Discovering Bonaparte

Approaching the museum from the pedestrian bridge over Washtenaw Avenue, students and visitors encounter Bonaparte—a delightful, yet curious, sculpture in the Marquee Gallery window.

Find the right spot on that bridge and the sculpture will reveal its secret identity!

Conceived and created by Ann Arbor artist Mark Tucker, founder of FestiFools, FoolMoon, and other community arts events, Bonaparte is a large-scale, papier-mâché sculpture intended to inspire scientific curiosity and draw people into the building to discover the wonders of the science within.

From inside the museum, visitors looking up into the Marquee Gallery see a series of panels painted to look like phytoplankton—tiny organisms vital to the food chain and nearly all life on Earth.

Dozens of community members joined Tucker in his studio to work on this sculpture. The project was funded, in part, by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA).