The Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science was a pleasant surprise. True mystery and detective story fans must have designed the exhibit.
First, one received an overview of the history of detective work and of Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Doyle had an interest in the scientific method and early forensics, which influenced his writing. I enjoyed the ancient film of Doyle chatting about his work.
Second, attendees entered a room where they received a notebook in which to record information. Stations taught about botany, ballistics, Scotland Yard, the telegraph, optics and lenses, and cosmetics. Wearing makeup was not a wise choice during this era, as many cosmetics contained toxic materials.
Third, attendees examined a display of a crime scene. Scotland Yard had one theory about what had occurred, but Sherlock urged us to collect data and follow the clues. Outside the conservatory, a woman in period costume challenged the Scotland Yard theory. My husband tried mightily to draw her out of character, but she resolutely played her role.
Finally, we compared clues to blood spatter patterns, foot prints versus drag marks, and bullet trajectories. My husband and I stood outside a shed, pondering the evidence while a museum docent gave us hints.
I'll admit that I did not discover the entire tale. I was surprised to learn the solution to the case. Still, I had not fallen for false assumptions.
Also on display were props from the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies. I could have spent several hours in the exhibit. We were limited on time. We flew through the equally captivating poison exhibit. I would love to go back, before the exhibit leaves town.
If you are in the Denver area, plan a trip to museum. The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes runs until January 31, while The Power of Poison is only there until January 10, 2016.
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