Now open until Oct. 25th

What makes a watch tick? How does a sewing machine stitch? Where does an iPod get its shuffle?

Through extraordinary photographs, disassembled objects and fascinating videos, Things Come Apart reveals the inner workings of common, everyday possessions. Images of dozens of objects explore how things are designed and made and how technology has evolved over time. For example, the individual components of a record player, a Walkman, and an iPod illustrate the technical changes in sound reproduction over the years, and images of the parts of a mechanical and digital watch demonstrate different approaches to timepiece engineering.

As a visual investigation of design and engineering, Things Come Apart also celebrates classic examples of industrial design like the sewing machine, the mechanical pencil, and the telescope. Additionally, the exhibition explores ideas about reuse, repair, and recycling.

Things Come Apart embraces key STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) concepts. Explore this unique look at the design of everyday items on your next visit to The Schiele Museum.

 Things Come Apart exhibit is included with General Admission to the museum.


Things Come Apart exhibit is sponsored by:

PNC Bank logo


Schiele Newletter Article June 2020:

From simple hand tools used to harvest food and build shelters to complex smartphones that call home on command and take photographs, the Schiele Museum celebrates human ingenuity with its latest featured exhibit, Things Come Apart.

Things Come Apart features the work of artist Todd McLellan, who disassembled household items, arranged them into artistic patterns and then photographed them for display. In other pieces, he encased items in acrylic and even photographed objects as he threw components up in the air.

“The works in this exhibit provide a fascinating and unconventional look at the design and engineering of everyday objects, with activities that encourage children and students of all ages to experiment and create.” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “And the title of the exhibit takes on new meaning as things come back together in our community. PNC is proud to help bring this exhibit – and the opportunities it inspires for the exploration and integration of STEAM concepts – to the Schiele.”

Things Come Apart presents a wide variety of familiar objects in unfamiliar displays. Many of the disassembled machines show understandable mechanisms of springs and gears. Others, like a hand-held game system, are a mass of wires and circuits, technology that is not as understandable to the human eye but the result of decades of scientific advancement. Overall, the exhibit contains 37 photographs of deconstructed objects, and five that sit frozen in acrylic, including an 1897 mantle clock.


The Things Come Apart Exhibit is included with General Admission to the museum. Exhibit on display until Oct. 25, 2020.