Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity

Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity is created by the California Academy of Sciences and modified for tour by the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibit aims to inspire wonder and curiosity about this uniquely complex organ, illustrate the incredibly adaptive properties of skin across all organisms, and spark dialogue and reflection about skin’s role in shaping human culture and identity. 

The exhibit features dozens of scientific specimens that showcase the incredibly adaptive properties of skin in animals—including its ability to support and regenerate keratin-based structures like armored scales, aerodynamic feathers, and insulating fur. Skin dives deeper to explore how evolution has shaped diversity in human skin—and how much we still have yet to uncover about the underlying genetics of skin color. The exhibit presents the topics of racism, prejudice, and discrimination through the lenses of history and science. Visitors will investigate the layers of meaning humans have associated with skin color throughout history and how our ever-evolving social and political climate has influenced shifting ideas of race and culture in our modern world. 

More information

Rent this exhibit


  • 4,000—5,000 sq ft (370—465 sq m)

  • Deep content rooted in bold science

  • Dozens of specimens from world-class research collections

  • Open, casual, non-threatening environment for important conversations

  • Educational materials for on-site and community use

  • Flexible community outreach/promotions toolkit

  • 100% bilingual

  • An exhibitor friendly, turnkey operation

  • SMM tour tech lead included in rental fee

Lease Terms

  • 3 or 6-month lease 

  • Host institution pays for Inbound shipping

  • Vendor provided installation/de-installation staff to direct your assembly crew

  • 2-week installation and 1-2 week de-installation