Telescopes: Through The Looking Glass

What You Will Discover

Included With General Admission

Astronomers have studied the cosmos for thousands of years, but until about 400 years ago, they did it without telescopes! In Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass, you’ll find extraordinary beauty and technology in some of the world’s most important telescopes and learn how these clever light-catching devices helped us discover our Universe.

Encounter a Grand Orrery, a table-sized eighteenth-century model of the Solar System hand- crafted from wood and brass. Look through a colossal 22-foot-long antique telescope from 1675. The Adler is the only place in the world where the public can look through such a large early telescope!

Mix and match lenses to lenses to learn how they bend light in different ways.

Gaze at our magnificent Dearborn Telescope, created by famous telescope craftsman Alvan Clark.

Find the first ever observation-based map of our galaxy created by astronomer William Morgan and his colleagues at the Yerkes Observatory in 1951.

Discover the South Pole Telescope, which was designed to explore the properties of the cosmic microwave background—the oldest light in the Universe.

Special Membership Benefit - Friends of the Webster Institute

Join the Friends of the Webster Institute to strengthen and preserve the museum’s permanent collections while enjoying special benefits, including exclusive friends-only events and behind- the-scenes tours with curators throughout the year. Membership in the Friends of the Webster Institute is open to all Adler Annual Fund and Shepard Society members for an additional $100 annually.

For more information, or to join today, please contact the Advancement Office at 312.322.0332 or email

Exclusive Benefits

Includes ALL benefits of your Annual Fund or Shepard Society membership, PLUS:

● Annual Webster Memorial Lecture reception with speaker
● Exclusive, friends-only events highlighting the Adler collections
● Private behind-the-scenes tour led by a museum expert or scientist
● Recognition as a Friends of the Webster Institute in the Adler’s Annual Report to Donors

For more information, or to join today, please contact the Advancement Office at 312.322.0332 or email

If You Like This, Check Out

  • Cosmic Wonder

  • Astronomy in Culture

  • Historic Atwood Sphere