Life on Display: Revolutionizing US Museums of Science and Natural History in the Twentieth Century

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Life on Display uses the history of biological exhibitions to analyze museums' shifting roles in twentieth-century American science and society. Rader and Cain chronicle profound changes in these exhibitions-and the institutions that housed them-between 1910 and 1990, ultimately offering new perspectives on the history of museums, science, and science education.Traces the evolution of museum design, discussing dioramas, museums in motion, exploratoriums and other innovations in museum display and education through 2005. Includes discussions of Smithsonian exhibit displays.


  • United States National Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


Smithsonian History Bibliography

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Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Design
  • Natural history museums
  • Education
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Museum exhibits--Design
  • Museums--Educational aspects
  • Museum techniques
  • Museum exhibits
  • Dioramas


United States

Physical description

Number of pages: 456; Page numbers : 1-456

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