In 1825, when scientists first unearthed aluminum—also known as Atomic number 13—the element was as precious as gold. Hans Christian Ørsted, the Danish scientist who discovered it, described “a lump of metal which in color and luster somewhat resembles tin.” Two centuries later, it’s hard to imagine life without aluminum. In architecture, industry, and areonautics the material is ever-present (and our kitchens are full of it). Drawn from NOMA’s permanent collection, this exhibition explores the evolution of the element “Al” and its place in modern design. —E.C.
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