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Jim Cogswell's U-M Museum of Natural History Installation

Vinyl text on glass windows.

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Jim Cogswell is creating a site-specific installation for the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, located at the heart of the U‑M campus in a new building at 1105 North University Avenue in Ann Arbor. Installation of the project begins in late August and will continue through early November 2021

Featuring adhesive an adhesive vinyl frieze on the glass windows of the Washtenaw Avenue lobby entrance and the series of windows along the stairs to the main floor museum atrium, the installation responds to the world of microorganisms. 

With COVID-19, microorganisms dramatically migrated from natural science and medicine onto center stage in politics, history, and civil society,” Cogswell said. 

A natural science museum makes accessible the rare and exotic, but much of its fascination is centered in the transformation of the everyday overlooked. The images in this project originate with scientific research into a ubiquitous yet generally unseen domain of our natural world, transformed and reframed as colorful images in public spaces. On the museum windows a commonplace commercial material will bring to public attention the fascinating diversity of these life forms, provoking an awareness of their essential and inescapable presence in our lives.”

Cogswell has worked with Stamps students Sky Cristoph (BFA 23) and Kai Hamill (BFA 21) as researchers and studio assistants for this project, alongside Beverly Fu, a Microbiology major in the Honors College.