Visit to Natural History Museum, Essay Example

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Essay

The choice for my project was the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  Containing collections that span 4.5 billion years of history, as well as 35 million specimens and artifacts, it is recognized as the largest in the western part of the United States.  There are also specific research departments within the museum.

The museum was built in 1913, due to a museum association begin founded three years prior, in 1910.  With a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, the marble walls and rotunda form the building itself, which is a point of interest.  In 1961, the museum was divided, where the Los Angeles County Museum of Art became its own “entity,” and then moved to Wilshire Boulevard in 1965.

Interesting Exhibits

The Lando Hall of California History is a particular exhibit that was interesting.  Located in the basement, it has a number of items that were noteworthy.  Among these were the Walt Disney’s animation stand for “Steamboat Willie,” which was located in his uncle’s garage in 1923.  Also, a couple of models were engaging as well: a scale model of downtown Los Angeles, from 1940; and a model of “New Orleans,” the 1924 Douglas World Cruiser.  Overall, the visit takes a look at the people and cultures in California history, not just fossils and other artifacts.

The Age of Mammals Exhibit is a beautiful, overarching exhibit that puts many items in perspective.  It is noted for being the first permanent museum to trace mammal evolution within changes of the Earth.  Its diorama halls give insight into these dynamics, as well as taxidermy specimens in the exhibit.

Gem and Mineral hall is certainly worthy of note.  With over 2,000 specimens, from silver and gold to elbaite tourmaline and other beautiful items, this is another exhibit that is the “best in the west” of its kind.  The exhibit allows visitors to touch certain gems, minerals, and meteorites, as well.

Two “encounters” can be noted as especially worthy of mention: Dinosaur Encounters and Ice Age Encounters.  The former had life-size dinosaur puppets, with Hunter the T. rex and Dakota the Triceratops.  As for the former, there is another life-size puppet, in the form of a Saber-Toothed Cat.  With performers in the puppets (they are non-robotic), these exhibits are not something that you see every day, certainly.

A final exhibit is the special Butterfly Pavilion, that is on display from April until September of this year.  The seasonal exhibit includes over 53 butterfly and moth species, as well as many plants, that can be found across the United States.  Monarchs, California dogface, and spicebrush swallowtail are some of the highlighted butterflies on display.

Conclusion

As one of the largest museums in the United States, there are certainly many exhibits that could be noted.  The ones mentioned had interesting features that separate itself from those you would find in your “average museum.”  For a six-acre museum that is one of the most highly regarded museums in the country, it is no surprise that it exceeds expectations, as the previous examples represent.

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