Online registration is closed for this event. If available, tickets on the day of the event may incur an additional charge.


Opening Reception:

Building Beauty: The Harmonograph Art of Ivan Moscovich

Thursday, October 21 at 7:00 pm ET (New York)

(in person)

The National Museum of Mathematics is delighted to feature the mathematical artwork of Ivan Moscovich.

This solo show will include almost three dozen original pieces of Ivan's art, created using his custom-made (and patented) harmonograph, and will explore the aesthetics and mathematics of Lissajous curves.  Ivan used the harmonograph, an analog drawing machine that uses pens and pendulums, to generate an incredible variety of elegantly swirling, multi-colored graphic configurations known as Lissajous patterns.  First exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1968, the work it produced was acclaimed as the best math art of the time.  Since then, Ivan's creations have been shown in major exhibitions in locations including Berlin, Basel, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, and San Francisco, with a renewed interest in his work in the last few years.

The show will include two working harmonographs for visitors to explore how the artwork is created and make their own works to take home.

This opening reception is hosted by Art of Play

About the artist:

Born in Yugoslavia, Ivan Moscovich survived imprisonment in four Nazi concentration camps as a teenager and eventually emigrated to Israel after World War II.  Since then, he has made an extraordinary career out of inventing puzzles, toys, and games.  Ivan is the author of several books on science, mathematics, and art; he is also the founder, creator, and former director of the Museum of Science and Technology in Tel Aviv, which pioneered the model of science museums that present hands-on, interactive exhibits.  Frank Oppenheimer modeled his Exploratorium after Ivan's museum, thus launching the entire science center industry in the United States.  Ivan Moscovich is therefore largely credited as the "father" of the modern-day science center, and MoMath is currently the only such center in Manhattan.  Ivan — who is 95 years old — lives in the Netherlands with his wife.

MoMath is grateful to David deWeese and Anne Heller for their generous sponsorship of Building Beauty and to Brookhaven National Laboratory for the loan of a working harmonograph.

This event will take place in-person in Composite, the gallery at MoMath, at 11 East 26th Street.

All in-person seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note that masks must be worn at all times inside the Museum and that all visitors must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to be admitted.  To learn more, go to

October 21, 2021 7:00 pm   through   8:30 pm
National Museum of Mathematics
11 E. 26th St.
New York, NY 10010
United States
Phone: 212-542-0566

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