Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from our view. What if we could see into their world . . . on their level? What would we learn? What parallels could we draw between them and us. Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and photographer Dr. Mark Moffett, SITES and the Smithsonian ’s National Museum of Natural History present the world of ants.
Farmers, Warriors, Builders was one of NMNH's most popular exhibitions, and the ongoing companion website has received a record number of visits.
Moffett’s stunning macro photographs tell incredible stories about the lives ofants—hunting, communicating, dealing with disease and agriculture—and chronicle the work of entomologists in the field. This science-based exhibit includes complete instructions for a live ant colony and hands-on models that will awe both adults and children.
39 large-scale color photographs, three-dimensional aluminum cast of an ant nest, touchable oversized ant models, 7 lightweight flexible graphics with text, text panels, labels
Guidelines for setting up leaf cutter ant colony, 4-minute DVD (venue provides equipment), educational and promotional resources, speakers list, bibliography
$7,900 per 10-week booking period, plus outgoing shipping
250 running feet, est.
9 crates, 3010 pounds
Science & Natural History
Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142 (Scheduling and Content/Design)
Media only: Jennifer Schommer 202.633.3121
The Incredible Hidden Life of Ants Explored in New Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition
April 19 , 2011
Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from view. What if people could see into their world—on their level? What could be learned? What parallels could be drawn between them and humans? Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and photographer Mark Moffett, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History present the world of ants.
Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants will open at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Fla., April 30 and will be on view through Oct. 9 before it continues on its 15-city national tour through 2015. Ants was previously on view at the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y., and at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Moffett’s macro photographs tell stories about the lives of ants—hunting, communicating, dealing with disease and agriculture—and chronicle the work of entomologists in the field. The exhibition features 39 large-scale color photographs, a three-dimensional aluminum cast of an ant nest and touchable oversized ant models. Visitors can explore the model of a leaf-cutter worker ant that has been blown up to 50 times its actual size and learn how it uses its body to work and survive in the colony.
“What fascinated me most in preparing this exhibit is that modern humans can be much more like ants than we are like our relatives, the chimpanzees,” said curator Moffett. “With our societies of millions, only ants and humans deal with issues of public health and environmental safety, roadways and traffic control, assembly lines and teamwork, market economics and voting, slavery and mass warfare.”
A real-life adventurer who has been called “the Indiana Jones of entomology” by the National Geographic Society, Moffett has won the highest honors in exploration—the 2006 Lowell Thomas Medal from the Explorers Club and Rolex, and the Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer Award (2008). Moffett received a doctorate from acclaimed conservationist Edward O. Wilson at Harvard University and remains active in science with more than 80 peer-reviewed publications. He has written more than 25 articles for National Geographic magazine, which has featured nearly 500 of his images. He also has appeared on Conan O’Brien’s show, twice on the Colbert Report and on NPR. His most recent book, Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions, won the National Outdoor Book Award. More information is available at www.doctorbugs.com.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for nearly 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C., welcomes more than 7 million visitors annually. More information about the museum is available at www.mnh.si.edu or by calling (202) 633-1000, TTY (202) 633-5285.