Exhibits

Rube Goldberg The World of Hilarious Inventions

Enter into an exhibit of zany contraptions as we welcome Rube Goldberg’s World of Hilarious Inventions.

Inspired by Rube’s original illustrations, the exhibit contains a collection of new 3D, life-size machines and hands-on, interactive components that connect Rube’s iconic cartoon contraptions to the way things work in the physical world. These experiences provide insight into the legacy of Rube Goldberg and how classic engineering principles can be reimagined as entry points for deeper exploration of STEAM concepts for 21st century learning.

You can activate and create crazy chain-reaction contraptions that use everyday objects to complete simple tasks in the most overcomplicated, inefficient and hilarious ways possible! Rube Goldberg machines are many things, but they aren’t perfect. Find the fun in failure as you step into the role of illustrator, storyteller and inventor. You’ll find these things and more in the exhibit:

  • See a Rube-inspired way to paint a picture in the 3D version of Ed Steckley’ s “An Epic Way to Paint a Picture”®
  • Move balls and ramps to trigger chain reaction machines in Wall Machines, then figure out how they work by resetting each part.
  • Be inspired by Rube Goldberg’s drawing techniques to create your own hilarious cartoon in the Art Studio and then see how it looks at the Revolvometer.
  • Pull ropes to start a series of musical chain reactions in the large-scale sound animation Music Machine.
  • Step into one of Rube’s iconic wearables, “Self-Operating Napkin.”®, for a one-of-a-kind photo op

Rube Goldberg is best known for the zany contraptions, known as Rube Goldberg Machines. Art was always Rube’s passion. He began drawing at 4 years old by tracing illustrations before developing his own style. Although he went to college for engineering, he continued to draw for his school paper and yearbook. Although he changed careers soon after graduation, his training as an engineer informed every aspect of his work as a cartoonist. Rube’s inventions were designed to work, but drawn for laughs.

On display January 21 – May 7, 2023

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