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Local Artist makes her unique mark on Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime Exhibit
Fingerprint Series on display at the Museum of Discovery and Science until May 15, 2005

March 1, 2005, Fort Lauderdale – Barbara W. Watler has loaned her One of a Kind: Contemporary Textile Art, "Fingerprint Series" to the Museum of Discovery and Science for display in the exhibition Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime through May 15, 2005.

Watler’s attention to humanistic detail led to truly unique compositions of gigantic quilt fingerprints. Watler composes each fingerprint quilt with two cloth top layers and an unbleached, muslin cloth backing layer, which she sandwiches and then stitches together by machine. The top layer is then hand cut to reveal the unique pattern by exposing the second layer.

"The fact that no two fingerprints are alike permits an endless variety of patterns," Watler said. "Comparing my own fingerprints to the generic patterns, I begin to see many variations caused by age, vacation and accidents. I soon asked specific friends and acquaintances for their fingerprints and have developed a large file, which emphasizes both differences and similarities in prints."

Watler is currently Artist in Residence at the Coral Springs Museum of Art sewing a textile that is 7 ½ feet wide and 5 feet long, which will be a part of the Museum’s permanent collection. She has lived in Hollywood, Florida for the past 40 years and her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally for the past 20.

While Watler considers fingerprints an inspiration for art, forensic scientists view them as hard evidence in solving criminal cases. Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime exhibit explores scientific methods and technologies used to solve crimes including fingerprinting, DNA profiling, firearm identification, forensic anthropology, pathology, entomology, odontology, evidence collection and trace evidence. Case studies of several "historic" crimes are also featured, as are profiles of real forensic professionals. Visitors collect, analyze and synthesize data to deduce various suspects’ innocence or guilt at crime lab stations.

"Most of us are intrigued by the thought of solving a mystery," said Kim Cavendish, President/CEO of the Museum. "Whodunit? gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the work of forensic science professionals. The exhibit provides a better understanding of the specialized skills and technologies employed in solving crimes."

This nationally acclaimed exhibit was produced by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Museum CSI Programs

The Whodunit? Museum Mystery
March 12, April 16, May 14 at 2:30 p.m.
An average day at the Museum becomes an all-out forensic hunt for the truth when a body is found facedown in front of the Museum’s Science Café. Assist our detectives as they search the scene and try to solve this bizarre mystery.

Chromatography Fun
March 12, April 16, May 14 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The science of chromatography can be used to do a chemical analysis at a crime scene. Join us and use real chromatography paper to do your own chemical analysis, and make a chromatography butterfly to keep.

Thumbs Up for Fingerprint Art
March 12, 26, May 14 at 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Nobody has the same fingerprints, not even identical twins. Police use fingerprints to identify criminals by matching their fingerprints to prints taken from a crime scene. They are also used in finding missing people. During this craft activity, you will get a chance to use your fingerprint to create a truly "one of a kind" piece of art.

Be a Forensic Pathologist
March 12, 26, May 14 at 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
Forensic scientists sometimes perform autopsies on victims to help solve crimes. After visiting the Whodunit? exhibit, meet with a Museum scientist and participate in a forensics lab examination. Learn about animals’ insides, and see how different or similar these animals are to you.

Dive into the world of Crime Scene Investigation
May 14, 2005 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn more about CSI with special guests from the Broward County Sheriff Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Dust for fingerprints, and find out how real crime scenes are investigated.
• Tour the BSO CSI Mobile Crime Laboratory.
• Check out the digital imaging systems used to inspect footwear and tire tracks.
• Take a look at the high-tech chemistry lab and other tools used to investigate crime.
• KidPrints from BSO—kids can take home their fingerprints and their photo I.D.

The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs, and films. Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility serves approximately 400,000 visitors each year. Major operational support for the Museum is provided through generous support by Leadership Guild members including: American Express, City Furniture, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Sun-Sentinel and Wachovia.

The Museum is open seven days a week (365 days a year); Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. with extended IMAX® hours on Friday and Saturday evenings. General admission prices are $14 for adults; $13 for seniors; $12 for children 3 to 12. Children under 3 are free. A General Admission Ticket includes admission to the Museum exhibits and one IMAX® film. The Museum of Discovery and Science is located downtown at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information about the Museum, visitors should call (954) 467-MODS (6637) or visit our web site at


The Blockbuster® IMAX®Theater owned and operated by the Museum of Discovery and Science, opened in 1992. The 300-seat theater is a showcase of state-of-the-art motion picture technology. The Blockbuster® IMAX®Theater features a 60 ft. x 80 ft. screen and a 15,000 watt digital sound system that delivers six discrete channels of clear sound through 42 speakers. The IMAX® projector’s 15,000 watt Xenon bulb projects images of unsurpassed brilliance and clarity onto the five-story-high screen. Both 2D and 3D films are shown in the theater. 3D films are viewed using electronic headsets. The IMAX® experience is an unparalleled fusion of sight and sound. For show times, visitors should call 954-463-IMAX (4629).

Media Contact:
Theresa Waldron 954.713.0901 email:
Laura Nipe 954.713.0904 email:

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Museum of Discovery and Science / Blockbuster IMAX Theater - 401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312. Phone 954-467-6637
Museum of discovery and Science, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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