Carnegie Museum of Natural History has completed a dynamic, environmentally conscious renovation of its gift store that combines vintage dioramas, a dinosaur display, and merchandise. The first-floor gift shop is located near the entrance of Benedum Hall of Geology.
In keeping with the museum’s emphasis on conservation, museum staff restored existing dioramas and repurposed antique cabinets and other fixtures for displaying merchandise. The museum also moved Jane, its juvenile T.rex, to center stage and museum conservators brought three wildlife dioramas out of storage and restored them for display in the renovated store.
“A love of nature is at the core of Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s mission, which is why our new gift store was designed with conservation in mind,” said Dr. Eric Dorfman, director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “By reducing our own consumption, we hope to spark a conversation about the inherent value of nature and what steps we can take together to create a healthier planet.”
The store’s layout was adjusted to feature a kid-friendly section with toys, educational games, and apparel as well as an adult section with unique, curated merchandise and a few products created in-house that can only be bought at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
“We want every aspect of our museums to engage and excite our visitors,” said Dr. Jo Ellen Parker, president and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “The new Museum of Natural History store does this so well by sharing the wonders and important lessons of the natural world along with the great fun of exploration at every age.” The store renovation coincides with the return of the holiday trees and Presepio at Carnegie Museum of Art; a host of holiday-themed events at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History; and the opening of The Café Carnegie, the Oakland museums’ new restaurant, which will celebrate its grand opening in January.
The opening celebration for the renovated Museum of Natural History store is December 9 through 11 and will feature kids’ activities, live music performed by Allderdice String Quartet and Jazz Band, and special trunk shows by three local artisan makers: Laurel Burkhart, Ashley Cecil, and Kim Fox of Worker Bird.
Ashley Cecil is a Pittsburgh-based artist and illustrator specializing in paintings of flora and fauna. She’s currently the artist in residence at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, creating art inspired by nature and exploring the nexus of art and science. Several of her prints, note cards, and scarves will be sold in the gift store, as well as her new coloring poster. Proceeds from the poster will benefit BirdSafe Pittsburgh, a partnership between eight local conservation organizations, including Carnegie Museum of Natural History, that are working to research and reduce local bird mortality caused by glass collisions.