Cabinets of Curiosity: Natural History Mysteries

April 29, 2022 through August 27, 2022

Institute for Human Science and Culture 3rd Floor Atrium


Explore The University of Akron's newly restored Museum of Zoology collection, featuring a score of taxidermy birds donated to the university over 100 years ago. Cabinets of Curiosity: Natural History Mysteries features a cabinet of curious birds ranging from eagles to ducks to the now-extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. These specimens are joined by artwork from Maria Uhase, a graduate of the Myers School of Art whose work explores emotional experiences through imaginarily mutated organism.

This student-designed exhibit was crafted as part of an [Un]Class offered by the EX[L] Center, University of Akron Department of Biology, LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education, Myers School of Art and instructors Matthew Kolodziej, Dr. Gary Holliday, and Dr. Lara Roketenetz,. Students engaged in a combination of detective work, biology, archives, art, and education/outreach to prepare a collection of taxidermied birds once donated to UA by the Rhodes family in the early 1900s. Through this process, students learned from leading experts regarding the historical significance of biological collections, proper preservation protocols, digitizing and archival practices, and the urgency of science education and communication for a public audience.

The exhibit at the Cummings Center will be joined by a concurrent exhibit at Akron-Summit Country Public Library Special Collections, also designed by students of the Museum of Zoology [Un]Class.

About [Un]Classes:

[Un]Classes are intended to give students experiential opportunities through 3-credit courses that are open to all students, interdisciplinary, problem-centered, and hands-on. Small class sizes allow students to play a significant role in how each course is structured and unfolds. Learn more and see the current line-up of [Un]Class offerings.

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