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Press Releases

Renovated Fishes Exhibition Reopens June 2 at Harvard Museum of Natural History

June 2, 2012

The historic Fishes Exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge reopens to the public on June 2, 2012 after a major makeover.  Museum-goers may explore the diversity of fishes from gars to groupers and stonefishes to seahorses. The exhibition will redisplay some long-time visitor favorites including the hammerhead and mako sharks, the massive bluefin tuna, and the prickly porcupine fish, and will also add many new specimens borrowed from the ichthyology collections of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology.

New Exhibition, Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm to open February 18 at Harvard Museum of Natural History

February 18, 2012

Opening Saturday, February 18, 2012, Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm will explore the amazing diversity and history of mollusks—snails, clams, squid and other invertebrates--that comprise almost a quarter of all known marine species. Visitors will see hundreds of shells from the collections in the Department of Malacology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, many of which have never before been on public display.

Two New Photographic Lobby Exhibits, and Spiders! Open this Fall at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

September 12, 2011

Harvard Museum of Natural History announces two new photographic exhibits, opening in the museum lobby on October 12, showcasing the research of Harvard scholars. On one side of the lobby is Life in the Extreme Deep, a collection of stunning deep-sea photographs by scientists who work in the field with Harvard's Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences Peter R. Girguis. On the lobby’s other wall are photographs by renowned zoologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki, from his new book, Relics: Travels in Nature’s Time Machine.

Facelift-Restoration of Historic Mammals Now Completed

August 10, 2011

This past Monday morning, the giraffe and okapi were safely back behind glass after spending a couple weeks released from ‘captivity’ in the museum’s Great Mammal Hall for the first time in nearly a century. It took a half dozen staff from HMNH and the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), which owns the specimens, to gently lift the giraffe back into its case.

New England Forests Exhibition Opens May 21 at Harvard Museum of Natural History’s new Zofnass Family Gallery

April 21, 2011

On Saturday, May 21, 2011 the Harvard Museum of Natural History will debut the new Zofnass Family Gallery with the opening of New England Forests, a permanent multi-media exhibition that explores the natural history and ecology of our regional forests, their responses to human activity, and their environmental significance. The museum will offer a special preview of the new gallery with a reception for museum members on Thursday, May 19, 2011.

Harvard Museum of Natural History Appoints Interim Executive Director & Launches National Search

February 17, 2011

The Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) today (February 17, 2011) named as interim executive director David W. Ellis. Ellis is the former president of Lafayette College and the Museum of Science, Boston. He will temporarily replace Elisabeth Werby, who is slated to become chief of staff to the president of Northeastern University. The museum will conduct a national search for a new, permanent executive director.

Glass Flowers Always in Bloom

February 8, 2011

The Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants: The “Glass Flowers” at the Harvard Museum of Natural History are Always in Bloom

Glass Orchids by Glass Artist Siobhan Healy Opens December 2 at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

December 2, 2010

Opening Friday, December 2, in the Glass Flowers Gallery will be a sculpture display by Scottish artist Siobhan Healy entitled Ghost Orchids. The inspiration for the artist's subtle and thought-provoking piece is the ghost orchid (Epipogium aphyllum), a rare British wild flower recently rediscovered after it was thought to be extinct for 23 years.

Harvard Museum of Natural History Completes Renovations to Africa Gallery

November 1, 2010

The Harvard Museum of Natural History announces the completion in late December of the renovated permanent Africa gallery. This historic gallery has been renovated and reinterpreted, with new energy-efficient lighting and colorful graphic displays. The installation of a new interactive video display addressing endangered species completes the upgrade. Visitors will see impressive mounted specimens of African wildlife, collected over a century ago, including hippopotamus, lions, ostrich, gorillas, hyena, plus a variety of rare animals from the island of Madagascar.

National Fossil Day and Earth Science Week at Harvard Museum of Natural History

October 10, 2010

The Harvard Museum of Natural History announces a week of programs and exhibitions in celebration of Earth Science Week, beginning the week of October 10, 2010. Earth Science Week is sponsored by the American Geological Institute in partnership with the National Park Service, which has also named Wednesday, October 13, National Fossil Day. In conjunction, the museum will offer two special programs for the public, both free with museum admission, and a special Teacher Professional Development program for educators. 

Jane Wolff to Present New Directions in EcoPlanning Annual Lecture

March 28, 2010

Jane Wolff (Harvard GSD, ’92), director of the landscape architecture program at the University of Toronto, will be the annual speaker in the endowed lecture series "New Directions in EcoPlanning" at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Ms. Wolff’s lecture, "Defining an Environmental Vocabulary " will take place on Wednesday, April 28, at 6:00 pm in the museum’s Geological Lecture Hall at 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Bizarre Animals: An Evening of Contemporary Art Interventions, Friday, March 26, 2010 from 7:00 to 9:30 pm

February 26, 2010

On the evening of March 26th, artists will overrun the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a special evening of performance, sound, and video throughout the galleries. For two and half hours, twelve artists from across the country—including many Harvard alumni and several current students—will transform the museum into laboratory, library, exploratorium, and stage. Through thoughtful interventions and captivating experiments, viewers will experience new ways to engage with the museum's spaces, its collections, and its history.

Domesticated: Modern Dioramas of Our New Natural History: Photographs by Amy Stein

December 22, 2009

The Harvard Museum of Natural History announces a new exhibition, opening January 22, 2010, of striking, large-scale color photographs by New York–based visual artist Amy Stein. Domesticated: Modern Dioramas of our New Natural History: Photographs by Amy Stein explores the tenuous relationship between humans and animals as human civilization increasingly encroaches upon nature. Domesticated: Modern Dioramas of Our New Natural History: Photographs by Amy Stein will be on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History through April 18, 2010.

Glass Sea Creatures

October 20, 2009

Mini-exhibit of Harvard’s Blaschka glass animals, now on display at Harvard Museum of Natural History

Many years before they were commissioned by Harvard University to make the “Glass Flowers,” father and son artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka meticulously shaped glass and wire into lifelike models of marine animals. Renowned for their beauty and exacting detail, the Blaschka marine invertebrate models were commissioned by universities and museums throughout world during the 19th century.

Harvard Museum of Natural History Commemorates 150th Anniversary of Founding of Museum of Comparative Zoology: Renovated Great Mammal Hall Reopens October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard Museum of Natural History unveils Phase I of the renovation of the historic Great Mammal Hall, which reopens to the public on October 16, 2009. In addition, the museum will present a series of free public lectures focusing on the past, present, and future of natural history museums.