Fragile Beauty: The Art & Science of Sea Butterflies

September 17, 2013 – May 31, 2016

National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, Center, Sant Ocean Hall, Research Case Floor Plan

Artist Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh and biological oceanographer Gareth Lawson bring the plight of tiny ocean pteropods—or “sea butterflies” —to light with larger-than-life sculptures. Kavanagh’s sculptures are based on tiny sea snails no bigger than a grain of sand. They honor the floating beauty of these animals, while evoking their struggle to survive in the face of ocean acidification. Gareth Lawson, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, studies ocean acidification and provided research that inspired Kavanagh’s creative work.