More Events:

June 23, 2023

Furry, feathery 'Skin' exhibit opens at the Academy of Natural Sciences

The collection, which features animal specimens and models as well as interactive nerve demos, will be on display at museum from Saturday, June 24 through early 2024

Arts & Culture Exhibits
skin exhibit rhino.jpg Kristin Hunt/for PhillyVoice

At the center of the 'Skin' exhibit is a life-size rhino model, shown above.

Starting this weekend, the Academy of Natural Sciences will show off a diverse collection of pelts, scales and skins found across nature.

"Skin," which will run at the museum from Saturday, June 24, through Sunday, Jan. 21, is an exploration of the "living armor" that covers animals and human beings. The display includes boxes of penguin feathers, red king crab shells and an enormous rhino model.

MORE: Chinese lanterns, roses and German beer: Your weekend guide to things to do

Visitors can learn about the functions of specific skins and nerve endings through interactive displays which vibrate and make hairs stand on end. Museum staffers will also show off live specimens like insects at the "curiosity cart," and each Thursday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m., turtles, snakes and lizards will be shown during "Awesome Armor: Reptile Encounters." 

A display at Drexel's Academy of Natural Sciences showing birds and antlersKristin Hunt/for PhillyVoice

A display on ducks, molting and antlers

Otter pelt on display at Drexel's Academy of Natural SciencesKristin Hunt/for PhillyVoice

Visitors can touch select pieces, like this otter pelt.

The exhibit, which originated at the California Academy of Sciences, also touches on social science with objects detailing the pseudoscience of race and how human ideas about skin color have impacted people across centuries.

"This visually bold exhibit truly delves into the remarkable biodiversity of the natural world, as well as the often deep and complex nature of human relationships, in such a fresh, innovative and creative way," said Scott Cooper, president and CEO of the academy. 

"Skin" is free to enter with general admission to the museum, which is $21 for kids and $25 for adults.

Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity

Saturday, June 24 through Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024
Free with general admission
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Follow Kristin & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @kristin_hunt | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Have a news tip? Let us know.