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Celebrating Our 75th Year

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Celebrates its 75thAnniversary with the Year of Light

To ring in our 75th Anniversary, The Bishop is celebrating the Year of Light, exploring how visible light shapes our world and how harnessing invisible energy expands our scientific understanding of the cosmos.

We know that light has a profound impact on our lives, but the light we see — the rainbow of colors that fills the visual world — is only a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic (EM) radiation that constantly surrounds us. Although most of the EM spectrum is invisible, scientists have been able to capture its power to shine a new perspective on our incredible universe.

In that spirit, The Bishop is also offering new perspectives throughout the year. The Year of Light will include eight new exhibitions and experiences, including:

  • On March 5, Picturing Science opens in the Museum’s first floor Gallery 1, introducing guests to ways in which modern imaging technologies make it possible for scientists to examine details that were previously unobservable.
  • In April, local photographer Scott Odell’s Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell opens on the second floor, playing with lighting, angles, and color in an astonishing exhibition of macro photography that features items from the Museum’s permanent collection.
  • This summer, new interpretations of our collections using the theme of light will be available throughout the Museum, developed by Director of Museum Experience, Ashley Waite, and Curator of Collections, Tiffany LaBritt.
  • This fall, The Planetarium anticipates hosting infrared images — outside light’s visible wavelength — from NASA’s recently launched James Webb Space Telescope.
  • And we anxiously await the return of laser light shows in May!

The 75th Anniversary culminates in the Museum’s annual black tie gala, The Bash at The Bishop, on November 5. Our Diamond Jubilee will welcome back the Manatee and Sarasota county communities to the preeminent event of the season, and features a colorful large-scale art installation evoking the joy and wonder of science and nature.

“We’re excited to unveil these new experiences throughout The Bishop and the greater Bradenton community,” Museum CEO Hillary Spencer said. “We’re also planning other vibrant multi-sensory experiences such as a room with hundreds of prisms reflecting light. I can’t wait to share the dynamic, fun, and joyful explorations as we celebrate the Year of Light. We look forward to welcoming and collaborating with visitors time and again throughout 2022.”