The Library’s New Kaleidoscope

The Library’s New Kaleidoscope

A kaleidoscope can be defined as “a tube-shaped optical instrument that is rotated to produce a succession of symmetrical designs by means of mirrors reflecting the constantly changing patterns made by bits of colored glass at one end of the tube.” Invented in the early 1880s, kaleidoscopes enjoyed a rapid evolution for a century, largely at the hands of scientific instrument-makers. More recently, they were rediscovered by talented artists, who have explored the art form using different mirror systems, object chambers and sculptural forms.

The Consortium Library’s kaleidoscope was donated by Trevor and Sally Bremner, whose guests from down-under last summer, discovered a wave kaleidoscope in a local gallery. Trevor and Sally decided that such interactive art would be a perfect addition to the Library.

UAA Facilities was asked to build a custom stand for the kaleidoscope and they did a skillful job in constructing a wooden pedestal. Installed near the circulation desk, the Library’s new wave kaleidoscope has four tubes for viewing so more people can enjoy the magic. It was designed by Will Smith, an innovative California artist who studied oceanography and fine arts at American River College in Sacramento, and went on to combine his passions in his KaleidoWave© series of kaleidoscopes. Will has taken special care to incorporate UAA’s colors into the decorative glass plate that floats atop the fountain. Will Smith reportedly is very pleased that his kaleidoscope was placed in such a public, much visited space.

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