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Traveling Exhibits Service

Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Artist Ray Troll and Paleontologist Kirk Johnson

Ammonites, trilobites, dinosaurs, oh my! Fossils are all around us. That's the message paleontologist Kirk Johnson and celebrated artist Ray Troll share in Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway a traveling exhibit based on the book of the same title published in 2007. Fossils have long been a subject of fascination and are used by paleontologists to help reveal clues about early life on Earth. But how much can the fossil record tell us about evolution, extinction, and geologic time? Visitors to the exhibit will be encouraged to explore these key questions.

The exhibit features twenty framed color prints of Troll's whimsical artwork from the book. Accompanying illustrations, maps, and stories of the duo's "epoch tale" highlight Troll and Johnson's 5,000-mile road trip through the American West as they sought to explore the fossil record. A video presentation offering insights to the story of evolution is also available for display in the gallery. Troll and Johnson are featured in the video.

Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway provides an ideal backdrop for host institutions to showcase fossils from their own collections. A list of specimens depicted in Troll's color prints is provided so that host institutions may choose to match fossils from these specimens or others in their collections to complement the exhibit. Burke Museum paleontologists are also available to provide advice.

Host institutions do not need to display fossils in order to host Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway. Educational and programming resources, publicity kit, and exhibit technical manual are also available with the show.

Book and map available for purchase: A full-color, 208-page companion book―Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-Mile Paleo Road Trip—and a map of the fossil West by Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson are available for purchase from Fulcrum Publishing.

Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway was organized by the Burke Museum in collaboration with Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson.

Read more about Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway.

Video: Riffin' with Kirk and Ray (DVD included in exhibit rental)

Itinerary and Availability Information

Exhibit Specifications:


5 free-standing interpretive graphic banners, 19 framed color prints by Ray Troll, 6 wall-mounted interpretive text panels, 9 hand-painted fabric mural drops, 2 hands-on evidence crates, electronic graphics files to decorate exhibit display cases, captions, and an audiovisual DVD. Note: No fossils travel with the show.

Participation Fee

$4,000 for a 12-week booking plus the cost of inbound shipping


Companion book available for purchase from Fulcrum Publishing

Educational and programming resources

Public relations support including digital press releases, images, and logos; digital graphic templates of promotional materials; and advice on promoting the show


Approx. 1,500 square feet; 9-foot ceiling clearance


6 est.


1,500 pounds




Inbound – Note: Additional shipping and/or custom fees apply for venues in Alaska and Canada

Tour Begins

June 2010

The pig stands up
Illustration by Ray Troll
A moonlit night somewhere near the town of Kremmling, Colorado seventy three million years ago
Illustration by Ray Troll
Two conditions on our planet: erosion or deposition
Illustration by Ray Troll

Exhibit Support and Registrarial Requirements

As a host of Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway, you will receive the following:

  • Complete registrarial information
  • Complete shipping, handling, and installation instructions
  • Public relations support in the form of  digital press releases, images, and logos; digital graphic templates of promotional materials; and advice on promoting the show
  • Educational and programming resources
  • Access to Burke Museum paleontologists

Registrarial Requirements
Crusin’ the Fossil Freeway has been designated Moderate Security.


  • Venues must have a limited-access gallery of sufficient area and wall space to accommodate the exhibition. An open mall, hallway, or lounge area is not acceptable.
  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the exhibition area, exhibitor receiving, and staging spaces.
  • No part of the exhibition may be stored, crated, or moved off the premises without prior authorization from the Burke Museum. Empty crates for all exhibit contents must be stored in secured, pest-free, and fire-protected storage.


  • Trained professional guards and/or personnel must be present in sufficient numbers to protect the exhibition adequately throughout the time it is on site (during truck off-loading, unpacking, installation, deinstallation, repacking, and truck loading) and on view.
  • The exhibition area must be locked and secured during closed hours. Alarms and/or guards during closed hours are preferred but not required.
  • Functioning fire-prevention systems and other fire-protection devices that meet local ordinances must be available in the exhibition, staging, and storage spaces.

Environmental Controls

  • The exhibition, staging, and storage areas should have a temperature range of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity range of 40-60% relative humidity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • There must be no direct sunlight in the exhibition, staging, or storage areas. It should be diffused or eliminated. Light levels must be limited to 20 foot-candles. Light must be filtered for UV.
  • Additional environmental controls and/or information may be required depending on the artifacts that will travel in the final exhibition. Please contact the Burke Museum for further details.

Exhibition Care

  • Handling of all exhibit contents during unpacking, installation, deinstallation, and repacking must be done by curatorial, registrarial, or by other trained and experienced museum professionals.
  • The exhibition may contain crates weighing up to 400 pounds. Venues will need to have the facility and staff or the ability to hire skilled personnel for crate delivery and movement.
  • The exhibition contents must be left in their crates for 24 hours before unpacking.

Additional Venue Requirements

  • Equipment to feature one audiovisual DVD.

Host Venues with Fossil Collections

  • Host venues with fossil collections may complement the exhibit with fossils from their own collections.
  • A list of specimens depicted in Troll’s color prints is provided so that host venues may choose to match fossils from these specimens or others in their collections.
  • Burke Museum paleontologists are available for advice.
  • Electronic graphics files are provided with the exhibit so that host venues may decorate their display cases.

For more information, please contact:
Mark R. Hand
Traveling Exhibits Coordinator
Phone: 206-616-0268
E-mail: mrhand@u.washington.edu