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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

New “Small World” Exhibition a Visually Compelling Experience

TRENTON - The New Jersey State Museum is pleased to announce the Nikon “Small World” exhibition, on view adjacent to the Planetarium lobby from March 15 through July 10. The exhibition explores the wonders of photomicrography and is a perfect example of STEAM education – science and technology coming together with art.

Now celebrating its 45th year, Nikon’s annual photomicrography competition is widely regarded as the leading forum to recognize proficiency and photographic excellence of photography taken under the microscope. More than 2000 entries were received from scientists and artists across the globe and evaluated on originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact. The top 20 images are included in the exhibition. Subject matter among this year’s top 20 range from a turtle embryo, a snowflake and tulip bulb cross section, to a housefly compound eye pattern and more.

First place was awarded to microscopy technician Teresa Zgoda and recent university graduate Teresa Kugler for their visually stunning and painstakingly prepared photo of a turtle embryo. Captured using fluorescence and stereo microscopy, the colorful final image is a masterful example of image-stitching, an imaging technique that required the 2019 winning pair to stack and stitch together hundreds of images to create the final image of their turtle. 

According to the New Jersey State Museum’s Natural History Curator David Parris, “Each year the State Museum is especially pleased to host Nikon’s ‘Small World’ exhibition, showing photographs that celebrate microscopic observations.”  Parris continued, “Many of the most beloved Museum exhibitions include wonderful things that are of a larger scale, such as dinosaurs, or cultural and artistic creations. But much of the work of science requires microscopy, such as finding tiny objects, identifying substances, and discovering things that are not visible to the unaided eye.”

“The Nikon ‘Small World’ competition has been bringing stunning scientific images to the public for 45 years now,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments, “Our goal has always been to show the world how art and science intersect. As new imaging and microscopy techniques develop over the years, our winners showcase these technology advances more and more creatively. First place this year is no exception.”

The New Jersey State Museum is open 9:00 am to 4:45 pm, Tuesday through Sunday; closed on Mondays and State holidays.  The Auditorium Galleries are open Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm; closed on weekends, Mondays and State holidays.  General admission is free; donations to the New Jersey State Museum Foundation, a non-government 501(c)3 organization which supports the Museum, gratefully accepted. For additional information, visit, like the Museum’s Facebook page (@NJStateMuseum), follow us on Twitter (njstatemuseum), or Instagram (nj_statemuseum).

About the New Jersey State Museum
Located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, the New Jersey State Museum encompasses three buildings including a state-of-the-art Planetarium, and holds over 2 million artifacts in its collections in Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Fine Art and Natural History.  As a center of cultural, educational and scientific engagement, the Museum inspires innovation and lifelong learning through collections, exhibitions, programs and research in science, history and art.  Established in 1895, the New Jersey State Museum fosters state pride, serves as a cultivator of tomorrow’s leaders, and engages visitors of all ages and diverse backgrounds in an exploration of New Jersey’s cultural and natural history presented within a global context.

About the New Jersey State Museum Foundation
The New Jersey State Museum Foundation was founded in 1968 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to support the museum's collections, exhibitions and programs through fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy and marketing.  In recent years, the foundation has received generous support from the PNC Foundation, NJM Insurance Group, Department of State/New Jersey Historical Commission, Henry Luce Foundation, Capstone Foundation and Princeton Area Community Foundation.  The Foundation also operates the Museum Shop which sells merchandise related to the Museum's exhibitions and collections, as well as New Jersey history and culture.  Proceeds support the New Jersey State Museum's collections, exhibitions and programs.


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