Museum Memories: Honoring the Past as We Look Toward the Future
The U-M Museum of Natural History (UMMNH) has inspired generations of students, alumni, schoolchildren, families and other visitors to discover the excitement of science and the natural world since the Albert Kahn-designed University Museums Building (later renamed the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building) opened in 1928. UMMNH is the public face of U-M’s cluster of natural science museums; separate “research museums” behind the scenes manage collections and conduct research.
As UMMNH looks to its future in the new Biological Science Building (BSB), opening in 2019, we have had conversations with alumni, donors, and visitors illuminating their deep connections with the Museum and the powerful impact it has had on their lives. The University’s Bicentennial celebration provides an ideal context in which to invite our varied audiences to share their memories, and in so doing, bring closure to the Museum’s Ruthven Building era, and begin the transition to the new museum facility.
This project, woven into the Museum’s plans for the move into the new BSB, looks forward and helps launch the U-M’s third century. It also reflects a broad perspective on the University by highlighting the Museum’s role as a window onto U-M’s world-class research and collections.
Photo credit Leisa Thompson for museum-supplied photos on this site.