Museum’s new exhibit sheds light on how to view the natural world
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will open its new summer exhibit, “Rare Earth,” on Saturday.
The exhibit, which is in the Fleischmann Auditorium, will tell the story of how to view the natural world in a new light.
It’s the culmination of more than two years of research and planning.
The exhibit features more than 200 specimens of rainbow colors and abstract shapes featured in their natural form, highlighting how these works of art naturally occur, where they are found, and how their value scientific, financial, and aesthetic is appreciated.
“Visitors will experience a unique and truly astonishing collection of minerals that we believe will convey a new way of thinking about the Earth’s resources and how we treat them,” said. Frank Hein, the museum’s director of exhibits. “This special summer exhibit presents rarely seen specimens, and we’re honored to be able share them,”
The exhibit combines loans from private collectors and UCSB. The one-of-a-kind exhibit is suitable for all ages featuring sparkling crystals, minerals and rock formations.
“This exhibition merges the seemingly separated worlds of art, culture and science to connect us through stories with the unbelievable crystal treasures found within the Earth,” said Dr. Robert Lavinsky, the owner and founder of The Arkenstone Fine Minerals. Dr. Lavinsky loaned many of the specimens from his personal collection.
“These are the raw materials crushed to build our civilization and make our jewelry for thousands of years, and yet seldom seen in their natural glory as collectible and valuable objects of art, in their own right,” Dr. Lavinsky said. “Minerals not only make life and civilization possible, but also empower and inspire the arts and culture,”
Fossils on display will include the skull of a juvenile Triceratops horridus that lived over 66 million years ago and a pair of Colombian Mammoth tusks from local collector Martin Jenkins.
After Rare Earth ends on Sept. 5, the tusks will be moved to the museum’s Earth Science Hall and displayed alongside the Channel Islands Pygmy Mammoth.
The hall is also home to a Nanosaurus agilis cast recently donated by Mr. Jenkins.
“It is my great hope that schoolchildren from Santa Barbara County will see possibly their first ever dinosaur at the Museum and have their curiosity piqued into the origins of these extraordinary fossils,” said Mr. Jenkins. “It is my greatest honor to be able to donate the first dinosaur specimens to the museum.”