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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Exhibiting our collections has been a vital part of the Museum’s mission since it opened in 1910. Over the years, the look of our exhibitions has changed, but our commitment to inspiring and educating our visitors about the natural and cultural world has not.

A whole team of exhibit specialists — designers, writers, taxidermists, conservators, artists, and production staff–work together with scientists, researchers, and educators to create the exhibitions that have sparked visitors’ curiosity and challenged their ideas of the world around them for generations.

Photo from the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Photo from the Smithsonian Institution Archives
The original display of the Atlas lion group (1915) was innovative for its time. The lions, donated by President Theodore Roosevelt, were displayed in a lifelike setting in the early days of the Museum.
Photo by John Steiner, Smithsonian Institution
Photo by John Steiner, Smithsonian Institution
The Museum’s new Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, opened to the public in 2003. The Hall combines amazing mammal specimens in dramatic poses with rich multi–media and architectural design.
Less than 2 percent of the Museum’s collections are publicly displayed.

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