Fernbank Museum of Natural History

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Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History - Dinosaur Entrance Plaza.JPG
Location767 Clifton Road NE
Type Natural History
DirectorJennifer Grant Warner
Website Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank Museum of Natural History, in Atlanta, is a museum that presents exhibitions and programming about natural history. Fernbank Museum has a number of permanent exhibitions and regularly hosts temporary exhibitions in its expansive facility, designed by Graham Gund Architects. Giants of the Mesozoic, on display in the atrium of Fernbank Museum, features a 123-foot (37 m) long Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur ever classified; as well as a Giganotosaurus. The permanent exhibition, A Walk Through Time in Georgia, tells the twofold story of Georgia's natural history and the development of the planet. Fernbank Museum has won several national and international awards for one of its newest permanent exhibitions, Fernbank NatureQuest, an immersive, interactive exhibition for children that was designed and produced by Thinkwell Group. [1] The awards NatureQuest has won include the 2012 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement for a Museum Exhibit [2] and the 2011 Bronze Award for Best Museum Environment from Event Design. [3] The nearby Fernbank Science Center is a separate organization operated by the DeKalb County Board of Education and is not affiliated with Fernbank Museum of Natural History (Fernbank, Inc.).


In the late 1800s, a nature-lover named Emily Harrison grew up in an area east of Atlanta which she called "Fernbank". Along with others, Harrison created a charter for Fernbank in 1938 and purchased the 70 acres (280,000 m2) of woodland on which Fernbank Museum now stands. In 1964, the Fernbank trustees and the DeKalb County School System created Fernbank Science Center, which led to a desire to share Fernbank's resources with the general public. [4]

Inside Fernbank

Following master planning and designs by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based architectural firm, Graham Gund Architects, ground was broken in 1989, and on October 5, 1992, Fernbank Museum of Natural History opened to the public. The new building is carefully located behind a row of historic houses, and features a glass-enclosed atrium overlooking Fernbank Forest. Fernbank Museum now stands on 65 acres (260,000 m2) of the largest old-growth urban Piedmont forest in the country. [4]


Fernbank Museum offers a variety of exhibits exploring many different natural history topics. Exhibits include:

  • Fernbank NatureQuest
  • Dinosaur Plaza
  • Giants of the Mesozoic
  • A Walk Through Time in Georgia
  • Reflections of Culture
  • Conveyed in Clay: Stories from St. Catherines Island
  • Curator's Corner
  • World of Shells

The museum also has an area where special exhibitions are cycled through. These exhibits tend to stay open to the public for 2–4 months each.

Outdoor exhibits

In 2016 the museum opened WildWoods, an accessible 10-acre area located directly behind the museum with trails and interactive exhibits. In 2016 Fernbank also opened access to the newly restored, 65-acre Fernbank Forest.

Giant screen theatre

Fernbank is home to the Rankin M. Smith, Sr. Giant Screen Theater. Formerly an IMAX theater, upgrades were completed in February 2017 including a digital 4K 3D laser-illuminated projection system. [5] [6]

Special programming

Fernbank puts on special activities for adults and children including summer camps, lectures, workshops, interactive conversations, family activity days, and storytelling.

One of Fernbank's most popular[ citation needed] events, Fernbank After Dark runs the second Friday of each month, January through November, and features movies in the giant screen theater, drinks, food and live music.

F.U.N Volunteer Program

Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers a year-round volunteer program for children aged 13–17. F.U.N. (Fernbank UItimate Naturalist) Volunteers interact with museum guests while working on educational carts throughout the museum, exploring a wide range of natural history topics, including Archaeology, Paleontology, Anatomy, and more.

See also


  1. ^ "NatureQuest at Fernbank Museum of Natural History - Thinkwell Group, Inc". Thinkwellgroup.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-04-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  3. ^ "Event Marketer - The world's largest information source on event and experiential marketing". Event Marketer. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2015-03-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  5. ^ "New Giant Screen Theater to Open February 2017 at Fernbank Museum - Fernbank Museum of Natural History". Fernbankmuseum.org. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-23. Retrieved 2017-03-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)

External links

Latitude and Longitude:

33°46′26″N 84°19′39″W / 33.773966°N 84.3276°W / 33.773966; -84.3276