What does a jar of preserved leopard frogs or the reconstructed skeleton of a sperm whale that washed up on a beach say about the way we understand nature in North Carolina? Margaret Martin explores this question in the story of the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, founded in Raleigh over 120 years ago to serve as a keeper of our natural collections, a vital resource for the scientific community, and a public interpreter of our natural world. Martin looks at how the museum's collections have been interpreted over time, tracing the shift away from a nineteenth-century presentation of nature as something ripe for exploitation to a more contemporary view of natural communities as complex, interconnected, and deserving of conservation. Strong personalities and changing perspectives on the use of natural resources find expression through museum collections and exhibits, helping to shape the public's understanding of the natural world. Richly illustrated, A Long Look at Nature features 175 color and black-and-white images, with illustrations drawn from the museum's archives as well as contemporary photos by noted photographer Rosamund Purcell.
The book is both a useful introduction to the museum, which opened its new facilities in the spring of 2000, and a striking visual tribute to its collections.
A native North Carolinian, Margaret Martin has worked in schools, museums, and communities across the state to heighten awareness of its rich cultural and natural heritage. She is director of communications at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences.
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- ID: 9780807849859
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