The American Museum of Natural History is renowned for its collection of creatures, both living and extinct. However, with the opening of its Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, the museum is now home to over a million live creatures. Designed by architect Jeanne Gang, the Gilder Center has attracted 1.5 million visitors since its opening in May, and offers a range of attractions that showcase the wonders of the natural world.
One of the highlights of the Gilder Center is the Solomon Family Insectarium, a 5,000-square-foot installation that houses over a million live leafcutter ants and various other insects. The Insectarium aims to educate visitors about the importance of insects in the ecosystem, showcasing their vital activities such as pollinating plants and decomposing dead matter.
Another notable feature of the Gilder Center is the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Collections Core, which displays over 3,000 specimens and artifacts from the museum’s extensive collection. With floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed spaces, visitors can observe the scientific investigation process and learn about the museum’s role as a science institution. The collection includes anthropological artifacts, archaeological finds, and cultural objects.
The Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium offers a separate admission experience to see live butterflies. With as many as 80 species on display, visitors can admire these delicate creatures up close as they flutter freely in the space. The vivarium also includes a pupae incubator and educational signage to help visitors learn more about these fascinating insects.
The Gilder Center’s immersive 360-degree experience, “Invisible Worlds,” allows visitors to explore the unseen world of biology and technology. With interactive stations and real footage combined with computer graphics, this experience brings to life the intricate details of various organisms and their ecosystems.
The Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center provides visitors with a serene and beautifully designed space to study and explore the museum’s extensive collection of books, photographs, and archival materials. With comfortable seating and stunning views, the library is a place for both academic research and leisurely reading.
Finally, the Yurman Family Crystalline Pass recreates a stunning vein of quartz found in Arkansas. This exhibit aims to showcase the beauty and wonder of nature and educate visitors about the formation of quartz and its various uses in technology and jewelry.
Overall, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation offers a range of attractions that highlight the incredible diversity and natural wonders of the world. With its engaging exhibits and immersive experiences, the museum continues to captivate and educate visitors of all ages.