Museum of Natural History to Unveil Newly Transformed Mammal and Bird Halls and New Santa Barbara Gallery June 2


Following ten months of transformation supported by the Museum's $20 million Centennial Campaign, the first of two "Grand Reopenings" will occur on Saturday, June 2, when the beloved Mammal Hall and Bird Halls will reopen to the public. Historic specimens now look livelier than ever after being refreshed by specialists, who also added new taxidermy, new foliage, and fun touchable interactive elements. Diorama experts, taxidermists, fabricators, painters, and Hollywood prop-makers all lent their artistry to the cause, and as a result, the new incarnations of these exhibits still honor their heritage while better serving future visitors.

Cartwright Hall will reopen as the Santa Barbara Gallery, which focuses on how geography and climate come together to create the unique ecosystems of the Santa Barbara region. These conditions give rise to extraordinary biodiversity, and this space highlights the fascinating species interactions that result. The Santa Barbara Gallery explores the dynamics of regional natural systems and how our actions impact those systems.

Exhibits in all the updated halls are now better equipped to address the important environmental issues on the minds of Museum visitors. Technology has also been strategically implemented in ways that allow for greater flexibility in disseminating new media to keep pace with science.

Museum President & CEO Luke Swetland shares, "Everything we have done in the Centennial Project is meant to revitalize the Museum, to honor the past and make it new. I think when folks see their 'new' Museum, they will be quite pleased that we preserved the very best of our proud legacy but have led it into a brighter future."

Open daily from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, the Museum welcomes visitors to explore these newly transformed spaces along with its summer exhibition of 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic, open now through September 3, 2018. This exhibition is organized and traveled by National Geographic Society.

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Powered by Science. Inspired by Nature. Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The Museum seeks to connect people to nature for the betterment of both, and prides itself on being naturally different. For more information, visit

Image: Adam Foster | Flickr

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