Explore the forest in immersive new exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center

John A. and Judy Ruthven Get Into Nature Gallery opens Nov. 5

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is asking you to go take a hike. And to do so you need go no further than the museum itself. Its newest exhibit offers an immersive stroll through the Eastern forest complete with the sights, sounds and scents of the great outdoors. The John A. and Judy Ruthven Get Into Nature Gallery opens Saturday, November 5.

The museum’s newest permanent exhibit is inspired by the 20,000-acre Richard & Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System in Adams County – co-managed by CMC and the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Named in honor lifelong friend of CMC and legendary wildlife artist John A. Ruthven and his beloved wife Judy, the new exhibit inspires a new generation to explore, fall in love with and protect the wild spaces around us.

“The Get Into Nature Gallery lets you rest under a tree, turn over rocks and recharge to the sounds of nature,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We’re inviting a new generation to explore and fall in love with the wild world around us in the spirit of our beloved friend John Ruthven.”

The immersive 3,500-square-foot Get Into Nature Gallery replicates a walk through the four seasons of the forest with life-size models of red oak and redbud trees and a variety of native wildflowers, plants and grasses. Scent-, sound- and touch-based interactives surround you in the . Additional interactives illustrate a year in the life of a teeming vernal pool – a seasonal pool of water that provides a habitat of distinct plants and animals – and allow you to draw water and nutrients from a tree’s roots and leaves. Explore animal dens with underground cameras, click like a cicada and chirp like a cricket. Logperch, millipedes, amphibians and moss enliven aquariums and terrariums throughout the exhibit.

The Get Into Nature Gallery is a robust exploration of those science concepts we remember – or think we remember – from middle school. Photosynthesis, migration, decomposition, pollination, food webs and watersheds are illustrated through engaging interactives and meticulous detail. Through it all guests experience the extraordinary biodiversity of the natural world in our own backyard.

The exhibit is the latest success of CMC’s Champion More Curiosity campaign. The $1.8 million exhibit was fully funded through the campaign. A total of $95 million of the campaign’s $112 million goal has been raised to date and has funded the development of eight new exhibit and lab spaces, plus six exhibit refreshes, with additional exhibits in development. The campaign is also securing the museum’s future through endowment support. To support the Champion More Curiosity campaign, visit


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, Cincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit

About Champion More Curiosity
The $112 million Champion More Curiosity campaign is shaping Cincinnati Museum Center’s future while creating generations of critical thinkers to power the innovation of our region. By Championing More Curiosity and helping build the future of Cincinnati Museum Center, you can fuel the economic prosperity of our region. Champion More Curiosity will build or reimagine over a dozen permanent exhibits and galleries and equip state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research for students from elementary grades to post-docs. Today’s wide-eyed explorers will be tomorrow’s innovators. We work shoulder-to-shoulder to engage our community in monumental moments of epiphany, wonder and connection. As we inspire all generations to learn, grow and thrive at Cincinnati Museum Center, we Champion More Curiosity. Consider making a lifelong impact by donating in support of Championing More Curiosity at