The Nat Announces 2019 Exhibition and Film Schedule

March 6, 2019

National Geographic photography exhibition opens this weekend

SAN DIEGO, CA—The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) in Balboa Park today announced its 2019 exhibition and film schedule, which gives San Diegans a reason to visit the Museum many times throughout the year, each time experiencing something new.  

The exhibition schedule includes two consecutive photography exhibitions from National Geographic—one opening this weekend—followed by a new exhibition being developed in-house and slated to open this November. Several new 3D films round out the experience.

“Our 2019 schedule combines spectacular nature photography with an exciting exhibition designed specifically for The Nat, and featuring live animals.  It reinforces our focus on custom-built experiences that draw from our own collection and focus on regional natural history, while bringing select special exhibits to our city,” said Judy Gradwohl, president and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

“There’s always something intriguing for visitors and members to see and do at The Nat,” explained Gradwohl.

Photography Exhibitions Bring Nature to Life this Spring and Summer

National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Landscapes, which opens to the public this Saturday, March 9, serves as a virtual tour of the world’s most stunning landscapes, from underwater vantages to the expansive countryside to dominating mountain peaks. The exhibition, inspired by the book “National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish,” illuminates the beauty of our planet through its exquisite collection of 50 images shot by some of the world’s finest photographers.

50 Greatest Landscapes will remain open through June 23, and will be followed by 50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs, on view from June 29 to October 18. The very best wildlife pictures from the pages of National Geographic magazine will be displayed in this exhibition curated by renowned nature picture editor, Kathy Moran. A distinctive element of the exhibition is that each photograph was taken in a natural environment; none of the images were taken in permanent captivity or through the use of baiting techniques.

November Exhibition Features Live Animals, Explores How They Thrive in Native Habitats

The museum’s in-house team is currently developing an exciting custom-built exhibition slated to open this November, featuring live animals and their adaptations, displayed alongside historical specimens from the museum’s collection. The overarching theme is that all living organisms have adaptations to survive—including everything from body shape to behavior—to help them evade predators, survive environmental extremes, and acquire food. Featuring reptiles, amphibians, and insects from the museum’s own Vivarium, close encounters with the animals will create a lasting impression about regional species richness. 

The exhibition will launch in a 2,700-square-foot gallery just outside of the first floor Atrium. It will replace Water: A California Story, which has been open since 2008. Recent exhibitions produced by The Nat’s staff include Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage, which opened in November 2017, and Hidden Gems, which debuted last November. These will remain on view.

Nature Documentaries on the Giant Screen Provide an Enriching Experience

Paid general admission to The Nat also includes access to the Subaru 3D Experience in the Charmaine & Maurice Kaplan Theater, which features the recently opened Flight of the Butterflies 3D showcasing the extraordinary migration of the monarch butterfly. National Parks Adventure 3D is also currently playing, and will be replaced by Conquest of the Skies 3D on July 1. The film invites visitors to travel through time to unravel the 320-million-year story of how flying animals first appeared and then evolved into the huge variety of aeronauts that fill our skies today—from nectar-drinking hummingbirds to armored airborne beetles to bats hunting in the dead of night. Ocean Oasis, a 2D, 40-minute film produced by the Museum, continues to screen daily. The theater schedule is available at

About the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is one of California’s oldest and most respected cultural and science institutions. Founded in 1874 by a small group of citizen scientists, today the Museum studies and works to preserve the incredible diversity of life in this amazing region we call home. The Museum is located at 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 in Balboa Park and is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. For more information, call 877.946.7797, visit, or access the Museum’s online press kit. To stay up to date on Museum news, follow The Nat on Instagram and Twitter and join the discussion on Facebook.






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