Objects of Wonder

March 10, 2017 – TBD 2021

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

2nd Floor Floor Plan

Explore the breadth, scope and splendor of the world’s most extensive natural history research collection—more than 145 million artifacts and specimens. The exhibition examines how scientists use Smithsonian collections to enlighten and illuminate our understanding of nature and human culture.

Objects featured in the exhibition include Martha, who was the last known passenger pigeon, and the “Blue Flame,” one of the world’s largest and finest pieces of gem-quality lapis lazuli. Moreover, some of the objects are celebrated for their value to researchers, such as the Pinniped fossil, one of the earliest members of the group of animals that includes living seals, sea lions and walruses, and the 1875 Tsimshian House Front, one of the best examples of Native Alaskan design artwork. The exhibition alsos feature visually striking displays of exotic wood, tiger cowries, and a remarkable array of insects and tiny deep-sea corals.

March 21, 2019 to March 2020, volume four in the Duke of Portland set of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America: from Original Drawings will be on display. The volume is on loan from an anonymous lender and will be on public view for one year during which the pages will be turned every Monday and Thursday to reveal different birds.