Current & Exhibits


Current Exhibits















Becoming Butterflies

 Becoming Butterflies is a fascinating look at some of the world's most captivating insects  throughout their entire life cycle. In this new exhibit you will:

  •   Learn how butterflies impact our lives and the role we can play in their survival
  •   See brilliant images of Colorado butterflies and displays of specimens from the CU Entomology collection
  •   Immerse yourself in the role of a butterfly biologist studying four species through hands-on activities
  •   Discover how some of our favorite foods are a result of the relationship between caterpillars and plants

 Suitable for all ages!

 Becoming Butterflies was produced by the CU Museum of Natural History

  •  Curated by Deane Bowers, Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  •  Graphic design by Tarah Gaa
  •  Made possible in part by funding from the National Science Foundation













Unearthed: Ancient Life in the Boulder Valley

Anthropology Hall

This new exhibit features a collection of 80+ stone tools known as The Mahaffy Cache that was found in a Boulder backyard in 2008. The artifacts were studied by CU Boulder Professor of Archaeology Doug Bamforth, Ph.D. The tools date to approximately 13,000 years ago near the end of the last ice age.

The discovery of a cache of stone tools from the late Pleistocene is a very rare event in archaeology. The fact that the cache was found in a modern development within a contemporary city makes it extraordinary. This is the first time the tools have been exhibited to the public. The exhibition explores the science behind the discovery through interactive elements, video, and touchable replicas of the tools.



Animals in Antiquity

McKenna Gallery

A collaborative exhibition by the CU Art Museum and the CU Museum of Natural History

The desire to assign symbolic meanings to animals that share our world links human cultures across time. Whether rendered figuratively or abstractly, depictions of animals remind us not only of themselves but also of the qualities and traits we assign to them. They can illustrate human traits—the coyote as trickster, the cat aloof—and teach children behaviors and ideals from fables. Humans have worshipped animals, hunted and consumed them for food, and altered the natural environments of animals, all in the name of humanity.

This exhibition is a celebration of animals in art and animals as artifacts. The objects are from across the Earth and span the last 4,000 years of human history. We invite you to ponder what these objects represented and how the makers used them in their daily lives.    

This exhibition is generously supported by the Department of Classics, CU Boulder Student Arts and Cultural Enrichment fees, and CU Art Museum members.

Left: Unidentified artist, Boeotian, Horse and Rider Figurine, c.550 BCE, slipped ceramic, 4 x 4 ¾ x 2 inches, Gift to the University of Colorado Classics Department

Right: Unidentified artist, Greek, Ob: (Head of Athena r., later style, in helmet with olive leaves and scroll) | Re: ΑΘΕ, 454 - 404 BCE, silver tetradrachm, 1 inch dia


Continuing Exhibitions and Galleries


Fossils: Clues to the Past

Paleontology Hall

Explore the Paleontology Hall and the exhibit "Fossils: Clues to the Past" to see how fossils are studied and what things can be learned from them.


Discovery Corner: Just for Kids

The Discovery Corner is a hands-on exhibit for children and families to explore. It is located in the basement to the right of the stairs.

In this room you can • Touch things   • Pick things up   • Try things on   • Try things out

What else can you do in the Discovery Corner?

Put together puzzles
Identify fossils
See Colorado animals

Touch bones, antlers, and artifacts
Perform a puppet show

Read books to share the wonders of the natural world

This special exhibit invites children of all ages to learn about natural history...

New Traveling Exhibit!