Endangered, Invasive, and Undiscovered Species in the Museum of White Mountains

By: Shannon Francolini, Managing & News Editor

sff1001@plymouth.edu

Up on the hill near Belknap Hall, The Museum of White Mountains remains one of Plymouth’s many hidden treasures. Working consistently behind the scenes, the museum is ready to announce their most recent exhibition Endangered, Invasive, and Undiscovered Species. The museum and will be available Monday through Friday between 9AM and 5PM, open to all PSU faculty, staff, and students with a valid I.D. Not only is this exhibition available at the museum, but COVID friendly guidelines have also provided an online version. They also held an event this past Thursday called Art Meets Science in Conversation, documented by the exhibitionists at the museum. This will be recorded live via Zoom and the link is posted on their website.  

Without revealing too much about the talk, Cynthia Cutting, the Director of the Museum of White Mountains, explained that the exhibition and this conversation shows how the artist’s and scientist’s processes connect. “Some scientists have collected plant specimens, researched preservation, and studied different scientific data that tracks where plants have been and determines location of different species.” Cutting said. She continued to share all the amazing aspects of not only this exhibition, but the museum itself. She genuinely wants to emphasize the peace and calm that embodies the aura in the Museum of White Mountains. Not only has this museum been a safe and educational space for students for years, Cynthia shared how this space can be very healing and is seen as one of the “oasis opportunities for PSU.”

Kimberly Ritchie, a PSU artist professor,  spent her sabbatical last year conscientiously exploring her passion for environmental art. Her experience with art is not only expressed physically through the exhibitions, but through her mental understanding and appreciation for the environment. Kimberly is extremely passionate and talented, two characteristics that are prevalently evident throughout her exhibition. But Kimberly did not only work alone, there are many people who have collaborated and contributed behind the scenes to make this all possible. 

Botanist and Professor Diane Jolles of PSU has been working alongside PSU students to manage and contribute to the Herbarium, another feature of this exhibit, and a collection that has been accumulating for over 100 years now. Hannah Volmer, a PSU graduate student has been working closely with Professor Jolles to study specific rare plants in the region. Cutting visually and thoroughly described this exhibit as an “overlapping of art and science, where both types of people and their work collect specimens, observe nature, and reflect on what is there and changing in the environment.” This exhibition is not only on display to express Kimberly’s work, but to further depict and prove the relationship between human and nature. 

In Plymouth, NH we are surrounded by one of the most easily accessible and not to mention most beautiful atmospheres in New England. No matter where you are, the environment is critically important to sustainable life, a value perfectly expressed throughout this exhibition. Cutting emphasizes how visitors will “learn a lot how this exhibition extends way beyond art to science and preservation.” An aspect of art and science that may not always be physically visible to the eye has now been visually brought to life thanks to the Museum of White Mountains. Go check out the Endangered, Invasive, and Undiscovered Species Exhibition at the museum or virtually, Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM, it will totally be worth your while.

Credits: 

Nick Arcidiacon, McLane Fellow, created educational material for the exhibition 

Theresa Lin, Graphic Design Student, created the exhibition logo 

Ivy Pratola, Student Assistant Curator, created and designed the exhibition

Virtual Link: