The Panorama

Panorama exhibit, North America section with mountainous rocks in background, with taxidermied moose, mountain goats, deer and beavers

As part of the official Kansas Pavilion in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Panorama was unique and revolutionary in depicting, for the first time, mounted groups of North American mammals in their natural surroundings. Lewis Lindsay Dyche created this exhibit on the cusp of growing scientific awareness of ecological systems and the need to conserve natural resources for the better good.

At a time when most natural history displays placed animals alone, the naturalist and explorer Lewis Lindsay Dyche created a wildlife display of wolves and moose in battle. Part art and part science, this one-of-a-kind display at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 brought Kansas world-wide attention. Dyche Hall was built just a few years later to house the Panorama and KU's growing scientific collections.

The exhibit has grown over the years to include more different environs and species. The Panorama represents the university's early efforts to document and understand the life of the planet — research that continues today through the KU Biodiversity Institute. 

You can also virtually explore the animals of the Panorama with our Panorama Silhouette Game.

Support the Panorama Project

In 2012, KU alumna and former Biodiversity Institute advisory board member Janet Martin McKinney, together with her husband, Kent, spearheaded an effort to raise funds for an extensive evaluation of the Panorama’s condition. To date, more than $110,000 has been raised, but much more work remains to be done.

You can help support the effort to evaluate the Panorama and restore this iconic exhibit. All contributions, regardless of size, will help bring the Panorama back from the brink of deterioration. You can give by credit card through KU Endowment (a separate, secure site). You also may make a contribution by contacting us at