Building a skiascope

gilman, skiascope in use               gilman, the skiascope closed

“The theoretic value of the skiascope is incontestable.”  —Benjamin Ives Gilman

In his Museum Ideals of Purpose and Method (1918 ), Gilman gives detailed instructions for making a skiascope, a device that will allow museum to see paintings and sculptures more clearly, by blocking glare, and other distractions.

View this document on Scribd

The instructions are long and complicated. Here’s a quick pictorial guide:

First, cut out the top and bottom

skiascope - 1

Make the wires, and attach them.

skiascope - 4

Make two lining blocks, and cut a block to hold them for when you glue the fabric on.

skiascope - 3

Wrap the fabric around the blocks, glue it together. Then take it off to cut the lunettes on the end, and replace.

skiascope - 6

Glue it on. Note: his advice about wax paper lining is important!

skiascope - 5

Let the glue set, and you’re done!

skiascope - 8 skiascope - 7

Next step: take it to a museum and see if, as Gilman suggests, it changes the way you view art. I’ll try that soon. One of several adventures I’m embarking on, for my book!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: