Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson


Arthur Ganson’s kinetic sculptures are among the most beloved features of the MIT Museum. Press a pedal or turn a crank and you’ll put Ganson’s machines into motion. His sculptures explore the nature of oiled surfaces, object manipulation, and slow explosions, and are created from a range of materials that he fabricates or finds.

Redesigned and reopened in fall 2016, the new gallery now allows better access to each sculpture, making them easier to view from all angles and easier to manipulate. Sculptures are accompanied by vignettes in the artist’s own words—read about his process and the inspiration behind each piece. A tactile display gives visitors an opportunity to physically connect with some of the materials and forms Ganson uses. And several videos, including the award-winning short film “Machine with Wishbone” by Randall Okita, illuminate new facets of Ganson’s work.  

Whether you’re discovering Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson for the first time or revisiting the wonder of a longtime favorite piece, the MIT Museum’s reopened exhibition shines a new light on these captivating sculptures.