American Pinball Exhibition Bound for Europe

The show supports Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum.

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Photo: PPM pinball machines

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 21, 2015 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Pacific Pinball Museum (PPM) has signed an agreement with Phaeno Museum of Wolfsburg, Germany to create a never-before-seen exhibition of pinball art and science. This will mark the first time a major exhibition of pinball art and exhibits has made the journey to Europe.

The series of interactive exhibits will complement murals and vintage pinball machines from PPM's collection. In accordance with the PPM mission, the exhibition was created to inspire an interest in art, science and history through pinball. Opening day for "The Art and Science of Pinball" at the Phaeno will be May 15, 2015.

In 2014, Executive Director Michel Junge from the Phaeno Museum visited San Francisco's Exploratorium in search of new exhibits to display in Germany. Following that, Junge went across the bay to the PPM in Alameda and met PPM Executive Director Michael Schiess. The two executive directors envisioned working together on an exhibition. The show supports Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum.

The focal point of the new exhibition will be the Visible Pinball Series by Michael Schiess and Wade Krause. The Visible Pin Series of transparent pinball machines allows the observation of electromechanical systems in action. Basically, a fully functional 1976 Pinball Machine rebuilt into a completely clear cabinet and playfield. Two of the machines in the series show the transition from electromechanical to computer-controlled systems.

Other exhibits will include the Pinbowl Chaos Generator, the Galton Pinball, an Electromechanical Music Box and more one-of-a-kind kinetic sculptures. Using pinball parts and technology, the exhibits are designed to educate about a particular scientific concept.

Generator Illumination Table

"The Art and Science of Pinball" will present art in a big way: ten hand-painted acrylic on canvas murals by artists Dan Fontes, Ed Cassel, Eric Kos and d'Arci Bruno. These giant works of art average 10 feet by 10 feet in size and reproduce backglass art from various eras of pinball history. These colorful masterpieces provide an excellent background for the exhibition as a whole.

Twenty playable pinball machines were chosen from the PPM's extensive collection along with selections from the Larry Zartarian and Melissa Harmon collections to complement the other exhibits. The games date from the electromechanical era of pinball (1976 and earlier) that are rarely seen in public today. All the machines demonstrate pinball as an art form in both the aesthetics and engineering.

Pinball engineers were regularly pushed to design unique mechanisms to help make the game more fun and challenging. They were the epitome of American ingenuity using nuts, bolts and mechanisms as their paintbrush, the playfield was their canvas and engineering amusement was their art.

For more information about the Phaeno Museum visit

The Pacific Pinball Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

For more about the PPM, visit or write to

"Kunst unt Wissenshaft von Flipper."

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*Photo 1:
Caption: Star cluster of Pacific Pinball Museum machines bound for the Phaeno Museum.

*Photo 2:
Caption: New pinball science exhibit by Michael Schiess, Generator Illumination Table.

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REFERENCES: PPM pinball machines, Phaeno Museum, vintage pinball machines, Larry Zartarian and Melissa Harmon collections, Pinbowl Chaos Generator, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, STEAM curriculum, news, press release from Pacific Pinball Museum, Jan 21, 2015, Pop Culture and Cool Stuff, NonProfit, Entertainment, San Francisco, California, American Pinball Exhibition Bound for Europe