IOWA CITY, Iowa -- One word -- free -- will likely draw many visitors to
the 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5 opening of "Taking Flight: The World
of Birds," the new, permanent exhibit at the University of Iowa's Museum
of Natural History.
However, anyone who appreciates the outdoors will find other reasons, including
special activities on:
Located on the third floor of Macbride Hall in the gallery formally re-named
the William and Eleanor Hageboeck Hall of Birds, the 5,000-square-foot exhibit
is tailor-made for both the casual visitor and the serious student. For example,
there is a video on the "Dynamics of Flight," a display featuring
the nests of 30 species, and an interactive exhibit, "Why Birds Sing",
including a game to match bird songs with the correct birds. Additionally,
about 1,000 of some 10,000 birds in the museum's 150-year-old research collection,
along with many of the collection's 8,000 eggs, have been cleaned and refurbished
for display. The hall's new displays will feature nearly all aspects of birds
and their significance to humans.
Interim Director Julia Golden says, "The renovations and new exhibits
give an exciting, new look to the gallery. With updated information and interactive
displays, the birds are now more accessible to students and visitors. Everyone
will walk away with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for birds."
To be sure, the university's bird collection has always been one of the
largest and most complete in the country, going back to the museum's founding
as the first university museum west of the Mississippi River in 1858. Thanks
to a successful fund-raising campaign spear-headed by the UI Foundation and
generous donors, the museum is able to renovate the exhibits for the estimated
30,000 yearly visitors. The renaming of the hall recognizes a generous lead
gift by UI alumni and Iowa City residents William T. and Eleanor G. Hageboeck.
"More than 500 loyal supporters have made contributions totaling more
than a half million dollars for remodeling the hall and installation of the
new exhibits," Golden says. "The campaign continues, as we still
need to design and install two remaining areas that will address changes in
Iowa's landscape and their impact on birds, as well as the cultural relationship
between birds and people."
The renovation makes Hageboeck Hall the latest star among the museum's three
major exhibition spaces that include Mammal Hall and Iowa Hall. Hageboeck
Hall is the product of collaboration involving a committee of UI faculty members
and community representatives, together with some of the most talented museum
exhibit designers and fabricators in the country, including Ben Kozak of the
Chicago firm Exhibit Design Central, Proto Productions of Chicago, and Neal
Deaton and Terry Brown of The Museum Professionals in Minneapolis.
Best of all, Hageboeck Hall, like Mammal Hall and Iowa Hall, is free and
open to the public from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
and from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional information is available on the
Web at: http://www.uiowa.edu/~nathist/.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored
events. People requiring an accommodation in order to participate in this
program are asked to contact the UI Museum of Natural History in advance at