Through Sunday, September 4
Putnam Museum & Science Center, 1717 West 12th Street, Davenport IA
After a long winter, spring is finally in the air – and also in the halls and on the walls of Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center via Pollination Investigation, a fascinating exhibition hosted courtesy of the Smithsonian Gardens and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service through September 4.
Nearly 90 percent of flowering plants rely on about 200,000 species of animal pollinators for fertilization, and Putnam patrons are invited to explore the essential role that pollinators play in the natural world in Pollination Investigation, an exhibition that explores the who, what, when, where, why, and how of pollination by interpreting the unique relationship between pollinators and flowers. High-interest and informational Smithsonian-provided posters, as well as specimens from the Putnam’s herbarium, are on display, and with Pollination Investigation showcasing how pollinators are vital for a strong ecosystem as most plants need their help to fertilize flowers and reproduce, the exhibit features seven “pollinator profiles” for bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, flies, moths, and wind. Using a field-journal theme, each profile describes the pollinators’ favorite flowers based on floral characteristics encouraging exploration into flower shape, color, scent, and more. The exhibition is bilingual (English and Spanish) and designed to educate and inspire people to explore the natural world looking at flowers and insects, and visitors can also express their creativity by coloring a pollinator.
Since its inception in 1972, Smithsonian Gardens has extended the Smithsonian’s museum experience in a public garden setting, inspiring visitors with exceptional displays and educating them about horticulture, plants, the natural and build environments and artistic design. Its research and educational programs promote the ongoing development of collections of living plants, garden documentation and horticultural artifacts. Smithsonian Gardens is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), meanwhile, has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.
The Putnam’s Botany Collection (or herbarium) contains close to 20,000 specimens, over half of which were collected before 1900, and Pollination Investigation is embellished with a small selection of herbarium specimens from the collection. “We love customizing exhibits to showcase the Putnam’s glorious collection,” says Rachael Mullins, CEO and President of the Putnam. She adds that with spring having finally landed "and the Scott County Master Gardener’s Pollinators’ Palooza coming up in May, the timing of this exhibit couldn’t be better!”
Pollination Investigation will be on display at the Putnam Museum & Science Center through September 4, the venue is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., and the exhibit is viewable for free with $8-9 general admission. For more information, call (563)324-1933 and visit Putnam.org.