UW Professor Featured At Smithsonian

Nov 25, 2019

The Bearded Lady Project exhibit will be at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum for six months - double its usual stay at a museum.
Credit Lucia R.M. Martino, Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. is featuring a portrait exhibition that was created by a University of Wyoming (UW) professor.

"The Bearded Lady Project is a science, art collaboration that celebrates the amazing work that the women of paleontology have done, and then also highlights the challenges that women have faced to succeed in the field," Ellen Currano said, one of the cofounders of the project.

The exhibit features portraits of the women conducting their research - most of the time while wearing false beards or mustaches. It started as a plan for a five-minute YouTube video, but quickly grew from there.

"As we started reaching out to scientists and getting a lot of support, we realized we had more than that. And so, we came up with this portrait exhibition," Currano said. "We have a 22-minute short film, we have a 52-minute feature length film, and now we are at The Nation's Natural History Museum."

The exhibit debuted at the UW Geology Museum in 2017. Since then, it's been in five different museums across the country. It will be at the Smithsonian for six months before moving on to its next location.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.