The Museum's exhibits are the product of collaboration by many members of the greater West Chester Unviersity community. Exhibit development involves substantive planning by student co-curators in West Chester University's Museum Studies Program, collaboration with faculty experts across disciplines and departments on campus, expert input from guest collaborators who also act as content advisors, and, of course, interactions with our welcomed visitors.
Earth Day at 50: Lessons for a Sustainable Future
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Earth Day, the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology's upcoming exhibition, Earth Day at 50: Lessons for a Sustainable Future, explores past and present environmental activism both nationally and locally, the reality of the current global climate crisis, and sustainable practices for a livable future.
Surrounding a grand Tree of Life crafted from reclaimed and reused materials designed by professor Tom Haughey and WCUPA students in a theater practicum class, Earth Day at 50 will feature artifacts from the early environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s, interactives for all ages, art installations, impressive dioramas featuring taxidermied specimens on loan from the Delaware Museum of Natural History, and an intriguing anti-Cabinet of Curiosities where visitors can glimpse products made from protected wildlife that have been confiscated by U.S. Customs. Exhibits touch on various aspects of environmentalism and sustainability, including environmental activism, biodiversity, plastics and waste, energy consumption and climate change, sustainable food systems, and WCU’s own initiatives in conservation and carbon reduction. With contributions from noted Native American artist-activists Jaida Grey Eagle, Christi Belcourt, Isaac Murdoch and the Onaman Collective, a special exhibit highlights Indigenous environmental protests and movements. The exhibition demonstrates that the fiftieth anniversary of Earth day is an empowering reminder that positive actions in daily life can combat the ongoing environmental crisis that humans have created.
Earth Day at 50 has been designed by 15 undergraduate and graduate museum studies students under the direction of museum director Michael A. Di Giovine. The exhibition is funded by the College of the Sciences and Mathematics and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, with intellectual contributions from faculty members of the Sustainability Advisory Council. The exhibition is also supported by West Chester University’s Office of Sustainability, the Ethnic Studies Institute at West Chester University, the Delaware Museum of Natural History, the West Chester Green Team/Sierra Club, and many community members.
Join us for our opening reception on Friday, September 25, 2020.
WCU student co-curator Ben Popp receiving an authentic Earth Day beach towel from West Chester community member James Godbold. The insignia was one of the original designs from Earth Day 1970