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State Museum of Pennsylvania Announces May 2014 Highlights

News for Immediate Release

April 25, 2014

State Museum of Pennsylvania Announces May 2014 Highlights

Harrisburg – The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced its program schedule for May 2014:

“A Fondness for Birds’: Pennsylvania’s Alexander Wilson:” The State Museum of Pennsylvania will open the special exhibit “A Fondness for Birds:  Pennsylvania’s Alexander Wilson,” to the public on Friday, May 16.  The exhibit, which will run through March 15, 2015, features bird prints and first edition volumes of the 200-year-old “American Ornithology” nine-volume series by Wilson, largely recognized the father of American ornithology, which is the study of birds. Wilson’s published work preceded John James Audubon’s famous illustrations by a decade.

Also featured in the exhibit will be a number of bird specimens from the museum’s collection, some of which date to the late 19th century. The specimens underscore the museum’s historical and continuing role in the study of the Keystone State’s flora and fauna.  The Pennsylvania Game Commission has provided ornithological and educational assistance to the Wilson exhibit with fresh insights into Wilson’s legacy and the critical role of bird conservation in Pennsylvania today.

National History Day: The 2013 National History Day (NHD) in Pennsylvania winners will be on display at The State Museum through Sunday, June 8. This year’s exhibit includes both NHD in PA and National NHD competition winners. 

The Doshi Gallery at The State Museum of Pennsylvania: The Susquehanna Art Museum presents its latest Doshi Gallery exhibit at The State Museum, “Lost World/Found World” through Sunday, June 1.

3rd in the Burg: The third-floor of the museum will be open for visitors to explore the natural history and science of Pennsylvania on Friday, May 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free during the hours of the event. Special features include:

“A Fondness for Birds’: Pennsylvania’s Alexander Wilson”: As described above, this exhibit showcases bird prints and first-edition volumes of the 200 year-old “American Ornithology” series by Wilson, who is regarded as the father of American ornithology.

“Dynamic Earth”: This is a sneak peek of the museum’s newest full-dome Planetarium feature is slated to open June 4. Narrated by Liam Neeson, it explores the inner workings of Earth's climate system. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Shows will run at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7 p.m.

Summer Day Camp Registration Continues: The State Museum will offer a variety of day camps this summer. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The fee for each camp is $35 per participant and $30 for museum members. Registration is required and space is limited. To sign up, contact reservationist Diane Wynkoop at 717-772-6997 or e-mail her at

“Mammals of Pennsylvania” (ages 7 to 10):  Campers will be studying the wildlife of Pennsylvania in Mammal Hall. Tuesday, July 8 or Wednesday, July 9

“Native Americans” (ages 7 to 10):  Campers will learn about the Native Americans who lived in Pennsylvania during the time of William Penn. Tuesday, July 15 or Wednesday, July 16

“Fossils” (ages 9 to 12):  Campers will be a paleontologist for the day seeing how life on Earth has changed over time. Tuesday, July 22 or Wednesday, July 23

The Planetarium at The State Museum of Pennsylvania: The Planetarium is offering two shows through June 1:

“Passport to the Universe” (grade 4 and up):  Narrated by two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, this exhilarating flight through a precise, virtual re-creation of our universe is an astounding visual adventure through space.  Travel through our Solar System, out of our galaxy, and deep into intergalactic space to answer the question, “Where are we in the universe?”

Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

“Black Holes: The other side of infinity” (grade 6 and up): Narrated by Liam Neeson, “Black Holes” uses the latest discoveries and observations to help us view the formation of the early universe, star birth and death, the collision of giant galaxies. Experience a simulated flight to the super massive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Saturday, noon and 2 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.

Planetarium shows are $2 per person in addition to general admission; free to State Museum Affiliate Members and Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Members.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History®. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary era, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the Commonwealth's vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is America’s story.

Museum hours are Wed. through Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., noon to 5 p.m. The museum will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on May 26.  Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens.

For more information about the museum, visit

Media contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639



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