As the University's natural sciences and decorative arts museum, the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, with its collections of natural objects, cultural art and artifacts, and decorative and fine arts, holds over 100,000 pieces ranging from Jurassic dinosaur fossils to contemporary glass art by Dale Chihuly. Pre-Columbian vessels, ancient coins, Hindu art, and Oceanic art contrast with rare gems and minerals, prehistoric shells, coral, and fluorescent rocks. The collection of Asian art and artifacts includes more than 300 Chinese ceramics, spanning twenty centuries. The museum began with the donations of longtime benefactor, Mrs. Lora Robins, in 1977. The original museum, which housed minerals, decorative arts, and shell specimens, was expanded and relocated in 1989 to its present location in a separate wing of the Boatwright Memorial Library.
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