Mineral Madness at the Tellus Museum

I recently went to the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Ga. It was a wonderful experience and I took a ton of great reference photos for my artwork. I was very inspired by the breadth of their collection and found myself filled with ideas after perusing their extensive mineral and fossil collection. It was just what I needed and I couldn’t recommend it more if you find yourself near the area.

Levacy-Tellus12

The mineral collection is one of the largest I’ve ever seen. There are three giant areas like the one above plus an additional end-caps and stand alone pieces scattered throughout. It took me several hours to get through the entire collection (partially because I took over 1000 photos while doing so). I went on a Friday morning and aside from the momentary burst of influx from a school group the museum wasn’t too packed and I didn’t feel rushed to get through things. The quartz specimens are numerous and there is so much variety it’s hard to remember that the forms are all related. I was unaware that certain forms of quartz could take on patterns like the one in the photo above.

Several giant amethyst geodes are scattered throughout the collection – some are quite large. But the real “gems” (sorry, I had to do it at least once) for me were the specimens where minerals found themselves married together in interesting ways. And then there were the colors! Such a beautiful array of neutral and muted hues!

Also to my delight, the fossil collection included a great selection of coral and sea-life – not at all what I’d expected. I was particularly fascinated by the Crinoids (seen directly below) and sea urchins. I was excited to get the chance to purchase a reasonably priced sea urchin fossil in the gift shop – a prized addition to my personal collection. Adventures at the Tellus MuseumAnd what would a visit to the natural science museum be without an assortment of dinosaur bones! I was impressed by the scale of their t-rex and mammoth but I was more keen to ogle the real specimens such as this Velociraptor Skull and a (un-pictured) Saber-tooth tiger skull. And the gift-shop! OMG! I was so happy… but then, I typically am when rocks are involved. My mom has told me that she’d often find rocks in my pockets growing up… I have a habit of collecting them so I can’t pass up the opportunity when presented.

All in all, a great day. With only an hour drive there and back, the bulk of the day was devoted to the collection and an IMAX show (on super volcanoes) and I had less time than intended to explore the area. I will say, there is a great western museum in the Cartersville (that I will share more from next week) that I wish I’d been able to explore a little more.

I’m thinking about encouraging my Drawing I and Intermediate students to attend – maybe arranging a voluntary field trip – sometime this semester for a drawing excursion. With the recent popularity of gems, minerals, and dinosaurs I’m optimistic they would be at least slightly as keen as I was.

 

 

 

 

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