When the new VMNH building opened in 2007, it featured 5 main exhibit halls. The largest of these, at around 30 meters in length, was the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont Great Hall (named for a major sponsor). The Great Hall initially featured casts of “Caroline” (Eobalaenoptera harrisoni) and “Big Al” (Allosaurus fragilis), windows into the exhibit labs, and cases around the support beams with rotating exhibits. A few items, such as the Boxley stromatolite, have been added over the years, but the Great Hall has remained largely empty except for special events and party rentals.
That’s changing, beginning tonight. This week we’re opening a new exhibit called “Dinosaurs” that includes a number of cast skeletons on loan from other museums. These skeletons, including Acrocanthosaurus atokensis (below), are mostly being exhibited in the Great Hall.
“Dinosaurs” will be open through August, but we don’t intend to return to an empty Great Hall. Our hope is to raise enough funds to put several additional cast skeletons on permanent display, as well as additional bones from Wyoming and Carmel Church. To reflect the change in function, in a ceremony tonight we officially renamed the hall the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont Hall of Ancient Life.
If you haven’t been to VMNH recently, I encourage you to stop by to see the changes in our exhibit. If you’re interested in making a donation to support our efforts to fill the Hall of Ancient Life with new skeletons, please contribute to the VMNH Discovery Fund.