We live in a vibrant, colorful world! This First Friday, explore how artists capture the colors of nature through pigments, paints, and dyes.

Watch recreations of historical paint-making techniques, learn about the toxic beauty of poisonous pigments, examine the tools of the artist’s trade, and enjoy pop-up displays from our special collections. You’ll also learn about natural dyes like indigo and henna, and take home your very own henna design!

About First Fridays

Spark your curiosity while exploring the exhibits after hours! First Fridays bring together a myriad of activities covering everyday science, historical oddities, and everything in between. Grab your friends, and kick off an evening of discovery, surprise, and a little nerdy fun.

First Fridays at the Institute are always free and open to the public. Attendees will receive a 10% discount to National Mechanics restaurant.

More events

woman in apron dyeing cloth in a basin
February 24, 2024
Free

Dyes & Textiles Tour

This “drop-in” tour highlights the science of natural dyes and textiles, the technology behind synthetic clothing, and the impact of fashion on human health and the environment.

frontispiece plate of illustrations of the blood spectra
February 24, 2024
For Families

Stories of Science

Join us in our museum EVERY SATURDAY for a family-friendly program that highlights strange and surprising stories from the history of science!

Collage illustration showing clip of Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus, botanical illustration, crop of a cave.
February 27, 2024
Classes & Workshops

How Science Invented the Myth of Race: Origin Stories

In the first session of this five-part Roundtable course, we trace the origins of race science to the Enlightenment in Europe.

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