The Putnam Museum and Science Center, formerly Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, is a museum of history and natural science and a science center in Davenport, Iowa, United States. The museum was founded in 1867, and was one of the first museums west of the Mississippi River. It houses 160,000 historical artifacts and specimens and a giant screen theater. It is located at 1717 West 12th Street, at the corner of Division and West 12th Street on "museum hill," near Fejervary Park. It is an affliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
|Location||Davenport, Iowa, United States|
|Type||History and science museum|
|Director||Rachael Mullins (CEO)|
The Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences was started in 1867 on Brady Street as one of the earliest museums in the West. The Charles E. and Mary Louisa Duncan Putnam family of Davenport was an early strong supporter started base on their son's, Joseph Duncan, interest in insects.
Later, the academy was renamed after the Putnam family. Also, the museum moved in 1964 to 1717 West 12th Street in Davenport, its current site.
Starting in 1997, the museum was losing money on operations and began to use its endowment to make up the short fall. In 2002, the museum opened an Imax theater at a cost of $14.5 million for which the board of directors took out a loan. The theater was a money maker for the institute, while its debt added to its losses. Soon its development director position went vacant in December 2005; followed by the executive director, Chris Reich, left in January 2006. Mark Bawden became the interim director and raised enough funds by April 2007 to retire the Imax debt. He then stepped down to the development director post, while On May 15, 2007 Kim Findlay started as the new executive director. Bawden the started a campaign to replenish the endowments.
On July 1, 2019, Rachael Mullins started as the President and CEO. In January 2021, the Putnam joined Museums for All offering discounted admission for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) by presenting their EBT card.
Black Earth, Big River is an exploration of the past and present habitats of the Quad-Cities region. Black Earth, Big River, the newest permanent exhibit in the museum features a 718-gallon aquarium filled with river fish, a cave, and a huge oak tree. Habitats and wildlife are explained throughout the exhibit, along with stories of the region.
Hall of Mammals explains various mammals through many means. Photographs, hands-on activities, and realistic dioramas are all provided in this multi-sensory exhibit. From the Arctic polar bears to the African zebras, many different animals are explored in this exhibit.
Unearthing Ancient Egypt transports you into an ancient tomb. Discover how ancient Egyptians lived and what they required for a pleasant afterlife.
River, Prairie, and People explores regional history.
Giant Screen TheaterEdit
In 2002, the museum opened an Imax theater at a cost of $14.5 million for which the board of directors took out a loan. The theater was a money maker for the institute, while its debt added to its losses. They then associated with IMAX large screen theater corporation as Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre.
The Putnam Museum removed its IMAX system for twin DLP projectors renaming the theater to Putnam Giant Screen Theater in June 2012. Then affiliated with National Geographic Cinema Ventures's Museum Partnership Program as "National Geographic Giant Screen Theater" in June 2012. The partnership with National Geographic allows the Putnam access to one of the world's largest Giant-Screen film libraries in 2D and 3D digital formats.
- Gaul, Alma (April 27, 2007). "Putnam retires IMAX debt, prepares to launch endowment campaign". Quad City Times. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
- "The Putnam Museum & Science Center". Smithsonian Affliations. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
- "Putnam Museum Giant Screen Theater". bigscreen.com. The Big Screen Cinema Guide. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- Kleiman, Joe (2012). "Can you DIGSS it?". InPark Magazine (44). Retrieved June 18, 2020.
- "The Putnam Museum and Science Center". www.VisitQuadCities.com. Quad Cities CVB. 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Waytenick, Jessica. "Putnam Museum and Science Center". VisitQuadCities.com. Quad Cities CVB. Retrieved 7 September 2018.