We scientists look at our natural history collections as a great resource for our studies. Specimens tell us about life in the past (where species lived, what they looked like, how many individuals existed etc.) and let us hypothesize about the future. This is one way of looking at these dead “things” that we so meticulously curate. Artists may have a quite different view. This was greatly illustrated by a Moving Image Art class organized by Amy Youngs, Associate Professor of Art, last semester. Students visited our collections of dead things and were asked to find ways to re-animate these animals. We were amazed by the imagination of these young artists-to-be. Over the next days we will share some of the best pieces with you. Here is the first animation, Re-Animated Life by Alina Maddex: Birds and one turtle moving in their natural environment
THANK YOU Stephanie Malinich, collection manager of Tetrapods, Marc Kibbey, Associate Curator of the Fish Division, Caitlin Byrne, Collections Manager of the Division of Molluscs, and Luciana Musetti, curator of the OSU Triplehorn Insect collection for facilitating the students’ visit.
About the Author:Angelika Nelson is the outreach and multi-media coordinator at the Museum of Biological Diversity and facilitates visits of school classes and students.
A natural history collection is not just a storage space for specimens. It has a purpose in educating and informing people who visit it. A person can travel the world, be inspired to discover new species and learn about species that once roamed the planet. And they can do this all within the confines of a collection. Our students are impacted daily by what they do in the collection. Whether they feel encouraged to study a species they never knew existed or use specimens in varying art media projects, the collection is open and available for them to use. Staff and faculty of the collection work to ensure that specimens remain valuable to the community by providing tours and sharing their experience. Listen to the video where we, faculty, staff and students at the Museum of Biological Diversity, share our views of what the tetrapods collection means to us.
What experiences do you have with natural history collections and what do they mean to you?
About the Author: Stephanie Malinich is collection manager of the OSU Tetrapods Collection.