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!
On the first floor, the East Gallery features engaging traveling exhibitions as well as special exhibitions created by our own Museum curators. Past exhibitions have included: A New Moon Rises, Dinosaur Discoveries, National Geographic’s “50 Greatest Photographs,” The Mysteries of the Mayan Medallion, Clyde Butcher’s Cuba, A Window to the World, and more!
August 1 – September 1, 2019
Special exhibition shows visitors how ancient species made their way to Florida
Back by popular demand, Finding Florida explores how giant ground sloths, manatees, armadillos and even fearsome, flightless, carnivorous terror birds migrated north over thousands of years and many generations from South America by island hopping and using the newly formed land bridge, the Isthmus of Panama.
Finding Florida is a game that lets visitors take on the role of each animal, making choices as they proceed on their northward migrations. How will they deal with other species, a new environment and use their special adaptations? Will their choices see them through the journey or end in extinction?
This special exhibition was developed by The Bishop’s own curatorial experts and highlights some of the most fascinating objects in its own collection, including two terror bird skeletons (pictured on the right) — Titanis walleri — sculpted by paleoartist Steve Hutchens then specially cast for museum supporter Jim Toomey. When Mr. Toomey donated them to the The Bishop, they became two of the few terror bird skeletons on exhibit in any North American Museum. One reason so few examples exist is because only fragments of terror bird fossils have been found in North America — specifically in Texas and Florida.
“Terror birds are a really fascinating animal,” said Matthew Woodside, Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions. “They were the only large predator in South America so they were the top of the food chain. Scientists think they may have taken advantage of changing sea levels to move from island to island as they made their way north. That’s how we think they found Florida. How did other species find Florida? We’re excited for our visitors to find out!”
On the second floor of The Bishop, behind the Riverine and Pine Uplands Galleries, the Rincon Gallery features small exhibits dedicated to adding more to our visitors’ understanding of Florida and the world around us. Past exhibitions have included: A Walk in the Park: Exploring Manatee’s Preserves Photography by Grant Jefferies, On the Rivers of Florida: Lynne Buchanan’s Photographic Meditations, Changing Waters: The Human Impact on Florida’s Aquatic Systems, and more!
Florida Feathers: Birds in Peril
Now extended through late 2019
Beautiful. Vulnerable. Ours.
Florida’s native birds offer a beautiful array of color and fascination. Yet for many species, survival is a delicate balance between nature’s habitat and our constant human change.
Originally scheduled to close this summer, this extraordinary exhibition has now been extended through late 2019.
Nature photographer Grant Jefferies, a fourth generation Manatee County native, is dedicated to conserving and documenting Florida’s wildlife and landscapes through his photography, research and photo lessons. Florida Feathers: Birds in Peril focuses on some of the most precious jewels that our paradise has to offer: passionately pink roseate spoonbills, fierce ospreys and eagles, majestic herons and skittering shorebirds.
As these Florida favorites struggle to survive loss of habitat and find themselves listed as threatened and endangered species, Jefferies brings them to life through the beauty of his images.