Contact

Jen Humphrey
KU Natural History Museum
785-864-2344

Conservation assessment begins on KU Natural History Museum exhibit

Thu, 12/05/2013

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.



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times