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The Butterfly Conservatory:  Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter

October 6, 2007May 26, 2008

October 11, 2008May 25, 2009

October 10, 2009May 31, 2010

This exhibition, first presented in 1998 and now an annual favorite, features up to 500 live, free-flying tropical butterflies from Central, South, and North America, Africa, and Asia.  The butterflies are housed in a vivarium that approximates their natural habitat and includes live flowering plants that serve as nectar sources; has controlled artificial light, temperature, and humidity; and measures more than 60 feet long, 21 feet wide, and 10 feet high.  Among the species included in the vivarium are iridescent blue morpho butterflies, striking scarlet swallowtails, and large owl butterflies.  Text panels located immediately outside the vivarium offer information about the evolution and life cycle of butterflies, including sections on mimicry, diversity, and butterflies’ important role in conservation. 

Whitney Memorial Hall of Oceanic Birds, second floor


Water:  H2O = Life

November 3, 2007–May 26, 2008

Water:  H2O = Life will give visitors an in-depth look at one of the most important substances and environmental issues that we face.  This exhibition illuminates one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century:  humanity’s sustainable management and use of the life-giving, but finite, resourcewater.  Water: H2O = Life will explore the beauty and wonder of our planet’s “lifeblood” using an innovative combination of cutting-edge presentation techniques, including live fishes and frogs, images projected on a curtain of fog, a six-foot globe displaying satellite images of Earth, immersive dioramas, and interactive exhibits that will allow visitors to experience firsthand the power of water.  The exhibition will also examine the most compelling challenges that people and ecosystems around the globe face with respect to water quality and availability.  Artifacts from the Museum’s and other collections will highlight diverse cultural and spiritual aspects of water.  Throughout the exhibition, visitors will be challenged to reconsider the way they view water—to see it not as a limitless resource to be taken for granted, but as the limited and life-sustaining resource it truly is.  Gallery 3, third floor


Water:  H2O = Life is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (, and Science Museum of Minnesota ( in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, São Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Singapore Science Centre with PUB Singapore.


The American Museum of Natural History gratefully acknowledges the Tamarind Foundation for its leadership support of Water:  H2O = Life, and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future for its assistance.


Exclusive corporate sponsorship for Water:  H2O = Life is provided by JPMorgan.


Water:  H2O = Life is supported by a generous grant from the National Science



The Museum extends its gratitude to the Panta Rhea Foundation, Park Foundation, and Wege Foundation for their support of the exhibition’s educational programming and materials.


Saturn:  A New View (working title)

April 26, 2008March 29, 2009

Saturn:  A New View is an exhibition of over 30 stunning, up-close views of the ringed planet ranging from small individual to large composite images, sent over half a billion miles by the Cassini spacecraft.  Pictures from the Huygens probe that landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are displayed alongside images of the giant geyser discovered on the smaller moon Enceladus.  [Back to Press Releases Main]