Saturday, March 5, 2016

Small is Beautiful

Art and Environment
by Edward Hessler

By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions],
via Wikimedia Commons

The imaginative exhibit, "Vegetative Taxidermy: A Collection of Previously Undiscovered Flora and Fauna Inhabiting the Fields, Forests and Lakes of Minnesota," is now open at The Smallest Museum in St. Paul. It may be viewed 24/7 during March. There is a small spot-light for night viewing.

The museum space is a converted and rehabbed (mostly just painted) vintage fire hose box, approximately 61 cm by 89 cm (24" by 35"), recessed into the exterior wall of the entrance to the Workhorse Coffee Bar.

Each "species" is made of vegetation. Each has a common name and an Linnean binomial.

The exhibit also includes a puzzle. The question is about a poppy seed head at the end of a shepherd crook shaped stem. Is this a "sessile filter feeding coelenterate or...? There are several choices, including a blank space for one of your own.

A few examples of some of the discoveries new to Minnesota's flora and fauna.

Nano owlet, Nocturna whoosits

Minnesota silky-tailed bunny, Lagomorpha gossamercaudata

Minnesota pygmy vulture, Carrionis minima var. raptor du Nord

Evening maplefly, Acerrapterous rosa

Great Lake Superior Rotifer, Rotoraria gitche-gumeii

Woody antlered butterfly, Lignus cellulosa

Quacking aspen, Popolus duckphilia

North Country Kraken, Decapoda boroalis

The exhibit artist and curator is Dick Wenkel. The whimsical exhibit is just plain fun.

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