KU Natural History Museum to reopen with two new exhibits

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LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Natural History Museum, part of the KU Biodiversity Institute, will reopen to the public Thursday, May 6. Public hours will be 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Advance reservations are encouraged due to reduced capacity, which aligns with current health and safety guidelines.

The museum will feature two new exhibits in addition to longtime favorites such as the 45-foot-long Bunker mosasaur fossil, the living Paleo Garden and others. “The New Grotesques” temporary exhibit gives visitors a unique opportunity to view eight newly carved grotesques, commissioned to replace the originals that resided on Dyche Hall for over 117 years. The new grotesques, created by local master stone carvers Laura and Karl Ramberg, are on display in the Panorama gallery, along with sketches and scale models from the artists. A short documentary video is also available that provides further insights into the project. The new carvings will be placed on top of the building at a future date. The original carvings were removed in 2017 due to damage from the elements and are now on view on the museum’s sixth floor.

Visitors can also traverse hundreds of millions of years of evolution in a new permanent exhibit, “KU Paleontology Up Close,” on the museum’s third floor. Plant and animal fossils, including rarely seen small specimens, illustrate evolutionary changes through time and highlight several KU research discoveries from the Biodiversity Institute’s Paleontology research divisions.

For questions or assistance in making advance reservations to visit the KU Natural History Museum, please contact Visitor Services at 785-864-4450.

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