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Exhibit Opening at the Alaska State Museum on May 3

by Amy Carney on 2019-04-25T14:20:55-08:00 in Events, Museums | Comments

Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline

Juneau –   Be prepared to look at the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of a walrus-and ammonite-obsessed scientist and an artist with a fondness for cheeseburgers, ratfish and trilobites – in this exhibition on Alaska fossils.

Alaska artist Ray Troll and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, logged more than 10,000 miles and 250 days traveling the North American coast in search of fossils and the stories they tell. They visited museums, dove into research collections, hung out with fellow scientists and artists, and visited active dig sites via automobile, small airplane and boat.

This exhibition focuses on their Alaska fossil adventures and the remarkable stories that fossils reveal: the history of life on Earth punctuated by killer asteroids and mass extinctions; the ancient geology of prehistoric Alaska and its giant sea-going reptile, the ichthyosaur; the most beautiful of all fossils named after an Egyptian god (ammonites); the long-vanished polar desert landscape of Alaska’s Mammoth Steppe; the 13-feet-tall Mega Bear of the Pleistocene; the 50 million-year-old “walking whale,” a limbed ancestor to the finned species we know today; and the mystery surrounding the Lipscomb Bone Bed, a mass “grave” of hundreds of duckbill dinosaur bones. Included in this hands-on, all-ages exhibition are life-size sculptures and models, images of prehistoric creatures and real fossils along with paintings, hand-drawn maps, and light and audio installations by Troll.

The exhibit runs from May 3 through October 19, 2019.  The opening reception is on May 3 from 4:30 to 7:00pm.  Ray Troll will do a book signing starting at 6:00pm and give a lecture at 7:00pm in the APK lecture hall.  This exhibit was organized by the Anchorage Museum and is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Alaska State Museum and Ramada by Wyndam.

Winter hours at the Museum run through May 5th and are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Discounted winter admission is $7, with those age 18 and under admitted free.  Summer hours begin May 6 and are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Summer admission is $12, with age 18 and under admitted free. An annual pass that allows unlimited visits to the Alaska State Museum and the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka is available for $35.  Assistance is available for visitors who have special needs. Please contact visitor services at 465-2901 before the visit.

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