Now on View

The Scientific Art of Charles R. Knight

November 8, 2014–April 26, 2015
R. P. Simmons Family Gallery

The paleontological paintings of artist Charles Robert Knight (1874–1953) include some of the most recognizable dinosaur images of the 20th Century. But Knight also produced images of modern animals and early humans that are equally as stunning. The Scientific Art of Charles R. Knight showcases a selection of 10 artworks that span 200 million years, from the Mesozoic to the modern era. Complementing the exhibition are actual specimens from the scientific collection of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, showing the “real thing” that inspired Knight’s wondrous depictions of the natural world.

Finding the Words

Find the WordsAugust 30, 2014–March 30, 2015
R.P. Simmons Family Gallery

Discover Pittsburgh’s unique contributions to the dialogue about race and anti-racism during the 1950s in Finding the Words, a new exhibit now open at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Curated by museum staff, Finding the Words: Pittsburgh and the early Civil Rights Movement uses archival material, artifacts, objects, and text to tell the story of local, city-wide efforts to define modern, 1950s era science behind race in light of rising racial tensions locally and nationally.

This exhibition weaves the creation of Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s 1955 exhibit Civic Unity, which asserted the common ancestry of all humans and the need for greater tolerance among cultural and ethnic groups by challenging what the public of the 1950s thought they knew about various racial groups, with the story of national landmarks in early civil rights history such as the murder of Emmett Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1957 Civil Rights Act. Historical correspondence, archival photographs, and rare artifacts are artfully displayed in cases, telling a full and fascinating story of this narrative. Finding the Words focuses on local and national efforts to engage in dialogue about race at a time when race relations were coming to a head.

Programs at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Interactive Exhibitions
Families with children should be sure to check out our fully accessible hands-on science areas. The following activities are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. No registration required:

  • Bonehunters Quarry
    Strap on your goggles and dig for fossils like real paleontologists do.
  • Discovery Basecamp
    Take a little time to explore more than 10,000 objects from our educational collection.
  • Natural History Discover Carts & Exploration Stations
    Wednesday–Sunday; check daily guide for schedule

    Learn with your hands by investigating real and replica specimens and artifacts in natural history museum galleries. Let museum educators and experts answer your nature and science questions.


Dinosaurs in Their Time Tours
Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 and 3 p.m.
Travel back to the Mesozoic with museum staff as your guide! See highlights of Dinosaurs in Their Time, including two colossal Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, a mother and juvenile Apatosaurus, and world-famous Diplodocus carnegii.

Natural History Tours
Saturday at noon
Get up close and personal with various exhibitions, galleries, artifacts, and specimens all around the museum. Check daily guide for schedule.

Behind-the-Scenes: Shells & Research
Second Saturday of each month; check daily guide for schedule
From octopuses to oysters, get an up-close look at the weird and wonderful collection of mollusks.

Selected Permanent Exhibitions

New Artifact now on view: A Tlingit Totem Pole by Tommy Joseph


Permanent Exhibition
Third Floor, outside of Polar World: Wyckoff Hall of Arctic Life

Our totem pole is based on a true story shared by the Eagle Clan.
In the tradition of Tlingit storytelling, stories belong to certain Clans, and only those Clans may tell them. Tommy Joseph’s father is of the Eagle Clan, and we are grateful to Tommy for sharing his father’s story with us.

“An Elder once told me a story about two young men on a hunting trip:”
While out on the open ocean with a storm approaching, a young man spotted a large seal and fired at it. He was happy to see that his aim was true, and he piloted his boat over to haul in his catch. The young man grabbed the seal by its tail, but it began to thrash about. So as not to lose it to the ocean waves and the approaching storm, he bit down on the tail, gripping hard between his teeth while grabbing the seal’s flippers with his strong hands and arms. In a boat not far away, the young man’s hunting partner and Clan brother was watching this entire scene unfold. He fired a shot into the seal, saving the catch. The hunt was a big success, and both men were able to bring food home to their families, along with an adventure story that would live on for generations to come.

Dinosaurs in Their Time


Permanent Exhibition
First Floor

Dinosaurs in Their Time is the first permanent exhibition in the world to feature scientifically accurate, immersive environments spanning the Mesozoic Era—the Age of Dinosaurs—arranged chronologically and filled with actively posed original fossil specimens. See dinosaurs like they haven’t been seen in 66 million years!

The historic, century-old Dinosaur Hall was closed in Spring 2005 for over two years of renovation and construction, resulting in the spectucular exhibition Dinosaurs in Their Time. The renovated and expanded exhibition illustrates the incredible diversity of life in the Mesozoic Era, placing the dinosaurs in dramatic, scientifically accurate poses amidst the hundreds of plant and animal species that shared their environments.
Click here for more information about the exhibition. 

Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems


Permanent Exhibition
First Floor

Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems showcases a grand new entrance and Wertz Hall of Gems & Jewelry, a new signature exhibit area dedicated to gems, the crystals from which they come, and jewelry comprised of these precious stones. These pieces come from the museum's collection— many which have never been on permanent display—loans from private individuals, gemstone vendors, and traveling exhibitions from other museum collections.
Click here for more information about the exhibition. 

Population Impact


Permanent Exhibition
Third Floor Alcove

How are the world’s nearly seven billion humans affecting ecosystems? And what effects do changing ecosystems have on humans? These questions and many others are explored through graphics, specimens, satellite images, and more in Population Impact. Compelling case studies and examples from western Pennsylvania and around the world underscore the idea that unchecked population growth in any species has lasting consequences on natural systems. Humans have become the dominant species in nearly every ecosystem on Earth. Choices we make affect the world in which we live in a very real way.
Click here for more information about the exhibition.