Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is planning a feature exhibition on Walcott’s discovery of the Burgess Shale in Summer 2009.

A Fossil Paradise: The Discovery of the Burgess Shale by Charles D. Walcott
July 6 – September 7, 2009
Main Gallery

One hundred years ago a discovery was made near Field, B.C. that drastically changed our view of the history of life on Earth. A Fossil Paradise: The Discovery of the Burgess Shale by Charles D. Walcott, is an exploration of the Burgess Shale’s early excavations. The exhibition includes vintage panoramic photos, site artifacts, and a profile of the man who made the great discovery as told by his personal field notes and letters. Considered one of the most important finds in paleontology, the Burgess Shale (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Yoho National Park) was humankind’s first view into some of the most ancient animals to inhabit our planet over 500 million years ago. Charles D. Walcott was Fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution when he discovered the Burgess Shale. He visited the site regularly until at age 74, he had collected over 65,000 specimens. This touring exhibition includes objects from the Smithsonian Institution, the Royal Ontario Museum (which holds the world’s largest collection of Burgess Shale specimens), and Parks Canada.


The Whyte Museum is also hosting a special event on 04 August 2009 on Walcott’s panoramic photographs.

The Panorama Photographs of Charles D. Walcott
Tuesday, August 4, 8 PM
$6 at the door, free for Museum Members
Charles D. Walcott created sweeping views of the Canadian Rockies to
make scientific observations of the geology of the region in the early
20th century. Walcott was the Fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution and a noted geologist who discovered the Burgess Shale
fossil deposit in 1909. This talk will describe Walcott’s techniques and
the conservation of the images for the exhibition A Fossil Paradise.
Presented by Sarah Stauderman, Preservation Manager, Smithsonian
Institution Archives.


The Whyte Museum is open 10am-5pm daily (closed Christmas and New Years), and is located at 111 Bear Street in Banff, Alberta. Adult admission is $7, students and seniors are $4, families (2 adults and 2 children) are $16, and children 6 and under are free.

View Larger Map

The Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta has a permanent gallery dedicated to the Burgess Shale organisms, including a walk-in diorama. Summer hours are 9am-9pm daily. Adult admission is $10, seniors are $8, youth are $6, children 6 and under are free, and a family admission (2 adults and their children 17 and under) is $30.

View Larger Map

If you’re planning on visiting the Royal Tyrell Museum, stopping along the way at Horseshoe Canyon is a great idea. The canyon is one of the best-known sites in the Canadian Badlands, and the walls of the canyon are an excellent example of rock layering.

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply