Building an Ark for Texas

The Evolution of a Natural History Museum

978-1-62349-442-1 Cloth
6.125 x 9.25 in
234 pp. 51 color photos. 37 B&W photos
Pub Date: 09/16/2016
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Recounted through the eyes of a major participant, this book tells the story of the Dallas Museum of Natural History from its beginning in 1922 as a collection of specimens celebrating the plants and animals of Texas to its metamorphosis in 2012 as the gleaming Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The life of this museum was indelibly influenced by a colorful staff of scientists, administrators, and teachers, including a German taxidermist, a South American explorer, and a Milwaukee artist, each with a compelling personal investment in this museum and its mission.

From the days when meticulously and skillfully prepared dioramas were the hallmark of natural history museums to the era of blockbuster exhibits and interactive education, Walt Davis traces the changing expectations of and demands on museums, both public and private, through an engaging, personal look back at the creation and development of one exceptional institution, whose building and original exhibits are now protected as historical landmarks at Fair Park in Dallas.

W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press