Saturday, April 19, 2014

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes at COSI

On our most recent visit to COSI, we went and saw The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes for Kenneth's birthday. Kenneth is a big fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing. He recently finished reading all of Doyle's work featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson and is now working on The Lost World. We both love the BBC's Sherlock. We were both excited to check this exhibition out! Watch a short preview of the exhibition below:

The exhibition is part historical interpretation and artifacts and part interactive learning and problem solving as you try to help Sherlock Holmes solve a case. Before entering the historical part of the exhibit, we were greeted by Doyle's great nephew, Richard Doyle, who introduces you to his great uncle and his famous character, Sherlock Holmes. You can watch a similar video about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his family here.

The artifacts give a glimpse into the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and explains where the fields of medicine and criminal investigation were when Doyle was attending medical school at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. There are artifacts about specific murder cases including the Whitechapel murders (also known as the Jack the Ripper murders), the Burke and Hare murders (also known as the West Port murders). There is also information about other crime writers of Doyle's time like Edgar Allan Poe.

I don't want to give too much away about the case you help solve, but you learn how investigators in the late 1800s solved crimes, then you use those same techniques to gather clues in your notebook at the crime scene. The clues then get the "Sherlock" treatment when you test Detective Inspector Lestrade's theories to see what really would have left the evidence you observed. Remember - Trust the evidence - not the theories!

We had a lot of fun with this exhibit! We nearly solved the case, but there was one clue that tripped us up a bit. After the interactive portion, there is a display about Sherlock in pop culture, including items from the sets of BBC's Sherlock, CBS's Elementary and the 2009 and 2011 movies with Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock. In the gift shop, Kenneth picked out some "Sherlocked" items for our mantle - check out the awesome display he made with them here!

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes runs through September 1st of this year! Be sure to check it out and share your findings on social media with this #COSISherlock.