• Canopic Jar

    Used to store internal organs of the mummy


(Standing exhibit)

The exhibit features artifacts from ancient Egypt and Rome (18th Dynasty-1st Century A.D. ), faience Ushabti figures, (workers for the deceased in the afterlife), inscribed scarabs, beads, and 2 Roman pots from the ruins of Pompeii that were donated to the Museum in the early 1900s.  One popular highlight is an Egyptian mummy of a kestrel falcon (Falco tinnunculus).


(At The College of Idaho’s Rosenthal Gallery from February 23 to April 17, 2015)

“38 Minus” celebrates Idaho’s native fishes with a collection of paper sculptures by artist Lonnie Hutson. To create the exhibit, Hutson (who is also an Idaho river guide) spent three years tracking down specimens of each of the 38 fish species native to Idaho, then casting them in handmade paper. Some of the fishes could not be found in nature, and were borrowed from the collections of the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History. In addition to celebrating the fishes, the exhibit illustrates the importance of maintaining healthy river ecosystems for the fishes to survive.

38 Minus is a traveling exhibit organized by the University of Idaho’s Prichard Art Gallery, an outreach program of the College of Art and Architecture. Its appearance at The College of Idaho was co-sponsored by the College and the Orma J. Smith Museum.  Additional support came from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, American Fisheries Society-Western Division, and American Fisheries Society-Idaho Chapter, and Dr. Sean D. Farley.


(at Boise Art Museum from February 23, 2013 to January 12, 2O14)

The Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History and The Boise Art Museum joined to present an exhibit featuring objects from tribal communities in Africa, Papua New Guinea and North America Native cultures spanning the time period from pre-European contact through the 20th century.  The exhibit encouraged visitors to examine the ways that art forms in diverse cultures have contributed to our contemporary senses of place, art, community and identity. It received more than 35,000 visitors.

The exhibit was organized by Jan Summers Duffy (an Archaeologist and Curator at the Orma J. Smith Museum) and Catherine Rakow (a Curator at The Boise Art Museum), with help from many other people. More than 150 artifacts (over 1/3 of those in the exhibit) were from from the archaeological and ethnographic collections of the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History.

Partial funding for the exhibit was provided by a grant from the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services.