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Lost Species, Visions of Landscapes Past
Press Release
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Georgia Museum of Natural History reopens with special exhibition on Sept. 15
Lost Species, Visions of Landscapes Past

September 1, 2011

Writer: Beth Gavrilles, 706/542-7247, bethgav@uga.edu
Contact: Bud Freeman, 706/542- 6032, budfree@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Natural History, which has been closed for extensive renovations for over 10 months, will reopen on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6:00 p.m. with a reception for the new exhibition Lost Species, Visions of Landscapes Past. The reception will feature a discussion by landscape artist Philip Juras, whose paintings are included in the exhibition, and a short reading by nature writer Dorinda Dallmeyer, director of the University of Georgia Environmental Ethics Certificate Program. The reception is free and open to the public.

Lost Species, Visions of Landscapes Past explores historic southern landscapes and the species that inhabited them. It features specimens of long-lost, iconic species such as the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Carolina Parakeet, and Passenger Pigeon, and paintings of pre-settlement southeastern landscapes by artist Philip Juras.

“The blending of Philip’s celebrated art with objects from the Museum’s collections will allow the visitor to imagine how the world appeared when these now extinct species inhabited the southern landscape,” said Bud Freeman, director of the Museum and Senior Public Service Associate in the Odum School of Ecology. “The exhibition of these rare specimens, some from the Museum’s own collection and several on loan from the Ohio State Museum of Natural History, is a unique opportunity for the public to view important materials of our natural heritage. We felt it was important to create a special exhibit to celebrate the opening of the new Gallery and welcome the community back to the Museum.”

Juras, who received his BFA and MLA from the University of Georgia, has long been interested in the landscapes of the pre-settlement South. He combines direct observation with historical, scientific, and natural history research to depict, and in some cases re-create, landscapes as they appeared in the 1770s. His recent exhibition, Philip Juras: The Southern Frontier, Landscapes Inspired by Bartram's Travels, explored the southern wilderness as eighteenth century naturalist William Bartram described it. Lost Species, Visions of Landscapes Past includes several of the paintings from The Southern Frontier, which was on display at the Telfair Museums in Savannah and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta in 2011, as well as new work.

The Georgia Museum of Natural History is the repository for the preservation and study of the tangible evidence of the history, culture and natural heritage of the state of Georgia and its people. It is a consortium of 11 important natural history collections, each the largest of its kind in Georgia, housed in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and supported by the departments of Anthropology, Botany, Entomology, Geography, Geology, and Plant Pathology at UGA. The Museum links collections, research, public service, and education through programs designed for a diverse audience.

The Museum renovations began after a major drainage problem in the parking lot resulted in flooding the Museum’s Discovery Room. This presented an opportunity to reorganize and expand the public exhibit space and upgrade the classroom. After the grand opening, the Exhibit Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with additional hours on Saturday in 2012.

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