Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Fernbank Museum Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit

 
Fernbank Museum Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit explores the science behind mythical creatures.

When I first heard I was invited to a private preview of Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit, currently on view at the Fernbank Museum all I could think about was how a museum can make an exhibition that is not based on science. Much to my surprise, I was shocked to discover the real science behind this amazing exhibit.



The exhibit theorizes the kraken may be based on sightings of the corpses of giant squids, which have been known to wash up on shores. Or that legends about giant men or giant birds might come from people finding fossils and trying to make sense of what kind of creature could have had such large bones.




I was also fascinated to learn how the myth of the giant one-eye Cyclops was born or how Unicorns end up being mentioned on the bible.

Mythic Creatures is divided into five sections:

  • The Introduction welcomes visitors and brings them face-to-face with a magnificent model of a 17-foot-long dragon with a wingspan of over 19 feet

  • Creatures of Water examines sea monsters, mermaids, and other beings said to inhabit the depths of the open ocean.

  • Creatures of Land presents creatures with body parts from ordinary animals combined in unusual ways.

  • Creatures of Air explores winged creatures such as the Asian phoenix, a mythical bird that appears at times of peace or to announce the birth of a virtuous emperor. The last section, Creatures of Power examines the culture of European, Asian, and Imperial dragons. 
The "Mythic Creatures" exhibit has some hands-on activities — including a chance to build a video model of a dragon — however most of the displays are text-focused.


Overall Mythic Creatures “Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids” is a very whimsical and well laid-out exhibit, full of curiosities, myths, legends and folktales. 

This exhibit is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), in collaboration with The Field Museum, Chicago; Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau-Quebec; Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney; and Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta.

Hours and Ticket Information

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids is on display from February 19 to August 14, 2011


There is no additional charge for this exhibition; it is included with admission to the Fernbank Museum. Prices are: Adults $15, Students (with ID) and Seniors $14, Children (3-12) $13. Children two and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 404.929.6400. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.

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