10am—5pm Tuesday—Saturday | Noon—5pm Sunday | Closed Monday

Special Temporary Exhibitions

Special Temporary Exhibitions

Special Temporary Exhibitions

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature offers gallery spaces with a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions, providing our visitors with something new to see and experience with each visit!

Gallery 1

On the first floor, Gallery 1 features engaging traveling exhibitions as well as special exhibitions created by our own Museum curators. Past exhibitions have included: A New Moon RisesDinosaur DiscoveriesNational Geographic’s “50 Greatest Photographs,” The Mysteries of the Mayan Medallion, Clyde Butcher’s Cuba A Window to the World, and more!

Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies  

Now Open!

Museum ichthyologist John Sparks treated fish with a calibrated series of chemical dyes. Red dye tints bones, blue dye clings to cartilage, and enzymes “clear” tissues, rendering them transparent. These and other stunning images are featured in The Bishop’s newest exhibition Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies opening to the public March 5. Image by John S. Sparks, Associate Curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology American Museum of Natural History.

Did you know that different imaging technologies can reveal hidden and intricate details about natural phenomena and cultural artifacts? Our special exhibition — Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies — will show you more! This new limited-time exhibition now open in The Bishop’s Gallery 1 features more than 20 sets of striking large-format prints and showcases work by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History as well as items from The Bishop’s own collections!

The images featured were created in pursuit of scientific knowledge — but the work also resulted in visually arresting art. The exhibition will allow you to explore how imaging technologies — including infrared photography, scanning electron microscopy, and computed tomography (CT) — make it possible to examine and analyze a range of specimens and phenomena at levels of detail previously unimaginable, advancing science and providing new insights into the visual splendor of the universe.

Viewing this special exhibition is included in the price of admission. Get tickets now!

Picturing Science is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org).

Museum arachnologist Lorenzo Prendini used UV fluorescence imaging to identify differences among the scorpion species shown. The fluorescence of each species depends on the texture of its surface. Some structures, like eyes and hairlike setae, do not fluoresce at all. Image by Lorenzo Prendini, Associate Curator, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History.

Galleries 2 and 3

Rainbow Room

Now Open!

The Bishop’s NEW Rainbow Room is an immersive experience featuring a variety of installations that act as an invitation to explore light and color through movement and wonder. One such installation is the Rainbow Shadows, which play with additive light to demonstrate that shadows are not always dark: they can also be colorful. 

Developed by a team of artists on the Museum staff, Rainbow Room is the latest installation in the “Year of Light” series. 75 prismatic boxes and seven chandeliers represent the Museum’s 75th anniversary year and its seven decades of service to the community, using visible light to create a kaleidoscope of color. 

Throughout 2022, the “Year of Light” at The Bishop explores how visible light shapes our world and how harnessing invisible energy expands our scientific understanding of the cosmos. Supporting this narrative are exhibits like Picturing Science and Illumination: Seeing Beyond The Shell; educational opportunities like the infrared images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which The Planetarium anticipates hosting this fall; programs like Laser Light Nights that dazzle and excite music lovers; and events like Red, White, & Boom! and Celebrating Brilliance: The Bash at The Bishop.

Explore, discover and play in the Rainbow Room. Dance or sway. Feel joy. Take photos (and post with #BishopRainbowRoom!) Experience the wonder of light and color at The Bishop!

Access to the Rainbow Room is included with Museum general admission. 

Second Floor

Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell

Now Open!

A chambered nautilus, Nautilus pompilius. Image by Scott Odell

A shell can be many things: a mollusk’s protection against a predator, a piece of jewelry, a makeshift spoon—it can even be a calcium supplement or an alternative to limestone mining to help fight climate change! But what happens when you take a closer look?

With the opening of Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell, The Bishop continues the celebration of its 75th Anniversary Year of Light with the stunning photography of Scott Odell — who is not only a talented local photographer but also a member of the Museum’s staff!

This exhibition of macro photography literally takes a closer look at the shells in The Bishop’s permanent collection, showing what happens when you take an object and view it in a completely different way. “I just wanted to show people objects in a different light, and that anything can be viewed another way by just changing the light source, angles and color,” says Odell.

  • Visiting Illumination: Seeing Beyond the Shell is included in the price of admission.

Atlantic Hairy Triton, Monoplex pilearis.
Image by Scott Odell

Imperial Volute, Cymbiola imperialis.
Image by Scott Odell