Kenneth E. Behring Hall of Mammals
of an Exhibit
by Lynda Kelly
Published on May 08, 2007 , Modified on May 10, 2007
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Visit Date: November, 2004
I found this exhibition quite extraordinary. The design, the objects, the text and labels, and the sense of humour evident across many areas was fantastic. The exhibition was visually stunning, while reinforcing the important message that we are all mammals, which I believe was one of the big misconceptions they found in the front-end evaluation. The opening text panel said it all Welcome to the mammal family reunion: come meet your relatives
I liked the elements of surprise, where you never knew what you might find when you looked up, or peeked around a corner. I particularly enjoyed the way the specimens were displayed you knew you were were seeing inanimate objects, yet they were displayed in such a way that they conveyed movement, drama and dynamism. Some were quite beautiful, and you really appreciate the beauty of nature.
The only gripe was that the AV effects were rather loud and detracted from the comfort, although they may have fixed this now.
Whats also great is that the Office of Policy and Analysis publish their evalaution reports online and there is a comprehensive 2005 summative evaluation online.
In my role as head of audience research I visit many exhibitions, but this certainly is one of my favourites, any when any Aussies are going that way I insist they visit it!