In Focus: Grand Opening of Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh

A rendering of the design concept for the permanent home of the Center for PostNatural History.

Richard Pell (2009 Emerging Fields) is celebrating the grand opening of the permanent exhibition facility for his Creative Capital-supported project, The Center for PostNatural History (CPNH), in Pittsburgh, PA. The Center is dedicated to the research and exhibition of lifeforms that have been intentionally altered by humans, from the dawn of domestication to contemporary genetic engineering.

Pell has been working on constructing the space at 4913 Penn Avenue into an exhibition facility since 2010. Creative Capital’s financial support helped with the build-out of the library and exhibition case-work in the entry hall.

The CPNH presents the “postnatural” world through diorama, taxidermy, photography and living exhibits, from engineered corn to Sea Monkeys to modified Chestnut Trees to BioSteel™ Goats. The CPNH also hosts postnatural exhibits by guest researchers. The Center is currently displaying a poster series produced by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, which catalogues the diversity of genetically modified fruits and vegetables available in the U.S. and European Union. In May, The CPNH will debut an exhibit about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, produced by a group of American and Norwegian researchers who spent several weeks visiting the world’s largest repository of domesticated food crop seeds.

The Center’s completed library (top) and entry hall display (bottom).
The Center for PostNatural History will be open Sundays from 12:00–6:00pm and for select events. Learn more about the center at, or read an interview with Pell in the February 2012 issue of Nature Magazine.

More News & Stories