Open the pod bay doors, pass through the wormhole, and step inside movie history. A new installment at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. allows fans of Stanley Kubrick’s revolutionary and enigmatic film 2001: A Space Odyssey to feel what Dave the Astronaut felt as he walked through the eerie white room in the film’s final iconic sequence.
Kubrick is famed to be the most meticulous director of all time, so the recreation of this carefully curated room was a painstaking task. Luckily, British artist Simon Birch had the help of architect Paul Kember, both of whose uncles were draftsmen on the original set in 1967. The exhibit, called “The Barmecide Feast,” reconstructs the otherworldly room down to the most minute detail. From the neuter white walls and gridded floors, to the Renaissance paintings and sculptures ornamenting the classically paneled walls and the yellow chairs and green bed which furnish the sparse and doorless room. Fifty years since the film was first released, the Smithsonian welcomes museum-goers into this haunting recreation from Kubrick’s masterpiece. Leave the safety of the Jupiter and go beyond the infinite in this limited-time installment.