Astrophysicist takes over the Wolfsonian FIU for a tour

Astrophysicist Jorge Perez Gallego will be taking over Wolfsonian-FIU on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. for a tour of the museum’s special exhibition: “Margin of Error.”

The event is part of the museum’s “Takeover Tour Series,” created in an attempt to bring knowledgeable professionals to lead tours of the museum’s collections.

“The idea is that this person will bring a fresh perspective, an interesting new angle to look at the art from,” said Heather Cook, public programs manager at the Wolfsonian-FIU.

“Margin of Error” is an exhibition found on the museum’s sixth floor galleries that explores modern age’s responses to mechanical mastery and engineered catastrophes.

The exhibition contains over 200 works that range from mid-nineteenth to twentieth century that include industrial artifacts, paintings, graphic and decorative art, photography, ephemera and sculptures.

Major artists and designers showcased are Lewis Hine, Julius Klinger, Man Ray, Margaret Bourke-White, and many more.

Gallego holds a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Florida. He is a designer, educator and  exhibition developer at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.

He will be speaking about the science behind these accidents portrayed in the exhibition–what creates these margins of error in these situations

Museum curator and curator of this exhibition, Matthew Abess, will be joining Gallego in leading the tour. According to Cook, Abess is a literary man, so it is expected that he will draw upon his background in literature and literary culture.

“He [Abess] will be bringing insight on the left side of the brain — the more humanities focused side,” said Cook. “And Jorge will be bringing the right side of the brain that we don’t really talk much about in an art museum, which is the science and technology side.”

Gallego is looking forward to this tour and tackling this subject, which he describes as not the most pleasant to talk about. This is because it deals with small errors that translate into catastrophes and pain.

“Progress, a lot of times, comes at a price,” said Gallego.

He will be speaking about catastrophic events including the Space Shuttle Challenger accident that occurred in 1986, early railway and factory accidents, and the Titanic.

“The mistakes we make are an opportunity for us to learn and do better, they help us realize that we need a greater understanding of the things around us,” he said.

Gallego promises to allocate time to go off on tangents, allowing the audience to participate and be involved in the conversation.

The Takeover Tour is $10 for nonmembers and it is free for members and FIU students.

RSVP is encouraged and available on the museum’s website.

For more information about Gallego’s Takeover Tour and the “Margin of Error” exhibition contact the museum at 305-531-1001 or visit

Image from Flickr

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