Lucy loves Houston – and she’s not leaving. Yet.


The original fossilized remains of the
3.2 million year old hominid known as Lucy

Great news if you haven’t been to see Lucy yet – the exhibit has been extended through Sept. 1!

A group of officials from Ethiopia visited the museum this week to sign an agreement that allows the Museum to keep her on display for a few more months. They brought a crew from Ethiopian TV with them, and Dirk, our curator of anthropology, gave them an extensive tour of the exhibit that will be broadcast in Africa and placed in the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s permanent archive.

Almost 170,000 people – including visitors from as far away as Helsinki, Finland and Santiago, Chile – have visited Lucy so far, and I’m thrilled we’ll have her on display here for a few more months. It’s hard to describe the experience of  looking at these 3.2 million year old bits of fossilized bone, just trying to imagine what Lucy’s life was like and contemplating the astonishing journey of our species. I’m glad that many more visitors will have the opportunity to experience this for themselves.

There’s a comment book at the end of the exhibit, where people can leave their thoughts about the experience. While the exhibit did generate some controversy when it opened, most of the comments in these books, from people who have just seen the show, have ranged from gratitude to the Ethiopian people for sharing this amazing treasure with us to amazement at the discovery of Ethiopia’s rich human history.


Dirk Van Tuerenhout, curator of the Lucy exhibit
(second from left), gave ETV a tour of the Lucy exhibit.
Here they are in standing behind the Lucy fossil.

Have you visited Lucy yet? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of the experience, so please leave a comment on this post if you have a moment. If not, be sure to visit this summer – the exhibit is is scheduled to open at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle on Oct. 4 (so, no more extensions!).

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12 thoughts on “Lucy loves Houston – and she’s not leaving. Yet.

  1. Erin,
    Thank you for the information. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the your museum’s Lucy Exhibit, and I was very impressed. HMNH has done a fine job of introducing the public to the rich culture of Ethiopia. Most of my family could not make the trip to Houston, however, so please let us know what the schedule is for the Lucy Exhibit: what cities and dates throughout the US?
    Finally, I am grateful that the museum’s exhibit of Lucy was tasteful and reverential. Isn’t this appropriate for an ancient family member? Well done!
    Virginia, USA

  2. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for leaving a comment – and for traveling all the way to Houston to see Lucy! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the exhibition, and that you like the way in which the exhibition is presented. I will certainly pass that on to our curators and exhibition design staff – they all worked very hard on bringing Lucy to Houston.

    After her stay here, she moves on to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle from Oct. 4 through March 8, 2009. We are still working with other museums around the country to finalize the remainder of her 6-year tour, and we will certainly post that information here, so check back!

    Thank you again for visiting – the exhibition and our blog. I hope we’ll see you in at least one of these places again soon. 🙂


  3. I went to see the exhibit on the very first day it opened. I was absolutely amazing! I was so pleased to see so much information and so many artifacts from Ethiopia as there is more to Africa than Egypt.

    I hope it will come close to Atlanta, so I can take my cultural anthropolgy class.

  4. I was fortunate enough to see the Lucy exibit in Seattle and found it breathtaking. I have not been able to find any further information on other exhibit sites. I travel a lot and would plan a trip if I knew when and where Lucy will be next. For what it’s worth, Sattle didn’t promote the exhibit extensively. Rather they caved in to the controversy agitators and did their best to “not offend”. I was quite disappointed in the lack of promotion and hope that others will be able to see this unique, wondrous display.

  5. Hi Barbara! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the exhibit. We will be announcing the next stop on the exhibit’s tour soon – and we will definitely have information about it here on the blog. Stay tuned!

  6. Hi Louise,

    The next tour dates are not finalized yet; however, we will be announcing that information here and on our web site when it is available. Thanks for reading!

  7. Louise,

    Please let me know when you plan to visit the next exhibition. I would like to join you.


  8. The next tour dates are not finalized yet; however we will be announcing that information here and on our web site when it is available. Thanks for reading!

  9. Where is the Legacy of Lucy tour at now and where is it going? I have heard nothing new.

  10. Hi Teresa! We don’t have any news to report on the tour. When we do, we’ll post it here. Thanks!

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