Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The New and Improved Bell Museum

8/18/18 Mammoth

A couple of years ago when I was in the Twin Cities, I made a short visit to the Bell Museum, the University of Minnesota’s natural history museum. Although it had a wide variety of specimens on exhibit, I could see that the museum had seen better days. Shortly after I had visited, the museum closed, and just a few weeks ago it reopened in a brand-new facility to much well-deserved fanfare. I was just in the Twin Cities again a few days ago, and the new and improved Bell was at the top of my list of places to visit.

Before heading out to the museum, I had contacted the Twin Cities Urban Sketchers to see if anyone wanted to meet up there. Luckily for me, four sketches showed up, including three whom I already knew from previous visits to the Cities and various symposiums. We had a fun morning chatting and sketching the mighty wooly mammoth together. This huge beast (covered with the same fur as Chewbacca!), which had apparently been in storage for years, looked terrific in his new digs. Although I didn’t use paint, most of the others did, and it was great to be allowed to use any kind of media in this museum.

Daniel, Roz, Amber and Cris came out to sketch with me at the Bell

After the other sketchers had to go, I walked through the rest of the exhibits and picked an elk diorama to sketch. Although some exhibits looked vaguely familiar from my previous visit, all the old, faded dioramas had been given major facelifts, and much better lighting everywhere made it so much easier to see and sketch.

8/18/18 Elk diorama

 With so many beautiful exhibits, this museum is going to be on my must-do list every time I visit the Cities.

8/18/18 The new Bell Museum in St. Paul


  1. Great sketch of the wolly the fur. Looks like you all enjoyed the new museum.

    1. Thanks! I was inspired to be sketching Wookiee fur! ;-)

      - Tina


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