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Exhibits

Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by Jim Sanborn

“Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn,” is now on permanent display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. This special exhibit, created by world renowned sculptor Jim Sanborn – best known for creating the encrypted “Kryptos” sculpture at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia – invites visitors to explore and study the artist's rendition of the super secret experiments from the Manhattan Project’s atomic bomb program. 

“Critical Assembly” is a tableau based on the laboratory environment for the assembly of the first atomic bomb and is gleaned from many scholarly and eyewitness accounts of the appearance of the Manhattan Project Laboratories as they existed from 1943 to 1945.

This “Critical Assembly” installation includes original electronic instruments, hardware, furniture, tools and materials used by Los Alamos National Laboratory during the 1940s. These objects were acquired by Sanborn during a six-year period from a variety of sources, including former laboratory employees. Any materials Sanborn was unable to collect in Los Alamos, he machined and fabricated himself.

Evocative of both the brilliance of the collective human mind and the potentially devastating power of knowledge, this exhibition is about the allure of pure science and the ethical dilemmas scientific researchers have faced for decades.

“Critical Assembly” has previously been on display at such institutions as the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Gwangju Biennale in South Korea and the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland.

“It is truly an honor to display such a monumental exhibition created by the illustrious sculptor, Jim Sanborn,” said Jim Walther, Museum Director. “His work, from the “Kryptos” sculpture located at CIA headquarters to the amazing “Critical Assembly” exhibit now on display at our museum, shows an innovative and intricate mind that will most definitely leave a lasting impression on our world for years to come.”

This special exhibition at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History was made possible through sponsorships by Lockheed Martin/Sandia National Laboratories and Dorothy and Clay Kemper Perkins. 

“Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn” is included in the price of admission to the museum.

BUFF: The B-52 Story - June 8 through December 29

Join us as we tell the story of the longest serving aircraft in United States military in the special exhibition, “BUFF: The B-52 Story,” on display June 8 through December 29, 2019. This temporary exhibition explores this iconic Boeing aircraft’s past, present and future as an American strategic bomber.

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"Science is Everywhere" Summer Camp - May 28 through August 9

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is pleased to offer week-long, themed camp for summer 2019. These camps are geared to campers Pre-K and Kindergarten through 7th grades. Sessions include "Foodie Science", "STEMinists: Geosciences Edition", Got Game?", "Movie Magic" and many more!

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Movie Under the Wings - June 22

Join the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History for Movie Under the Wings, an amazing outdoor event featuring the iconic movie, “October Sky.” Saturday, June 22, under the airplanes in Heritage Park. Doors will open at 7:30 pm for this unique museum experience, and the movie will begin at dark.

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