The Florida Museum of Natural History is celebrating their centennial with a very special exhibit showcasing some of the museum’s most unique, fascinating, and treasured objects. “Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum” is a must see event – September 23rd, 2017 to January 7th, 2018.
The Florida Museum of Natural History is always worth a visit, as we’ve noted before but for the 100th Anniversary, they’ve really pulled all the stops out. Though the museum dates back to the late 1890s, it didn’t move to Gainesville until 1917. This anniversary celebrates that move, the accomplishments of the last century, and looks forward to the next 100 years.
The museum has been contemplating how to celebrate the centennial for many years. They finally decided on an exhibit of the museum’s finest work from the last 100 years. That sounds simple enough but, with a museum as large and as old as this, how do you choose?
Over the last 100 years the museum collection has grown to more than 40 million objects. That’s the largest natural history collection in the South, and one of the top five largest, nationwide!
The process of picking the pieces for the centennial exhibit began with the employees. They were ask to submit their idea of the museum’s best work. Criteria for the choices were rarity, beauty, or the significance of its impact. A committee was tasked with narrowing the choices down to about 100.
“Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum” includes fossils of extinct species, a humpback whale skeleton, bark beetle calligraphy, and a 3-D printer in action. The exhibit covers topics from extinction to biodiversity and was put together from 17 of the Museum’s collections. Many of the items chosen for the exhibit have rarely been seen by the public before.
One of the more fascinating features is a working lab with scientists from a different collection each week. You can also use your smart phone and ear buds to hear an audio tour of the exhibit. Listen as scientists discuss interesting facts about different objects on display. You can even engage in a fun scavenger hunt for museum objects, with riddles as clues.
Beyond this temporary display, The Florida Museum of Natural History also has a number of popular permanent exhibits. The acclaimed fossil collection illustrates the last 65 million years of Florida’s natural history and the Butterfly Rainforest includes more than 80 different species of live moths and butterflies. The grounds around the museum include the Florida Wildflower & Butterfly Garden as well as a Fossil Plant Garden.
The Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida, 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611
Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum
September 23rd, 2017 to January 7th, 2018
The museum is open 7 days a week and all year ’round, 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday, 1pm to 5pm, Sundays.
The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
You can also visit the museum online at www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu.
Gainesville Area Lodging
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