New Putnam exhibit lets collectors research, learn alongside museum staff and volunteers

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July 28, 2018
DAVENPORT, Iowa (July 24, 2018) — Find out whether that piece in your child's collection is a geode, a trilobite, a fragment of fossil coral or a shell from the Mississippi River with the brand-new exhibit — The Great Collectors & YOU — opening July 28 at the Putnam.
Visitors can discover rarely seen artifacts collected by some of the most prolific collectors from the Quad Cities and learn something new about the items in their own collections straight from Putnam staff and volunteers at the new interactive feature, “Your Trading Place.”
“’The Great Collectors & YOU’ lets the Putnam showcase the beautiful artifacts and specimens in the museum and science center’s collection, but it’s as much about encouraging collecting as a hobby and empowering children to take on the role as ‘curator’ with their own collections,” said Putnam President/CEO Kim Findlay.
“’Your Trading Place’ aims to connect collectors of all ages and backgrounds as they use Putnam resources to discover something new about items that are significant to them. It also gives collectors the chance to trade for items found by other local collectors.”
The new exhibit will be open during regular museum hours, seven days a week. The staffed feature, “Your Trading Place,” will be staffed Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
Visitors are encouraged to bring items from their collection — rocks, shells, dried or pinned insects and more — to “Your Trading Place,” where they can share what they know about their item with a member of our Trading Place team. If needed, staff will help visitors identify the item through use of guides and research.
Guests can then trade their item for another object or take their item home with a newfound appreciation.
For trading place rules and a full list of accepted and prohibited items for trade, visit
“The Great Collectors & YOU” features collections from around the globe, assembled by the Putnam’s early contributors such as the Palmer, Ficke and Figge families. It also includes rare items straight from the Putnam’s vault, such as Mississippian pottery collected by Davenport’s own “Old Man in a Skiff,” Captain W. P. Hall, and an assortment of Buddy “L” toys from the collection of the original Buddy, Arthur Lundahl.
For more information or to set up an appointment at “Your Trading Place,” contact Curator of Natural Science, Christine Chandler, at or 563-336-7287.
Admission to the museum and science center is $9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-17) and free for members. Standalone theater tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for youth or just $5 as an add-on to admission. Seniors, college students and military each save $1 on their purchase.
About the Putnam
The Putnam has been inspiring ideas, dialogue and interaction among people of all ages for 150 years. And today, we’re better than ever with hands-on fun for the whole family. Launch rockets or interact with a robot in the Science Center, “touch the untouchable” in the Augmented Reality Experience, visit our famous mummies in Unearthing Ancient Egypt, climb into a tree house in Black Earth | Big River or go back in time to see our region’s history in River, Prairie and People. Also experience internationally recognized traveling exhibits or take in a movie in the GIANT Screen Theater with a screen towering six stories tall. Our welcoming team is dedicated to helping you discover and explore in a friendly and engaging place.
For more information about current and upcoming events, exhibits and movies, visit

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