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Animal Portraits at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia


cormorantNew Exhibit at Academy of Natural Sciences asks us to get up close and personal with animals like never before!

Have you ever seen one of those paintings that are never what it looks like at first glance? You know, the ones just look like a kindergartner went crazy with watercolors and then called it a day. Then, after a few minutes, you realize something far more interesting is going on. There is actual a 3-D picture within all those colors, and it begins to emerge. Pretty cool, no? 

Well that’s exactly what the new exhibit Looking at Animals is aiming to do. Featured at the wonderful Academy of Natural Sciences in Philly from March 13 to May 16, the exhibit challenges our eyes (and brains) to look at animals in ways like never before.

So what’s this display really all about? Well, essentially there will be a kaleidoscope of different animal pictures on display. Yes, this sounds ordinary so far but that’s probably where any familiarity ends. Each picture will focus on a bizarre or unique feature of an animal, asking the viewer to really take a closer look at each one of them, offering their own interpretation. For example, actual specimens on hand will include flamingo skulls, the disarticulated skeleton of a giraffe, and the foot of a psychotic elephant named Bolivar, who used to be caged at the Philadelphia Zoo.

horensteinPhotographer Henry Horenstein has been taking pictures since the 70’s, and has also made contributions as an author and a teacher. With over 30 books under his pen, he is now a professor of photography for over thirty years at the Rhode Island School of Design. All of this makes him an even more fascinating and qualified candidate for this unique exhibit.

Looking At Animals is definitely a fascinating exhibit that challenges everyone to look at animals in a whole new way. Who ever thought that the little hairs, scales, crevices and other characteristics that make up these creatures could offer such a different, eye opening perspective? Let’s just put it this way, you may never look at any animal the same way again after a trip to The Academy of Natural Sciences.


HOURS: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.,
Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

ADMISSION: $12 adults; $10 children 3-12, seniors, college students, military personnel; free for members and children under 3. 

$2 fee for Butterflies