Smithsonian Picks Paleontologist to Lead Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Kirk Johnson, a paleontology expert who led a major excavation for ice age fossils of mammoths and mastodons in Colorado is being named the next director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington. AP Photo/Forrest Gibson, Smithsonian.
A paleontologist who undertook a major excavation of ice age fossils of mammoths and mastodons in Colorado was named the next director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History on Thursday.
Kirk Johnson, currently chief curator and vice president of research at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, will take command of one of the nation’s most visited museums in late October.
As the Smithsonian’s largest museum on the National Mall, the natural history museum has about 300 resident scientists and holds more than 126 million specimens and artifacts, making it the largest natural history collection in the world. It draws about 7 million yearly visitors on average.
Johnson said he is a “longtime museum guy” and that reaching so many visitors makes this a dream job.
“In 10 years in Washington, we’ll see 60 to 70 million people,” he said in an interview. “It’s breathtaking to imagine that because really that’s what a museum is about is communicating with people about the natural world.”
You can read the full article via ArtDaily here.
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