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Project Premiere: Richard Pell's "Center for PostNatural History" Opens in Pittsburgh

February 27, 2012

Grand Opening
Friday, March 2, 6:00pm
4913 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA
Learn more

Richard Pell (2009 Emerging Fields) celebrates the grand opening of the permanent exhibition facility for his Creative Capital-supported project, The Center for PostNatural History (CPNH), in Pittsburgh, PA, on March 2. The Center is dedicated to the research and exhibition of lifeforms that have been intentionally altered by humans, from the dawn of domestication to contemporary genetic engineering. The CPNH presents the "postnatural" world through diorama, taxidermy, photography and living exhibits, from engineered corn to Sea Monkeys to modified Chestnut Trees to BioSteel™ Goats.

Pell writes, "The Center for PostNatural History serves as a jumping-off point for thinking about how people shape the living world around them. Humans have been slowly domesticating plants and animals for thousands of years and, in the last 35 years, we've begun altering the DNA of organisms in very specific ways. A good portion of the living world is in a sense a cultural artifact reflecting the desires, needs and fears of human society. The CPNH is a place to explore that idea."

The CPNH also hosts postnatural exhibits by guest researchers. The Center is currently displaying a poster series produced by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, which catalogues the diversity of genetically modified fruits and vegetables available in the U.S. and European Union. In May, The CPNH will debut an exhibit about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, produced by a group of American and Norwegian researchers who spent several weeks visiting the world's largest repository of domesticated food crop seeds.

The Center for PostNatural History will be open Sundays from 12:00–6:00pm and for select events. Learn more about the center at, or read an interview with Pell in the February 2012 issue of Nature Magazine.


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