WINCHESTER — How does a Walkman compare to an iPhone? What’s inside an accordion? How many parts are in an airplane? For those who are curious, the newest exhibition at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is a must-see.
The exhibit, called Things Come Apart, presents nearly 40 photographs by Todd McClellan that reveal the technology and design behind devices that are part of everyday life.
The exhibit opens Saturday with a free-admission day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organized by McLellan and the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Things Come Apart will be on display through May 10. The exhibition’s MSV display is sponsored by WINC 92.5 FM.
The opening day celebration will include free hands-on activities and MSV Makerspace Studio demonstrations throughout the day, free guided highlights tours of Things Come Apart at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 1:15 p.m., and roaming performances by one-man band Peter McCory at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
McClellan’s images are unlike anything previously displayed at the MSV, according to MSV Director of Exhibitions Corwyn Garman. To create his photographs, McLellan disassembles objects of all sizes and function, and rearranges the individual components into fascinating compositions.
“This is a remarkable project,” Garman said in a press release. “McLellan takes us inside some of the most important technological innovations of our lifetime.”
McLellan photographs the objects he disassembles in two ways. He lays the pieces of each object out in precise, carefully arranged designs and also “drops” the parts of the disassembled objects from a platform and shoots the pieces as they fall through the air.
Videos in the exhibition show McLellan at work disassembling, rearranging, and dropping objects. Visitors to Things Come Apart will also see an actual disassembled digital camera, hand-held game console and mantel clock.
The photographs presented in Things Come Apart expose the craftsmanship of older items and illustrate the efficient design of modern technology. Exhibition visitors may compare a photograph of the 1,842 pieces that compose an upright piano made in 1912 to an image of the 178 pieces in an electronic keyboard made nearly a century later. The 6-foot-wide and 2-foot-tall photograph of the piano is the largest in the exhibition.
Works in Things Come Apart range in complexity from a picture of the largest object McLellan has photographed — a two-seater Zenith CH 650 Aircraft— disassembled into 7,580 parts, to an image of a mechanical pencil built with just 16 components.
A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst St. in Winchester. The MSV includes galleries displaying permanent collections and rotating exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House and seven acres of gardens.
Thanks to sponsorship from Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., gallery admission is free to all every Wednesday. Additional information and details about programs organized in conjunction with Things Come Apart are available at www.theMSV.org