Smithsonian Opens Immersive Sound-and-Light Exhibition Celebrating the Natural Beauty of Australia

January 10, 2020
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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the Embassy of Australia present Beauty Rich and Rare,” a sound-and-light exhibition that showcases the extraordinary flora and fauna unique to the continent of Australia. The exhibition was commissioned by the National Library of Australia and created and produced by AGB Events. It opened Jan. 9 and will remain on view at the National Museum of Natural History through July 5.

“Beauty Rich and Rare” recreates the sense of wonder experienced by British naturalist Joseph Banks and the botanists, scientists and illustrators who travelled on the HMB Endeavour from England to Australia 250 years ago. The expedition was led by Captain James Cook and represents the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia. Examples of specimens from the voyage are in the National Museum of Natural History’s collections and on view in the new exhibition.

“‘Beauty Rich and Rare’ will take visitors on a journey of the senses—an immersion into light, color and sound that magnify the scientific achievements of the expedition and the sheer awe experienced by the explorers when they first encountered the natural wonders of Australia,”said Michael Lawrence, assistant director for exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History. “The exhibition is a dramatic illustration of the vital role that museum collections play in preserving our biodiversity heritage.”

The National Museum of Natural History is one of the most-visited natural history museums in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum is dedicated to maintaining and preserving the world’s most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit the museum on its website and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Randall Kremer


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