A New View of Insects

Beginning in early May, a renovated Section of Invertebrate Zoology will give visitors an insider’s view into the museum’s insect labs. Two large windows will allow visitors to look “through the walls” as Carnegie scientists perform their daily work studying, mounting and dissecting insect specimens. Also visible is the new storage area, which houses more than one million specimens. Ongoing docent-led tours take visitors one step further by going inside parts of the collections.

An open house May 3 and 4 celebrates the opening of the new space, which will be a permanent feature on the museum’s third floor. Stop by Saturday 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., or Sunday 1:00–4:00 p.m. Also on view will be exhibits of amphibians, reptiles and insects, which have been revamped for the opening. For more information call 622-3131.

Amphibians & Reptiles Open House

Where are all the snakes that St. Patrick chased out of Ireland? In the Museum of Natural History’s Section of Amphibians and Reptiles. Visitors can go behind the scenes of the Section of Amphibians and Reptiles to take a look at its snakes and other animals Saturday, March 22, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., and Sunday, March 23, 1:00–4:00 p.m. Museum scientists will be on hand to talk informally about their work. For more information call 622-3131.

Pat Milliken: An Award-Winning Teacher at the Museum

What’s the best educational use for a lion skull, an osprey egg or any of the thousands of natural history specimens available to teachers through the museum’s Educational Loan Collection? For high school biology classes, a fresh supply of ideas is available.

Patricia Milliken, an award-winning biology teacher from North Hills High School, recently completed a semester-long sabbatical at the museum. Here she developed a series of 12 lessons that incorporate museum specimens into existing curricula. To test her ideas, Milliken served as a guest biology teacher at Central Catholic, Franklin Regional and Greensburg Salem high schools.

Peer review of Milliken’s work began in early December when 40 members of the Western Pennsylvania Biology Teachers Association received copies of the lessons during the organization’s meeting at the museum. Many of these teachers have now used museum materials and Milliken’s lessons, and their comments are guiding the final revision of the work.

For information about the Educational Loan Collection call 622-3292.


Pennsylvania Impressions: Photographs by Janyce Erlich-Moss

Changing Exhibits Gallery through May 25

The artist applies watercolor to her photography-based images to capture soft light on the wildflowers and landscapes of western Pennsylvania.

Artistry in Nature: The Wildlife Paintings of Carl Brenders

Natural History Gallery through May 18

North American wildlife is the focus of these realistic and exquisitely composed paintings by one of the world’s most accomplished nature painters. Brenders’ works reflect his respect for nature and capture in extreme realism a variety of animals and their habitats.

Lapidary Art

Hillman Hall of Minerals & Gems through April 30

Jewelry, sculptures and carvings, and elegant personal items such as essence bottles—all made from diamond, sapphire, jade, opal and other precious and semiprecious gems—are on loan by members of Gem Artists of North America (GANA). Carnegie Museum of Natural History is the first U.S. museum to host a show by the newly formed GANA. While in Hillman Hall, see recently added permanent exhibits including Minerals of the Former Soviet Union from the museum’s Russian Suite, one of the Western Hemisphere’s finest collections of minerals from that locality.

Intarsia, a decoration using thin, inlaid pieces of gem material, was employed by artist Nicolai Medvedev for this hexagonal box of amethyst, diamond, gold in quartz, malachite, opal, sugilite and 18-carat gold.