Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Objects of Wonder: The World's Most Stunning Shells

Monday, September 18, 2017
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Q?rius Theater, Ground Floor, National Museum of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20013
United States
 Chris Meyer and Cowrie Shells

Image courtesy of Chris Meyer.


This fall we offer opportunities to look more closely at some of the specimens in our acclaimed Objects of Wonder exhibition.

Join marine biologist Chris Meyer as he takes you on a 30-year journey pursuing cowrie shells all over the world. Throughout human history, people have collected cowrie shells because of their exquisite beauty. They have been used in ceremony and fortune telling, as ornamentation, currency, and status symbols, and as a model group for scientific study. Come learn what cowrie shells can teach us about biodiversity, rarity and value, and participate in testing your own perception of beauty. See how cowrie shells have inspired Chris's research and appreciation for the natural world and help us answer the question: "Why do we collect things?"

This program is part of the Beyond the Exhibition series, which features the content, curators, and conversations inspiring new and developing exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History.

Visit the Objects of Wonder exhibition on the second floor of the National Museum of Natural History. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

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