Science, art, and history come together in the exhibition “Nothing Is Set in Stone: The Lincoln Oak and the New Haven Green,” opening Wednesday, April 30 at the New Haven Museum.
In October 2012, winds from Hurricane Sandy toppled the Lincoln Oak on the New Haven Green — planted in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. president’s birth — revealing human skeletal remains in the tree’s exposed roots.
A team of researchers that included anthropologists from Yale examined the bones and used them to determine the gender and approximate ages, as well as the health and disease issues, of the interred. Judith Schiff, chief research archivist at Yale and New Haven’s official historian, also helped uncover information about the era in which the individuals lived.
The New Haven Museum exhibition tells the story of the scientific analysis of the remains through photo panels. The contents of two time capsules found at the site of the fallen Lincoln Oak will also be on display.
For the artistic portion of “Nothing Is Set in Stone,” area artists were invited to use branches, limbs, or pieces of the trunk of the Lincoln Oak to interpret the history of the tree and the discovery of the skeletal remains beneath it. The exhibit includes works by Lani Asuncion, Susan Clinard, Erich Davis, Michael Quirk, Jeff Slomba, Rachael A. Vaters-Carr and Alison Walsh. The collected works include mixed-media sculpture and video.
There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Wednesday, April 30 from 5 to 8 p.m.
“Nothing Is Set in Stone: The Lincoln Oak and the New Haven Green” will be on view through Nov. 2.
The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located at 114 Whitney Ave. For more information visit www.newhavenmuseum.org or facebook.com/NewHavenMuseum, or call 203-562-4183.