Ellen Lavinthal Hosting Grand Opening of The National Museum of Animals & Society

Los Angeles newest museum to hold grand opening with chickens

CONTACT: Carolyn Merino Mullin - (530) 520 5397


Los Angeles - The Los Angeles-based National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS) will officially open its doors in East Hollywood on January 10, 2014 with a Grand Opening Celebration. To mark the occasion, the museum will bring to life Uncooped, the museum's landmark online exhibition spotlighting one of the most common - yet most often overlooked - of all domesticated animals: the chicken.

NMAS was first founded in 2010 by its executive director, Carolyn Merino Mullin, after seeing a clear need for a museum that documented the inspiring history of the animal protection movement and one that more generally explores our fascinating relationships with other animals, including companion animals, wildlife, and farm animals too. "As is the case with civil rights, women's suffrage, and other social justice causes, animal protection - as a movement - has a history that dates centuries and deserves to be preserved, interpreted and shared. Until the National Museum of Animals & Society, there was no museum undertaking this effort. We are incredibly grateful that the community has so warmly embraced us." In November, the institution held a soft opening of its facility with a touching exhibition, My Dog is My Home, which featured the stories and experiences of Los Angeles' homeless and what it means to find home in the heart of an animal.

Since its inception, the museum has grown its permanent collection to over 3,000 pieces of historically significant material dating back as early as the 1700's, provided free humane education programs to thousands of school children, created thoughtful exhibits - pop-up, online, and temporary in nature-, welcomed dozens of interns through its rewarding internship program, held an annual Fall Lecture Series, and much more. The museum continues to spotlight the living history of the animal protection movement, animal studies (where animals and culture meet through the arts, sciences, and humanities) and humane education in its exhibitions, collections, public programming, and educational efforts.

Uncooped will debut on Friday, January 10, 2014, a week that also mark's the museum's fourth anniversary, with a VIP reception at 6 pm and general admission at 7 pm. Complimentary curated cocktails, chicken-friendly fare, and curator tours will be offered to all. Throughout the opening weekend, attendees can also enjoy film screenings, cooking classes and panel discussions.

This exhibit features works by artists Yvette Watt, Sharon Lee Hart, Shelby Prindaville, Nicolas Lampert, L.A. Watson, Kathryn Eddy, Mary Britton Clouse, Jo-Anne McArthur, Angie Carreiro, Janell O'Rourke, Vincent Evans, Matt Page, and Robert O' Connor. Along with artifacts, narratives, and several video features, Uncooped also provides resources for viewers who feel moved to act on behalf of this underappreciated species.

"Chickens are truly fascinating beings that have a long history in the lives and society of people. I'm honored to play a part in bringing this exhibit to fruition," reflects co-curator, L.A. Watson of Lexington, Kentucky. Abbie Rogers of Asheville, North Carolina also curated this exhibit, and noted that, "some of the best friends I have made are chickens. They are a very sweet, loving, and caring species."

Uncooped is co-sponsored by United Poultry Concerns, Farm Sanctuary, A Well-Fed World, Animal Alliance, Animal Place, and The Vegg.

Uncooped is on view from January 10 - March 30th at the museum in East Hollywood, located at 4302 Melrose Ave. Hours: Thursday - Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm. Regular admission is a suggested $5 donation.

For more information on the museum, the exhibit and upcoming events, please visit:

Founded in 2010, the National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS) is the first museum of its kind dedicated to enriching the lives of animals and people by exploring our shared experience.