Conservation assessment begins on KU Natural History Museum exhibit

Thu, 12/05/2013

Contact

Jen Humphrey
KU Natural History Museum
785-864-2344

LAWRENCE – The first of three phases to evaluate the historic Panorama exhibit at the KU Natural History Museum will begin with the arrival of a conservator and research team Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Led by Ronald Harvey, Tuckerbrook Conservation LLC of Lincolnville, Maine, the team will conduct a chemical analysis of the Panorama’s animal mounts, plants and backgrounds. Taxidermy, construction materials and other elements inside the Panorama will be evaluated for toxins such as arsenic and mercury. The group will also begin photographing conservation details of the exhibit.

Lewis Lindsay Dyche prepared the display originally as part of the Kansas exhibition at the 1893 World’s Fair, where it was visited by as many as 20,000 people per day.  On its return to Kansas, the state Legislature funded the building of Dyche Hall in 1901 to house the Panorama as part of KU’s larger Natural History Museum.

Phase two of the conservation assessment will begin in March and apply the information learned about toxins to an in-depth analysis of the animal mounts and surroundings. The team will also lightly clean the animals, which have endured years of exposure to fluctuating temperature, humidity and light.

Ultimately, by summer 2014, the completed analysis will be used by the Biodiversity Institute, which includes the museum, to develop a conservation and exhibition plan for the Panorama for future generations.

The museum began raising funds for the conservation assessment in 2012, when KU alumni Kent and Janet Martin McKinney of Kerrville, Texas, contributed a challenge grant of $50,000. Dozens of museum friends and contributors matched their gift. An October 2013 fundraising event, Party in the Panorama, raised an additional $10,000 for the exhibit, bringing the total for the conservation effort to more than $110,000.

Contributions count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.



Did you know the Spooner-Thayer Art Museum was KU’s first art museum? It opened more than 50 years before the Spencer Museum of Art that we know today. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1oKmgXn Tags: Spencer Museum of Art #KUtbt #TBT #KUdiscoveries #Art #Museum #Gallery #VisualArt Photo credit: University Archives in Spencer Research Library.

#KUstudents : It's time for Rock-A-Hawk! Come out to the Ellsworth/McCollum parking lot. #HawkWeek #ROCKchalk
Poet offers insights to Jayhawk experience through wordplay "Welcome to KU. Where questions rest, in stacks of answers from the past. …" Listen to Topher Enneking, a spoken word poet and former KU football player, as he weaves the experience of KU and its traditions through this storytelling and wordplay performance. Learn more about KU traditions at http://www.ku.edu/about/traditions/. Welcome to KU. Where questions rest in stacks of answers from the past. Where dreams crawl out of bed And learn to walk Uphill both ways. Where freshmen stand on stilts And hang from the rafters, While the wheat waves In a fieldhouse Where the Phog rolls in Helping us to see Through the past into the future. Haunting hosts giving handouts in a heritage Too heavy to grasp til you add to it. So it may be born anew, Allowing our boots to stand in the ash of oppression’s hate But shine bright as the sun While war cries of warriors past Ring in our ears long after their battles are won. Memorials telling time, “you don’t have to stand still.” Because the top of the world Is just up that Hill. Where our natural history is an awe-struck echo Of world’s fair and equal Past, present and future, prelude and sequel. Where our flags fly above planes. Where we build in chalks that can’t be erased. Stone edifices made to last So you would walk Past their doors, down their halls And let your voice fill their room. Because only in empty silence can destruction loom. So stand tall. Wrap your arms around this crowd Sing our alma mater and sing it out loud. Let your voice sing in chorus and reach other nations Beckoning new Jayhawks to spark new collaborations Because you are the mortar that will hold these walls upright. Your future Your dreams are why Jayhawks did fight For the tradition before you Was merely prelude For what will come next now that you’re at KU.


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