Now in its fourteenth season at the Museum, The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter! draws thousands of visitors each year, transporting them to a tropical ecosystem lush with vivid, live flowers and filled with hundreds of spectacular butterflies and moths. But while the flora and fauna are quite real, the conservatory is the product of careful planning and design by the Museum’s Exhibition Department, which creates a “natural” garden using artificial lighting,precipitation, and climate control.
Can you imagine an elevator to the Moon, a lunar habitat, or colonies on Mars? In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, opening on November 19, the Museum wants to see what you think will be humanity’s next steps in space—in three minutes or less.
When 12-year-old Katelyn took a field trip to a butterfly exhibit, she wondered why butterflies chose certain flowers over others when it came time to feed.
The question led Katelyn to conduct an experiment that tracked painted lady butterflies’ flower preferences. Her project, which earned her a 2011 Young Naturalist Award, is described in the essay Butterfly Buffet: The Feeding Preferences of Painted Ladies.
Much has changed in documentary filmmaking since the American Museum of Natural History organized the first Margaret Mead Film Festival in 1977 as a celebration of the pioneering anthropologist and longtime Museum curator.
A still from We Still Live Here, featured in this year's Margaret Mead Film Festival. Photo by J. Reed.
But the one constant has been the Mead Festival’s enduring distinction for bringing the public the best in innovative nonfiction films, a legacy that will be celebrated at this year’s 35th-anniversary program held from Thursday, November 10, through Sunday, November 13.
“Since I first began working in film, the Mead Festival had a legendary place among film festivals,” says Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, who is leading the jury selection for this year’s Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award. “The films are always amazing.”