January 17–18: Butterflies, Scientific Illustrations, and More!

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It’s shaping up to be a chilly weekend in the city. So take a break from the cold and rain in the Butterfly Conservatory, a tropical vivarium filled with lush, blooming flowers and more than 500 free-flying butterflies. 

Discover remarkable scientific illustrations spanning 400 years in Natural Histories, an exhibition about the vital role illustrations have played in scientific discovery. 

Natural Histories Maria Sibyll Merian Pineapple

German naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) spent two years documenting the flora and fauna of Surinam, South America, creating the book Metamorphosis, from which this engraving is reproduced. 

© AMNH/D. Finnin

For centuries, illustration has been a way to “preserve” specimens by capturing their essential characteristics for future study. Find out how specimens are prepared for a long life in the Museum’s collections today in the latest episode of Shelf Life: Six Ways to Prepare a Coelacanth. 

Shelf Life 03 - Six Ways To Prepare a Coelacanth


See the Museum’s latest exhibition, Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease. Presented in collaboration with The Carter Center, Countdown to Zero highlights efforts to eradicate devastating diseases including Guinea worm disease, polio, river blindness, and malaria

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