about the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, call (503) 647-2418. Receive updates on museum events by following the Twitter handle @RiceNWMuseum, on Google+, or the Facebook Page for Rice NW Museum.

More information is available on the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activities site.

Rice Museum wins Educational Award at 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show

The national organization Friends of Mineralogy awarded the Rice Museum with a top honors for “Best Educational Exhibit by an Institution” at the 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® (TGMS) for our display, “Lead Minerals.”

FM President awards Rice Museum Edcuational Case Award

Friends of Mineralogy President Alex Schauss presents Rice Museum Curator Leslie Moclock with the award for Best Educational Exhibit by at Institution during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Banquet February 14, 2015. (Photo by Al Leibetrau)

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, the World’s largest such show, draws an estimated 50,000 visitors each year. The show invites museums, private collectors, and clubs from around the world to create display cases with their best specimens related to the annual theme. The TGMS began as a club show housed in a local elementary school in 1954, and today is a premiere international event that gives visitors a chance to view specimens from some of the world’s finest mineral collections.

This year’s show theme was “Minerals of Western Europe.” Mineral science as we know it today has its roots in European scholarship and mining development, and this theme inspired many displays focused on historical collections and famous European localities.

The Rice Museum display combined superb mineral specimens from well-known localities with mineral science education. The display theme, minerals containing the element lead, was chosen to demonstrate how useful and beautiful lead minerals can be. The vibrant green pyromorphite, yellow mimetite, and lustrous red wulfenite on display contrast with the popular notion of lead as nothing but a dull metal. The display also discussed how the crystal structures in some lead minerals contribute to their crystal shapes, and the importance of lead ores and mining in ancient history.

Rice Museum Tucson Educational Case

Rice Museum exhibit case at the 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show featuring lead minerals.

Tying in with the show theme, European specimens in the display included a green pyromorphite plate from Les Farges Mine, France (center); green and brown pyromorphite from Friedrichssegen Mine, Germany; green pyromorphite from Chaillac Mine, France; vitreous white anglesite from Monteponi Mine, Italy; and one of the world’s largest phosgenite crystals, also from Monteponi Mine, Italy.

Education is at the heart of all that we do at the Rice Museum, and we are thrilled to be recognized for our efforts at the 2015 TGMS.

Rice NW Museum honored for educational exhibits at the 2014 Denver Gem & Mineral Show

Julian Gray and Leslie Moclock with the Rice NW Museum case of agates at the 2014 Denver Gem & Mineral Show. This case won the Donna Chirnside Memorial Award for best educational case by a museum.

Thousands of people attended the Denver Gem & Mineral Show held the second weekend in September each year in Denver, Colorado. The theme of this year’s show was near and dear to the heart of the Rice NW Museum and Oregonians rockhounds: Agate. Agates are found in many places in Oregon and are well represented in the Rice NW Museum’s permanent exhibits. Curator Leslie Moclock selected about two dozen of the best agates and thundereggs from the museum’s collection for two temporary educational exhibits at the show September 12-14, 2014. Taking the museum to mineral collectors in attendance at shows is part of the museum’s outreach program.

Both exhibit cases were recognized for their excellence in educational content and quality of exhibition. The Denver Gem & Mineral Show Committee selected the Rice NW Museum’s case on the origin of agates for the Donna Chirnside Memorial Award honoring the best display by an institution at the show.  The Friends of Mineralogy, a group that promotes mineral education, awarded the Best Educational Case by an Institution Award to the Rice NW Museum case featuring thundereggs, Oregon’s State Rock.

Rice Museum Awarded People’s Choice Award for Best Attraction in Washington County

People's Choice Award for Best Attraction from the Washington County Visitor and Tourism Bureau 2013.We are honored to announce that the Washington County Visitors Association of Oregon awarded a new “People’s Choice” award to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals for best attraction.

The award was presented to the museum’s executive director, curator, and board members in an awards luncheon hosted by the Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) to honor businesses, front-line employees, and leaders for their continued dedication and influence on Washington County’s tourism industry.

Since 1996, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has been proud to be a cherished educational resource dedicated to the preservation and instruction of mineralogy and geology in Washington County and Oregon, s well as the Pacific Northwest.

Rice Northwest Museum Honored with Cultural Tourism Award

2011 Cultural Tourism Award from the Washington County Visitors Association of Oregon to the Rice NW Rock and Mineral Museum.The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is proud to announce receipt of the 2012 Cultural Tourism Award from the Washington County Visitors Association of Oregon.

The annuals Stakeholder Appreciation Luncheon and Tourism Awards were held May 11, 2012, and was one of six local businesses honored with Tourism Industry Awards.