Museum Exhibitions

Current Exhibit

Potato (Solanum tuberosum): Apple of the Earth 
November 15, 2019-March 17, 2020 

potato agriculture

Click here to view the publication for Potato (Solanum tuberosum): Apple of the Earth

In addition to being a favorite Thanksgiving side dish, the potato is the most important non-cereal food crop in the world and is a significant part of the diet of more than 1.5 billion people. The exhibition at the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum highlights botany, history and contemporary art focused on this underestimated tuber around the globe.


“It has such an interesting story,” Sachs Museum Curator Nezka Pfeifer said. “It’s gone from being an American plant to being ubiquitous around the world.”

Its story continues today as the potato’s pervasiveness ties it to global issues including climate change, food insecurity and food sovereignty.

The Sachs Museum show includes 40 specimens from the Garden’s herbarium representing a variety of potato species found in different parts of the world. The exhibit will also showcase tools used for farming and cooking potatoes, including antique agriculture tools and more than 100 potato mashers from many different countries. Other items, like Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head, highlight the potato’s role in pop culture.


The South and Lower Level Galleries feature work from contemporary artists Seamus O. Hames, Dornith Doherty, and Corina Kennedy. Each artist has interpreted the unique story of this food crop in their artworks, especially the historic impact of the late potato blight that devastated the potato crop in Ireland in the mid-19th century. 


Past Exhibits

Hours and Admission

A visit to the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum is included with Garden admission. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Happy Birthday, Humboldt! An exhibit on Alexander von Humboldt

September 10, 2019 - March 31, 2020

Celebrate the 250th birthday of famed explorer Alexander von Humboldt with a new exhibit at the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum. Humboldt's journey through Latin America at the turn of the 19th century uncovered more than 3,000 plants new to science, and his detailed observations led to a groundbreaking understanding of the natural world. Learn how his discoveries are still influencing Garden botanists today.