TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey State Museum is pleased to announce the return of Hadrosaurus foulkii to New Jersey in the new exhibit Drawn To Dinosaurs: Hadrosaurus foulkii opening on Saturday, March 22 in the Museum’s Natural History Hall. The exhibit, on loan from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, features a 25 foot long cast of the dinosaur plus a hand-drawn, life size, realistic illustration of hadrosaurus in action The role of paleoartists and the study of nature in the development of modern theories of dinosaur anatomy and behavior are also examined.
“As the world’s first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton unearthed and mounted for public exhibition, Hadrosaurus foulkii’s discovery in Haddonfield, NJ in 1858 revolutionized science and helped position southern New Jersey as the “center” of the paleontological world,” said Museum Director Anthony Gardner. “We encourage all visitors to help us welcome ‘America’s First Dinosaur’ and New Jersey’s official state dinosaur when it returns to its home state through this new informative and engaging exhibition.”
Visitors are invited to watch the chalk hadrosaur illustration being created on site on March 21st by scientist and paleoartist Jason “Chewie” Poole. Mr. Poole has been working with fossils for the better part of 30 years; he has collected dinosaur fossils for research in Wyoming, Montana, and Egypt and is currently working in Patagonia in Argentina. Mr. Poole is a fossil preparator, teacher and illustrator of all things paleo. His work can be seen in the December 2007 issue of National Geographic Bizarre Dinosaurs as well as exhibits in several East Coast museums in the United States.
In celebration of the exhibit opening, the Museum will host story time at 2:00 pm on March 22nd and 23rd. Young children enjoy the story “How Did The Dinosaur Get In The Museum?” an explanation of how many people it takes to find, excavate, prepare, and mount a dinosaur for exhibition. Children will also have an opportunity to make a dinosaur craft to take home.
The Innovation Lab and Learning Center, located in the Natural History Hall, is a brand new hands-on instructional space where visitors to the exhibit will interact with scientists as they study and prepare fossils ;various educational programs will also take place within this new STEM+A (science, technology, engineering, math and art ) learning center. The Innovation Lab and Learning Center are part of the ongoing multi-phase renovation of the Natural History Hall.
This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of a bill by the State Legislature making Hadrosaurus foulkii the official state dinosaur of New Jersey. A teacher from Haddonfield, Mrs. Joyce Berry, and her students petitioned their Legislators to get the bill introduced and subsequently passed. In recognition of this, the Museum will host a small reception in June to honor the now retired teacher, former students and Legislators associated with the anniversary.
The Museum is also featuring several other changing exhibits including “Artists of Roosevelt” in the Riverside Gallery through May 25th. The exhibition, part of the New Jersey Artists series at the NJSM, explores the community of visual artists that developed and still thrives in Roosevelt (formerly Jersey Homesteads), NJ. The exhibition will explore the development of Roosevelt as an art community and allow visitors to discover the impact these important artists had, and continue to have, on American art.
About the New Jersey State Museum
Established in 1895, the New Jersey State Museums serves the life-long educational needs of residents and visitors through its collections, exhibitions, programs, publications and scholarships in science, history and the arts. Within a broad context, the Museum explores the natural and cultural diversity of New Jersey, past and present. The New Jersey State Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
The New Jersey State Museum, located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 4:45 pm. The Museum is closed Mondays and all state holidays. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at www.statemuseum.nj.gov or call the recorded information line at (609) 292-6464. On weekends, free parking is available in lots adjacent to and behind the Museum. Please visit www.trentonparking.com for a number of options for parking in downtown Trenton during the week.