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KU Natural History Museum receives top rating among public universities

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Natural History Museum has been named the top natural history museum among public universities by Best College Reviews. In "The 30 Most Amazing Higher Ed Natural History Museums," the museum ranked fourth overall behind private university museums at Harvard, Drexel and Yale.

"We are honored to receive this recognition of nationwide leadership in the study of the life of the planet for science and society,” said Leonard Krishtalka, director of the KU Biodiversity Institute and the museum. “We have the finest scientists, graduate students and public program staff in the country."

To be named to the select list of 30 museums, each institution had to be open to the public. Additional ranking criteria included:

• Number of artifacts/specimens in the collection
• Opportunities at the museum for college students
• Community involvement

The KU Natural History Museum, a part of the Biodiversity Institute, seeks to engage and inspire diverse audiences through nature and science. The museum offers programs for the public, K-12 teachers and students and the university community, and it includes four floors of exhibits. It is home to more than 9 million plant, animal and fossil specimens, and 1.5 million archaeological artifacts.

Photo: A view of the Mosasaur exhibit (skeleton) in the Natural History Museum foyer. Photo by Meg Kumin, Marketing Communications.

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Museum Events

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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