Museum of Natural History Exhibits
The Museum of Natural History, located in Roger Williams Park, is Rhode Island’s only natural history museum and is home to the state’s only public planetarium. For more than a century, the museum has served as a unique educational, scientific and cultural resource by offering exciting exhibits and programming that provide ways for children and families to learn about our world and its people.
A Continuous Presence: Celebrating 20 Years on the ISS
Orbiting at more than 17,000 miles per hour above Earth, the International Space Station (ISS) is the largest structure built in space. Learn about this giant orbiting laboratory in this new exhibit.
The exhibit was made possible with a grant from the NASA Rhode Island Space Grant Program.
Circle of the Sea: Re-Visited and Re-Imagined
Showcases the museum’s diverse holdings from Oceania. The exhibit has an array of objects such as those used in daily life for cooking, clothing, fishing, and seafaring. It also features natural history from the region: ornately feathered Birds-of-Paradise, gigantic seabirds and mollusk shells, colorful corals and volcanic geology so pivotal to the Pacific.
The exhibit was made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Special thanks to Kirsten Vacca, Guest Curator, for her contributions and expertise.
Flight of the Dinosaurs: Origin of Birds
Temporary lobby exhibit opened April 7, 2023
When we hear the word “dinosaur,” we might immediately picture one or two specific animals. However, dinosaurs actually represent a very large and diverse group of related animals that lived for millions of years in all types of environments. Did you know there was one group of dinosaurs that were small, feathered, capable of flight and are still with us today – birds! Discover the origin of birds and more in this exhibit.
Natural Selections: Museum’s Victorian Past to the Present
Step back in time and explore what can be learned about the history of collecting in our region through the museum’s own rich and diverse collections. Even today the museum continues to collect new specimens and objects, and its collections are just as important as when the museum first opened in 1896. Discover the remarkable treasures that are housed here, and what a truly unique Rhode Island legacy the museum’s walls encompass in this exhibit.
The exhibit was made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Special thanks to Heather Field, museum docent, for curating the Ethnology display.
Seismic Shifts: Earth through Time
Travel through time to discover the formation of our Earth and its transformation into the habitable world we live on today. From Ice Ages to Hothouse Earth, our planet has seen many changes over its vast history. Exhibit sponsored by the Brown/NASA Northeast Planetary Data Center & the NASA/RI Space Grant Consortium.
Urban Wildlife: Nature at Your Doorstep
Human designed landscapes occupy more land than ever before. While often discounted as wastelands devoid of nature, urban areas actually play host to a great diversity of plant and animal life. Acknowledging the diversity of life found in cities is an important step toward understanding the impact humans have on the places they live and work. This exhibit focuses on the wildlife living right here in the city of Providence and highlights the urban habitats in which they can be found.
Featuring local fauna from the museum’s collections; imagery from Providence Raptors, urban wildlife photography by Peter Green; and videos from Greg Gerritt, activist, writer, videographer and watershed steward for Friends of the Moshassuck. NASA Satellite Imagery of Providence-sponsored by the Brown/NASA Northeast Planetary Data Center & the NASA/RI Space Grant Consortium.
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