Past Exhibitions

Since opening in its new location in 1999, Sternberg Museum of Natural History has hosted more than 80 different temporary exhibitions. The exhibitions listed below represent a sampling of these diverse offerings.

They’re here now, but they won’t be here forever. You won’t want to miss these great temporary exhibitions. Be sure to visit the museum soon and see them before they’re gone!

Pencil these exhibition dates into your calendar to help you plan your future visits. Be sure to check back to this web page to keep up to date on what’s at the Sternberg Museum.

Into the Arctic: An Exhibition of Art and Film

June 6th, 2020 – September 15th, 2020

INTO THE ARCTIC showcases over fifty original oil paintings by artist Cory Trépanier. Over a decade in the making, this traveling exhibition comprises highlights from the most ambitious body of artwork ever dedicated to the Canadian Arctic. With a pack full of painting, filming, and camping gear, Trépanier traversed over 40,000 kilometers, through six Arctic National Parks and 16 Arctic communities, exploring many more places in between, in a biosphere so remote and untouched, that most of its vast landscape has never been painted before.

Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Living Explorers by Canadian Geographic Magazine, Trépanier carries on the tradition of painting first made famous by Canada’s Group of Seven, but with the environmental concern of a contemporary artist. Contextualizing the artist’s majestic paintings is a series of Arctic films, which cinematically convey the wonder of the North while documenting his expeditions.

“Exploring and painting the Canadian Arctic has been challenging and awe-inspiring, bringing me face-to-face with some of our planet’s greatest natural wonders. After many years of solitary development, I am humbled to learn that others are being moved by my canvases. And that the exhibition is inspiring conversation about the North, the Inuit, the power of nature, and the importance of humanity’s role in protecting it.”

     –Cory Trépanier

To learn more about Cory Trépanier and his work, visit his website at

Exhibition Tour itinerary:

The tour is presented in part by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Canadian Geographic, and HATCH.

Follow Cory Trépanier on his social media.

INTO THE ARCTIC: AN EXHIBITION OF ART AND FILM is produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C., David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director,



Art and the Animal

March 25, 2017– May 12, 2017

Sternberg Museum is proud to host the 56th annual members’ exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists. Each year this international society sponsors a highly selective juried art competition to showcase artistic excellence in the portrayal of our living heritage. Judges strive for a diversity of subject matter, art mediums, dimensions of artworks, and geographical distribution of artists. Works in this year’s limited-run tour include oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel paintings; bronze and stone sculptures; woodcut, linocut, and serigraph prints; graphite, ink, and charcoal drawings; scratchboards; cut paper; and mixed media pieces.


















Bee-lieve It or Not!

The Secret Lives of Honey Bees

January 28 – April 2, 2017


Exhibit highlights:

  • Learn what makes a honey bee a honey bee
  • Discover why pollination is important
  • Read about threats to honey bees
  • Play a video game and learn who is a pollinator
  • Uncover the differences between bees and wasps
  • Learn about honey and beeswax



 Galápagos – The Exhibit

Ended Feb 21, 2017



On exhibit for the first time in the western hemisphere!

This exhibition explores the science and sensation of the Galápagos—the “cradle of evolutionary biology.” This remote archipelago inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, serves as living laboratory for ongoing scientific research, and became the very first UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Sternberg Museum hosts the North American premiere of a new exhibit developed by the Zoological Museum, University of Zurich, Switzerland.



Pasture & Range Plants,

November 5, 2016 – January 22, 2017




Exquisite Miniatures

The-Old-Man-of-BorneoNov 25, 2015 through May 31, 2016

Wes and Rachelle Siegrist are a husband and wife team who capture the attention of viewers not with outstretched canvas but with miniature paintings so exquisitely crafted that they are often mistaken for tiny photographs. Their tiny treasures, as collectors often refer to them, typically measure less than nine square inches and appear even more detailed when viewed under magnification! Consequently, the Siegrists enjoy a dimension of cheap Cialis 20mg that few painters of standard easel-size paintings enjoy. The artists engage and draw their viewers ever closer to the point where they often become lost within the miniature world. Their compositions reflect broad and diverse encounters with nature and often stress biodiversity and the ecology of humans as well as wildlife.

John Cody: Audubon of Moths

EX-T.08-JohnCodyICONAugust 21, 2005 – May 26, 2016

Dr. John Cody’s introduction to the saturniid moths, more commonly known as giant silk moths or emperor moths, came when he was a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York. The Cecropia he discovered outside his apartment building left an indelible impression on his young mind and sparked a lifelong passion to capture and share the elegance of giant silk moths through painting. He has traveled the world seeking out his subjects and has earned renown as “The Audubon of Moths.” In this ongoing but ever-changing exhibition, Dr. Cody world premieres each new watercolor he creates. His most recent painting hangs alongside a changing selection of older, classic works.

Denizens: Wildlife on the Western Frontier

Denizens reWEB

Aug 16, 2015 through Jan 3, 2016

The exhibit of 62 artworks presents the spectrum of indigenous wildlife which graced the nineteenth century American West. These derivative original engravings were published in Harper’s Weekly, The Illustrated London News, The Aldine, and other historical sources. The art forms include copper plate engravings, wood block engravings, and chromolithographs by artists including Frederic Remington, William de la Montagne Cary, John James Audubon, Alfred Jacob Miller, and Robert Woodville.





May 9, 2015 through Aug 2, 2015

From a Colombian coal mine 60 million years deep, scientists have uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Measuring 48 feet long and weighing in at 2,500 pounds, this massive predator could crush and devour a crocodile! Fossil plants and animals found at the site reveal the earliest known rainforest, teeming with life and dating to the Paleocene, the lost world that followed the demise of the dinosaurs. The Smithsonian shares this massive creature and its incredible story in the new exhibition Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Featuring a full-scale model of Titanoboa and clips from a Smithsonian Channel documentary, the exhibition delves into the discovery, reconstruction, and implications of this enormous reptile. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Nebraska, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. “Titanoboa” will travel to 15-cities on a national tour organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Biodiversity in the Art of Carel Pieter Brest van Kempen

Brest Van Kempen reWEB

Jan 17, 2015 through May 3, 2015

Brest van Kempen’s paintings reveal an imagination of limitless proportion and unique perspectives. They also reveal the pure joy that comes from a truly imaginative creative process. This can be seen in the artist’s subjects. Brest van Kempen’s subjects do not include cliches like those painted ad infinitum by ordinary wildlife artists; rather, his works are populated by under-represented species which give real meaning to the phrase, biodiversity. To appreciate this point, consider just a handful of titles of his paintings: Bat Falcon & Golden Free-Tailed Bat, Meller’s Chameleon & Leaf-Toed Gecko, Gripping Tail – Yellow Baboon & White-Throated Monitor, Hippopotamus & Nile Softshell Turtles, Maned Wolves & Three Banded Armadillo. Another manifestation of joy in the paintings of Brest van Kempen is the relationship in which he places the viewer to his subjects or, in other words, the perspective. There is simply no other wildlife artist who has produced a body of work that consistently affords viewers with richer views. This aspect of his style, combined with virtuosic technique and, most importantly, vivid imagination, imbue Brest van Kempen’s work with a depth that is rare in the world of natural history art. A book, entitled Rigo Vitae: Life Unyielding, about Brest van Kempen and his art with and introduction by David J. Wagner, accompanies this exhibition.

Be the Dinosaur

Be the Dino reWEB

May 24, 2014 through Dec 31, 2014

Be the Dinosaur™” is a groundbreaking fusion of state-of-the-art video game technology and traditional exhibits, featuring full-size dinosaur bones, a paleontology field station, a Safari Jeep and more. Visitors of all ages can enter into the largest and most complex restoration of an extinct ecosystem ever created.



 Post Rock Country: A Cultural Heritage 90 Million Years in the Making

PostRockWEBMay 18, 2015 – May 31, 2016

With few trees on the vast, dry prairie, settlers searched for alternative building materials. They found a solution within inches of the surface of the soil. Fencepost limestone is a unique limestone bed that is found in a very limited region in north central Kansas. It is uniform in thickness, relatively easy to quarry when first uncovered, and is strong and resistant to the elements once exposed to air. It was the perfect building material for settlers of the region. Also known as Post Rock, it has become a curiosity for its use as fenceposts as well as a wide variety of objects used by homesteaders. In addition to its use by the settlers, Post Rock tells a much larger story with its fossils and unique stratigraphy.

Created in collaboration with the Rush County Historical Society and the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, this exhibition tells the 90 million year old story of how this unique limestone shaped the culture of the area of Kansas known as Post Rock Country.

Prairie Ocean: Long Time, No Sea

January 18th, 2020 – September 8th, 2020

The Prairie Ocean: Long Time, No Sea, created by Chuck Bonner and Ray Troll, will highlight stories of the Bonner family, and their family legacy as fossil hunters. The exhibit will also focus on Kansas and its natural history, featuring a variety of Chuck and Ray’s artwork, and fossils found here in Kansas. The opening day for the exhibit is January 18th. 


More about the exhibit designers:


Chuck Bonner – Chuck is a Kansas native, born and raised in the central and western parts of the state. His passion for art and fossil hunting was inherited from his parents. Chuck attended Fort Hays State University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and a Master’s Degree in Painting. His art has been featured all over central and western Kansas, including murals at Fort Hays State University and the Ellis County Historical Museum. Chuck and his wife, Barbara Shelton, currently operate the Keystone Gallery, which is a combination of an art gallery, fossil museum, and gift shop. For more information about Chuck Bonner, the Keystone Gallery and his artwork, visit his website at 

Ray Troll – Ray is known for his unique style of blending art and science, drawing his inspiration from extensive fieldwork and the latest scientific discoveries. Ray earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1977, and a Master’s Degree in studio arts from Washington State University in 1981. After he graduated, he moved to Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska. From there, his artwork grew in popularity, eventually earning him an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Alaska-Southeast. Ray’s art has been featured in museums, books, and magazines. Some of his most recent works include Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Dr. Kirk Johnson; a mural for the University of Washington called Fishes of the Salish Sea; an exhibit at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History entitled, The Blue Seas, Green Seas; a traveling museum show called Buzz Saw Sharks of Long Ago; and his collaboration with Chuck Bonner in The Prairie Ocean: Long Time No Sea. For more information about Ray Troll, his artwork, and his exhibits, visit his website at

Crocodilian Scratch Boards

Croc Scratchboards

Jun 1, 2016 through Aug 31, 2016

John Agnew is an artist of the natural world. One of his favorite subject groups is Crocodilians; the crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials of the world. While Agnew works in a variety of media, he most often portrays crocs in scratchboard, using needles and other metal tools to scrape through a layer of dried black ink to expose an under-layer of white clay. This medium is well suited to the textures and detail of the artist’s prehistoric subjects. Crocodilians are the last of the giant reptiles that survived the great extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and a window into the past. While the appearance of a man-eating croc can inspire fear in humans, their appearance in scratchboards of a master like John Agnew can transform this fearsome predator into a subject of unspeakable beauty.

Dinosaurs Take Flight: The Art of Archaeopteryx


Apr 8, 2016 through Aug 21, 2016

Merging the work of scientists and paleoartists from around the world, the exhibit reconstructs the world of Archaeopterx. This famous feathered dinosaur has intrigued scientists for more than 150 years and helped establish the link between reptiles and birds. The exhibit includes casts & actual fossils of several Archaeopteryx, plants, and other animals exquisitely preserved in Germany’s famous Solnhofen limestone. It also includes more than 50 pieces of original artwork, murals, sculptures, video interviews, interactive components, and more. Explore the intersection of art and science—six renowned paleoartists provide a glimpse into their studios and practices as they bring this iconic “missing link” back to life.

Sandy Scott: A Retrospective

SS2 11-WindMaster72June 1,2016 through August 31,2016

This traveling exhibition of animal and natural history art is comprised of a range of sculptures, etchings, and drawings. Sandy Scott received her formal art training at the Kansas City Art Institute and later worked as an animation background artist for the motion picture industry. She turned her attention to etchings and printmaking in the 1970’s and to sculpture in the 1980’s.







 Lure of the Ocean


June 17-September 25th

Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006) called himself a picture maker and fish painter, but he was more than just any fish painter. He was the first artist to realistically portray marlin, bluefish, striped bass and other major game fish species in their natural habitats and is considered the master of the genre.

Born in New York City, Meltzoff received a classical education in the arts before joining The Stars and Stripes Army newspaper as an illustrator during World War II.  Meltzoff paintings have graced the covers of Field & Stream, Scientific American, The Saturday Evening Post and countless other publications. When his artistic career as a narrative illustrator waned due to the growing popularity of photography, film and video, he created a second career beginning in the 1960s and continuing until the end of his life that combined his artistic skill with his interest in diving and spearfishing. His research – in fish stalking, rigging, tethering, tanking, and freezing – enlightened his art, which brings to life the undersea world that few experience so vividly.