Curious Contraptions

When
Fri Jan 20 (full schedule below)
Where
Exploratorium
Time
Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday: Closed except select Monday holidays
Tags
Arts, Family
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Description

This special exhibition features more than 20 charming and often hilarious mechanical sculptures known as automata. Their whimsical characters are brought to life by intricate arrangements of cams, cranks, and other simple mechanisms.

Each sculpture performs an absurd miniature drama that often reflects its maker’s dark and very British sense of humor. Exposed inner workings encourage visitors to investigate the low-tech mechanisms used to make these automata move. Additional exhibits offer a closer look at the most common simple mechanisms.

The exhibition also features sketches from the notebooks of leading automata artist Paul Spooner, as well as photographs of his delightfully cluttered workshop.

Most of the automata on display are on loan from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, British advocates of this peculiar art form for more than 30 years.

Schedule

Exploratorium
Pier 15 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA
Fri Jan 20 (Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday: Closed except select Monday holidays)
Sat Jan 21 (Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday: Closed except select Monday holidays)
Sun Jan 22 (Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday: Closed except select Monday holidays)
Mon Jan 23 (Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday: Closed except select Monday holidays)
Tue Jan 24 (Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday: Closed except select Monday holidays)

Location

  1. Exploratorium
    Pier 15 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA