A Bunch Of Einsteins Grow Up


A bas-relief casting of Albert Einstein is integrated with images of students in “A New World View”.

The American Physical Society commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to create artwork as a tribute to Albert Einstein as part of 2005’s ‘World Year of Physics’ celebration. Working with scientists from the APS and with educators and students from around the country, Erwin Timmers, Tim Tate and Michael Janis created a cast glass series of panels that integrated imagery and symbols based on Albert Einsteins life and theories. The work was intended to become a traveling educational public art piece – going from museums, to physics lab centers to schools across the nation. As part of the art project, the World Year of Physics team collected over 300 pictures of children from families around the country. From these images, a number were incorporated into the cast glass artwork.

Michael Janis creates imagery in plaster and places glass atop in preparation of the kiln firing – December 2005.

Erwin Timmers and Michael Janis review castings based on Einstein’s theories – December 2005.

The artwork, titled A New World View was segmented into four columns. Three columns focus on Einstein’s revolutionary ideas of 1905—the composition of matter, the quantum nature of light, and the Special Theory of Relativity. The fourth column illustrates Einstein’s life.

A New World View
photo by anythingphoto.net

The early public art commission by the studio was intended to challenge and inspire school children to build on the science of the past and be a part of the science of the future.

Children liked to explore the tactile nature of the cast bas-relief glass.

The finished artwork piece was photographed and a poster of the finished artwork was created and sent to the school systems across the country, promoting science and the tribute to Einstein.

Many of the cast glass images are explained in the artwork legend:
Einstein once said “God does not play dice with the universe,” but in this case Einstein was wrong. Much of nature is guided by the dice-like randomness of quantum mechanics.

The artwork traveled from its original home at Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center, to a number of other locations, including the American Physical Society’s New York office, Brookhaven Labs and other schools.

American Physical Society’s glass sculpture featuring images of North Adams High School students, was delivered to North Adams High School Tuesday to be displayed for six months. Pictured are Becky Thompson-Flagg, APS Public Outreach, who delivered the sculpture from New York; Olga Cruzelaya, NAHS teacher who photographed the students for the project; Randall Dunkin, NAHS science teacher who was instrumental in bringing the sculpture display to the school; Stephen Caraway, field representative for Congresswoman Jean Schmidt; and Principal Greg Grooms. – Carleta Weyrich/The People’s Defender

Recently, the educational glass artwork came to Ohio’s North Adams High School, where, six years ago, teacher Olga Cruzelaya had organized to submit photos of their students. A number of the original students , now graduated, were indeed inspired by the sculpture, and were interviewed by Carleta Weyrich in an article in “The People’s Defender” newspaper.

Chase Burns, a 2009 graduate of North Adams High School, is the face behind the first square of the glass sculpture, “A New World View,” a 2005 project of the American Physical Society. – Carleta Weyrich/The People’s Defender

The American Physical Society’s project showcases how successful a public art project can be – one that educates and inspires; where both the students and the school systems that participated in the creation of the art work are each excelling and advancing.Congrats to all involved!

Click HERE to jump to the APS website description of the original work, legend and process.

Click HERE to jump to the reunion of the artwork and the students at North Adams High School in the People’s Defender newspaper.