Today, dogs enhance the lives of millions in countless ways, but they are also some of humans’ oldest friends. Ancient clues like cave paintings and burials reveal that dogs and people have lived together for thousands of years. But why have humans formed such close relationships with dogs, and not cows or chickens? Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs sniffs out the facts on dogs and explores what makes the human/dog relationship so unique.
“Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” is the largest and most comprehensive traveling exhibition ever created on the history, biology and evolution of dogs. It uses the familiarity and love of these four-legged friends to explore science and biological concepts.
Through multimedia displays, dioramas and interactive stations visitors can learn about the different types of dogs, how they are related to wolves, how they have helped humans and what we can do to help them.
Recent fossil and genetic evidence has confirmed that all modern day dogs are the descendants of wolves. Ancient clues from cave paintings and burial sites reveal that dogs and people have lived together for thousands of years. Over this time humans have transformed, through selective breeding, the wild canids into the first domesticated animal; the tamable, the trainable, the incredibly diverse dog. No other single species in the animal kingdom has their variety of shapes and sizes and their abilities as hunters, herders, guards, and companions have made them truly our ‘best friends.’
The exhibit has four themed sections including multi-media displays, artifacts, photo murals, and dioramas of taxidermied wild canines and sculpted modern dog breeds. Additionally interactive, hands-on components demonstrate key exhibit concepts. Enter a “howling area” and guess what dogs are saying, test your nose against a dog’s great sense of smell, and climb into an avalanche scene to see what it’s like to be saved by a search-and-rescue dog.
Created by Wonderworks Exhibits Co.
Presenting Sponsors Judy and Henry Morris
Water|Ways May 27 – July 9, 2017
A Smithsonian traveling exhibition
Water is a critical resource. An essential component of life on our planet, water powers the environment’s engine, impacting climate and helping to shape and sculpt the landscape. Water’s impact on humans is not just biological and environmental; it serves as a source of peace and contemplation.
Water|Ways focuses on the numerous relationships between people and water. How has water shaped our history and traditions? How does it impact our daily life? What does the future hold for water?
Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks July 22 – November 26, 2017
VLM Member Preview July 21 6:30-8:30pm
Nature Connects is an award-winning, record-breaking exhibition now touring North America. Created with over a half million LEGO pieces, this show features larger-than-life sculptures built with LEGO bricks by Brooklyn artist and children’s author Sean Kenney.
The sculptures bring nature to life with a 6-foot hummingbird hovering over a trumpet flower, a deer family made from 48,000 bricks, a giant tortoise, a 7-foot long dragonfly and more. This spectacular combination of nature and art will be featured outdoors in the Conservation Garden and other outdoor areas.
“Just as LEGO pieces interconnect, everything in nature is interconnected in a delicate balance. Insects and plants have important relationships; different species of animals have special relationships with each other; animals have connections with their families just like we do,” says Kenney on his website.
“And of course, people have a connection with nature, whether you’re trimming a bonsai tree or planting a garden, or anything else: you are a part of nature. I hope that you can look at Nature Connects and appreciate both nature and the sculptures as something beautiful, and I also hope you’re inspired to go home and create something wonderful yourself.”
Created in partnership with Iowa State University, Nature Connects is foremost an educational platform and secondarily a means of artistic expression.
VLM Members are invited to a “Sneak Peak” preview of The Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks exhibit July 21 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Members will have an opportunity to explore this outdoor exhibit and participate in games, and other family fun activities. The Nature Connects exhibit opens to general admission visitors on July 22, 2017.