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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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The Ladies Silurian Atoll (detail of crochet coral reef object). Photo copyright The Institute for Figuring by Alyssa Gorelich

Asea of vibrant colors and fantastic structures, the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project was exhibited in the Sant Ocean Hall Focus Gallery from October 16, 2010 through April 24, 2011. Created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring, the project uses crocheting techniques that employ hyperbolic geometry to create complex, natural-looking forms, drawing connections between the crocheted reefs and living corals, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The Smithsonian Community Reef

A satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles. It was made possible through the support of the Quiksilver Foundation, the Embassy of Australia, and the Coral Reef Alliance.

The Smithsonian Community Reef was a centerpiece of the museum exhibition. Over 800 participants from the Metropolitan D.C. area, around the country and the world created over 4000 pieces of coral for the endeavor and also helped construct the Reef.
The Smithsonian Community Reef became one of the many satellite reefs created in communities around the globe. These reefs are made in the months leading up to an exhibition of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef and is accorded a special place in each show. View the list of contributors to the Smithsonian Community Reef.

Visitors viewing the Smithsonian Community Reef at the National Museum of Natural History

Visitors viewing the Smithsonian Community Reef while it was on display at the National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian Community Reef Finds an New Home

Even though the exhibition at NMNH is closed, the Smithsonian Community Reef will live on at the Putnam Museum and Imax Theatre in Davenport, Iowa starting in August 2011.

Putnam Museum and Imax Theatre

Connect with the Smithsonian Community Reef

The NMNH display of the Smithsonian Community Reef may be over, but the reef lives on. Stay connected:

Children sitting and crocheting
See the Smithsonian Community Reef on display at the Putnam Museum and Imax Theater starting August 2011.



Share your own illustrations on the museum's Flickr pool.

Share and view visitor photos of the Smithsonian Community Reef on the Smithsonian Community Reef Flickr pool.



Join the discussion on Ravelry.com

Join the discussion on Ravelry.com, a free site for knitters and crocheters. Search for and join the "Smithsonian Community Reef" group once you create your free Ravelry account.

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