Throughout the years, the Miami Science Museum has placed the world of science, technology, and education in the palms of visitors’ hands. This year, American Express has rewarded that commitment with a grant to restore the Museum’s Pan American Globe to its original 1934 condition, when it was originally located at the Pan American Sea Terminal. “The first mission of restoring the globe: collecting original photos of what it looked like and what color palette we were looking at, but the photos were in black and white,” says Lindy Gulick, assistant conservator and project manager with Conservation Solutions, Inc. To fill in these details, she visited the University of Miami Library, which holds one of the greatest collections on Pan American history, as well as the Library of Congress, where she pieced together what a 1934 map would look like.
In stripping the paint to begin the restoration, Gulick and the conservation team discovered three past painting campaigns – the first was the original painting with hand lettering. The second, a combination of yellow, olive and orange, had even more handwriting. The third was more of a topographical map. Now we are going back to display the political map of the original 1934 painting.” Three weeks of hard work required lots of base paint and a detailed text layout. It started with the continent of Africa, and about 10 gallons of paint. On the restored globe, countries and territories will be labeled to reflect their accurate names as of 1934, the ocean will be painted black, as was the custom of the 1930’s, and the same shade of pink that was used on the original globe will be used again.
“The children’s expressions of admiration are what make this project so cool to be a part of,” said Ashley Zangle, assistant painter. “It’s nice to see the excitement on their faces.”
Check out the evolution of the Museum’s Globe: