Our museum and library is closed today in celebration of Juneteenth.

This First Friday, step into the shadows of medicine and mystery and join us for the grand opening of our newest ExhibitLab, Poisons and Panaceas: Inside the 19th-Century Medicine Cabinet, curated by Nandini Subramaniam.

Be among the first to explore our chilling new exhibit, where the medicine cabinet reveals secrets that linger in the shadows. Discover the intriguing world of poisons and panaceas as we unveil the hidden history of botanical remedies from the 19th century. Join our curator Nandini for two highlights tours to dive deep into the stories behind the exhibits, uncovering tales of ancient remedies and mysterious concoctions. 

Test your wits with intriguing matching games that challenge your knowledge of poisons and their antidotes. Craft your botanical handbook to take home, exploring the medicinal properties of plants from a bygone era. Explore a unique library pop-up of herbals and botanical illustrations, then delve into the darker side of history to unravel real-life tales of poisonings and elixirs gone wrong. 

Express your creativity with button making or unwind with coloring activities featuring medicinal plants! You’ll take home a unique creation as a memento from this mesmerizing evening.


There will be no First Friday event in June. Instead, join us on Saturday, June 8, for Curious Histories Fest: Color Your World, a day of fun inspired by our BOLD: Color from Test Tube to Textile exhibition.

About First Fridays

Spark your curiosity while exploring the exhibits after hours! First Fridays bring together a myriad of activities covering everyday science, historical oddities, and everything in between. Grab your friends, and kick off an evening of discovery, surprise, and a little nerdy fun.

First Fridays at the Institute are always free and open to the public. Attendees will receive a 10% discount to National Mechanics restaurant.


Featured image from Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated and Descriptive Guide to Plants Indigenous to and Naturalized in the United States, Volume II, by Charles Frederick Millspaugh, 1892.

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