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October 8, 2008

News Article: WSLS

By: Virginia Museum of Natural History News Release | WSLS 10
Published: October 08, 2008

The Virginia Museum of Natural History's special exhibit "Wonders of the Deep: Marine Mollusks" is a 2008 winner of the Southeastern Museums Conference Exhibition Awards for best exhibit with a budget of up to $25,000.

Exhibitions submitted to the SEMC Exhibition Competition are judged in the areas of design and fabrication, exhibit publications, educational and evaluative programs and the ability of the exhibit to support the museum's mission or goals.

Displayed in the museum's Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont Great Hall, the "Wonders of the Deep" exhibit details several important topics related to marine mollusks, from life cycles and fossil records to diversity. It also explains how these marine creatures have influenced cultures for centuries and gives visitors information about starting their own collection. With VMNH specimens from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, from Massachusetts to Mississippi, the exhibit introduces visitors to species that range from the spectacular to the microscopic.

"It is a great honor for the Virginia Museum of Natural History to receive this prestigious exhibits award, particularly because the exhibit was developed entirely by VMNH staff," said Timothy J. Gette, executive director of VMNH. "The collaborative development of the exhibit was led by Jessica Davenport, exhibits and publications manager, who worked with Dr. Lauck Ward, curator of invertebrate paleontology, as well as staff from the department of education and public programs."

The Southeastern Museums Conference is a networking organization for museums that serves to foster professionalism, mutual support, and communication, while increasing educational and professional development opportunities and improving the interchange of ideas, information, and cooperation. The Southeastern Museums Conference includes museums in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The "Wonders of the Deep: Marine Mollusks" exhibit is on display at the museum until June 28, 2009. The museum's other current temporary exhibition, open until January 4, 2009, is "TUSKS! Ice Age Mammoths & Mastodons", sponsored by Virginia Uranium, Inc.