Next month, The State Museum of Pennsylvania will celebrate 50 years of Mammal Hall, one of its most beloved exhibits, with a week of special programming beginning Wednesday, September 26, and culminating with a rededication ceremony on Sunday, September 30.
Throughout the week-long celebration, visitors will have the opportunity to build their own diorama, walk like the animals, and touch mammal pelts and skulls. Museum staff including curators, educators and the director will be giving special tours of Mammal Hall focusing on the art and science of this iconic exhibit.
In addition to viewing the newly restored dioramas and redesigned interpretive text panels in Mammal Hall, visitors can explore Restoring Mammal Hall: A 50th Anniversary Profile. This new exhibit adjacent to Mammal Hall goes behind the scenes to provide insight into the recently completed 3-year conservation and restoration project.
The State Museum will formally rededicate Mammal Hall on Sunday, September 30. This public event will feature an afternoon of programs highlighting Pennsylvania nature, followed by the rededication, a reception and a diorama tour by Senior Curator of Zoology and Botany Dr. Walter Meshaka.
When Mammal Hall first opened in 1968, it was the second gallery installed at the museum. Comprising 13 alcoves, each featuring mammals in actual locations throughout Pennsylvania representing all seasons of the year and various times of day, Mammal Hall quickly became a museum favorite.
“Painstaking effort went into creating these dioramas,” says Museum Director Beth Hager. “Today, restored for its 50th anniversary, the exhibit stands as an enduring tribute to the power of nature and an inspiration to protect it for generations to come.”
General admission from September 26 through September 30 will be a special discount rate of $5.00 for all.
The celebration includes the following programming:
Make Your Own Diorama (K- Grade 5)
Wednesday, September 26, Thursday, September 27, and Friday, September 28, at 11:30 AM; Sunday, September 29, at 12:30 PM
Visitors will explore the museum’s dioramas and then design and create their own paper diorama with Pennsylvania animals.
Learn at Lunchtime: Mammal Hall and the Restoring Mammal Hall: A 50th Anniversary Profile Exhibit
Wednesday, September 26, at 12:15 PM
Museum Director Beth Hager will lead an insider’s tour of the restored Mammal Hall, discussing the decisions made during the restoration, new interpretive panels, and the new exhibit that highlights the diorama conservation project.
Learn at Lunchtime: Art of the Diorama: Windows on Our Natural World
Thursday, September 27, at 12:15 PM
Museum Curator Carol Buck will talk about the history of natural science dioramas and the techniques used by scientists and artists to make the scenes come alive.
Learn at Lunchtime: The Animals of Mammal Hall
Friday, September 28, at 12:15 PM and Sunday, September 30, at 12:30 PM
Visitors will experience the dioramas through the animals they highlight, discovering what their fur feels like or what their feet look like and learning what it takes to make a healthy habitat.
Curiosity Kids: Walk Like the Animals (Ages 3-6)
Friday, September 28, at 11:30 AM
Younger museum visitors can explore animal footprints and see if they can move their bodies like the animals. Curiosity Kids is a program that bridges the fun of Curiosity Connection with the wonders of The State Museum. Museum educators will guide adults and their children, ages 3 to 6, on fascinating trips through history.
Curiosity Kids is funded in part by a grant from the Joseph T. and Helen M. Simpson Foundation.
Planetarium Show: Animals of the Night (Pre-K–Grade 1)
Wednesday, September 26, Thursday, September 27, and Friday September 28, at 11:00 AM; Saturday, September 29, at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM; Sunday, September 30, at 1:00 PM, 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM
Designed for the museum’s youngest visitors, this traditionally styled show encourages viewers to use their imaginations to see pictures in the sky, learn about constellations, trace basic movements of the Earth and stars, and discover animals that can be found in Pennsylvania and in the night sky.
NOTE: Planetarium shows are $3 per person in addition to general admission. Planetarium admission is free to members of the State Museum Affiliate and the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation.
ABOUT THE STATE MUSEUM OF PENNSYLVANIA
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.
For more information about the museum, visit www.statemuseumpa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639
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