Mysterious Death of Naturalist Robert Kennicott flyer

Forensic Anthropology Uncovers the Mysterious Death of Kennicott Tuesday, May 15, 6:45-8:30pm, Q?rius Theater FREE ticketed event

150 years ago a young American scientist named Robert Kennicott, one of the founders of the Smithsonian, set out for a walk into the Alaskan wilderness while on an expedition to the Yukon and was never heard from again.

The mystery of his death shook the nation and his crew. No one knew how or why he died, and rumors of suicide by swallowing strychnine have circled ever since. That is, until 2001, when Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide, renowned forensic anthropologists at the National Museum of Natural History, traveled to the Grove in Glenview, Illinois, Robert Kennicott’s boyhood home, to open the naturalist’s casket and determine the cause of his death.

Hear more from Kari Bruwelheide on how science and an iron coffin provided a new lens to solve the mystery of Kennicott's death.

After the program, get a chance to engage with Kari Bruwelheide and see an iron coffin from our Anthropology collection.

This program is presented as part of the Beyond the Exhibition: Objects of Wonder series, which offers opportunities to look more closely at some of the objects in the acclaimed Objects of Wonder exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History.

The Objects of Wonder exhibition is located on the second floor of the National Museum of Natural History. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

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