Invisible Boundaries is an interdisciplinary museum exhibition that combines science and the arts to explore the meaning of wildlife migrations to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The focal story of Yellowstone’s elk migrations helps illustrate why migration is important not only ecologically, but also economically and culturally. The heart of the exhibition is an interactive map of the major elk migrations that scientists and wildlife managers have documented through field research. Large-format photography by Joe Riis and dramatic aerial and ground video clips shot by our team illustrate the cross-country journeys and challenges faced by migrating herds. A series of original paintings created by James Prosek moves beyond the science and documentary photography to consider underappreciated migrations and interconnections. A short film by Jenny Nichols gives a snapshot into the field work and adventure behind the project. An adapted version of the exhibition is at National Geographic Society from April 15, 2016 and the full exhibition is at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming from May 27, 2016. Invisible Boundaries is co-curated by the Center’s Charles Preston, the Willis McDonald, IV Senior Curator of Natural History and Karen McWhorter, Scarlett Curator of Western American Art, along with Arthur Middleton. It was designed by Split Rock Studios of St. Paul, Minnesota, with cartographic support from International Mapping and the University of Oregon Infographics Lab. A companion publication includes a foreword by Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, whose ground-breaking ecological studies and conservation vision have provided important inspiration to our work, along with essays by project principals.
Funding for the exhibition has been generously provided by: Fran and Lenox Baker, the Bobby Model Charitable Fund in honor of Rebecca Martin, the Brooks Foundation, Bill and Mary Anne Dingus, Joan C. Donner, Fred and Linda Dowd, The Duncan Fund, the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Foundation, Frank and Betsy Goodyear, Mr. Mark Gordon and Mrs. Jennie Muir-Gordon, Kathryn Wilmerding Heminway, J Bar 9 Ranch, Robert and Michele Keith, Mr. and Mrs. Peter W. Kuyper, Susan and Rip McIntosh, Robert Model, Linda and Reid Murchison, the Nancy-Carroll Draper Charitable Foundation, The Nature Conservancy of Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Theodore C. Rogers, Sage Creek Ranch, Larry Todd, Hal and Lis Wackman, Greg and Rebecca Watson, Sam and Marshall Webb, Tim White, the William H. Donner Foundation, David and Susie Work, Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and others whose passion for Yellowstone’s extraordinary wildlife has no bounds.