Focusing the Universe

Michael Mulcahy, Associate Professor of School of Theatre, Film and Television

School of Theatre, Film and Television faculty Peter Beudert and Michael Mulcahy made a 25-minute film that explores the influence of one of the University of Arizona’s greatest treasures: The Steward Observatory. The original observatory, which evolved from a single telescope in one observatory to many telescopes in multiple observatories, was conceived and built by A. E. Douglass over 100 years ago. The funding came in 1916 when Lavinia Steward donated $60,000 to UA to build a telescope in her husband’s name, Mr. Henry Steward, in order to memorialize her late husband.

The influence and presence of both the Observatory and Douglass are the bedrock of modern astronomy at the University, in Southern Arizona, around the world, and even in space. The documentary was previewed while in post-production at Confluencenter’s Nov. 12, 2014 Show & Tell @ Playground event. The completed documentary premiered on Oct. 17, 2016 during the Steward Observatory’s 100th Anniversary celebration of Lavinia Steward's gift to UA.

The film was funded in part by the UA Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, the UA College of Science and the UA Office for Research & Discovery. View the introduction here:


Media coverage:

10.14.16: 100 Years of UA Astronomy Made Possible by Lavinia Steward's Gift UA News

11.07.14: Show & Tell - Focusing the Universe, Peter Beudert Interview KXCI

11.05.14: Show & Tell for Grown Ups Zócalo Magazine