Everything big starts small
Mission and History
The Perot Museum is a place where families can learn together and individuals can take a break from their daily routines to ponder the vast mysteries of science. Visitors can wander, either to get lost or to find their way, as they discover something new and fascinating.
The Museum reminds us that the universe is grander than ourselves, older than we can fathom, and that the world actually revolves around the sun, and not us. It inspires our community through exhibits, marvels, and presentations. It exhilarates and entertains visitors of all ages… because after all, it’s never too late to learn.
To inspire minds through nature and science.
Be an extraordinary resource and catalyst for science learning through innovative, highly accessible experiences that broaden understanding of our world and improve community achievement.
Learn about our Board of Directors’ commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion here.
Though the Victory Park facility opened its doors in December 2012, the institution itself has roots dating back to 1936. The Museum of Nature & Science was the remarkable result of a 2006 merger between the Dallas Museum of Natural History (est. 1936), The Science Place (est. 1946), and the Dallas Children’s Museum (est. 1995). Combining collections-based natural history with man’s scientific and technological achievements, the Museum presented exciting exhibitions and educational programs for audiences, from early childhood to lifelong learners.
In May 2008, the five adult children of Margot and Ross Perot contributed a $50 million gift. Because of this generous gift, the fundraising efforts surpassed the $100 million mark allowing us to break ground at the Victory Park site in late 2009. The Museum was named the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in honor of the Perot family. The rest is history.
1936 – 2006
- 1936 – The Dallas Museum of Natural History was established in the historic Fair Park district as part of the Texas Centennial and was one of the first natural history museums in the region.
- 1946 – The origins of The Science Place began when the Dallas Health Museum was founded in Dallas by a group chartered as the Dallas Academy of Medicine, “to provide a common channel of enthusiastic effort for all the forces of health in Dallas and the Southwest.”
- 1958 – The Dallas Health Museum was renamed the Dallas Health and Science Museum. A 60-seat, 30-foot, domed planetarium was built and education programs were held in cooperation with local schools and universities.
- 1981 – The Dallas Health and Science Museum was renamed The Science Place.
- 1986 – The Science Place expanded into the remodeled second building, which became known as the main building for The Science Place.
- 1995 – The Dallas Children’s Museum was founded and served as a hands-on early childhood learning destination.
- 2005 – 4.7 acres were purchased in Victory Park, thanks to a $10 million gift from Hunt Petroleum.
- 2006 – A unique merger of the three museums: the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place, and the Dallas Children’s Museum, results in a new institution: the Museum of Nature & Science at Fair Park.
- 1/08 – Pritzker Prize-winning Architect, Thom Mayne is announced as the designer of the new Museum in Victory Park.
- 2/28 – T. Boone Pickens $10M gift announcement.
- 5/30 – The five children of Ross and Margot Perot – Katherine Perot Reeves, Carolyn Rathjen, Suzanne McGee, Nancy Perot Mulford, and Ross Perot, Jr. – announce a $50 million gift made in honor of their parents. The Museum would be named the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in their parents’ honor.
- 10/23 – Naming and plans are unveiled for the Tom Hunt Energy Hall in honor of a $10 million donation.
- 5/30 – Balfour Beatty Construction is announced as general contractor.
- 9/17 – Museum of Nature & Science unveils the schematic designs and building model for the new Museum in Victory Park.
- 11/18 – Official groundbreaking ceremonies are held at the new Victory Park site, and excavation work begins.
- 4/26 – Construction begins, as Margot Perot and her daughters hand off the “notice to proceed” to Balfour Beatty, the general contractor.
- 8/18 – Leadership Campaign Chair Forrest Hoglund announces the plan for the “Final Fifty” campaign to raise the remaining $50 million of the $185 million goal in an accelerated fashion.
- 1/20 – Announcement of a second major gift in two years from The Rees-Jones Foundation brings its total contribution to $25 million. Two major halls would be named in honor of the gift – The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall and the Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones Exhibit Hall.
- 2/28 – The announcement of a $10 million challenge grant from an anonymous donor. Inspired by the grant, Perot Museum leaders launch a community-wide fundraising campaign called “Every Dollar Counts… Twice!”
- 3/10 – Official topping-out ceremonies are held at the building overlooking the Perot Museum construction site.
- 5/10 – Naming and plans are unveiled for the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall in honor of a $4.4 million donation from the Texas Instruments Foundation.
- 4/20 – Chase donates $1.4 million.
- 9/14 – Wolfgang Puck named as exclusive caterer for the Perot Museum.
- 9/23 – Two $1 million challenge grants from Highland Capital Management and Atmos Energy.
- 10/13 – Event Network to design and operate new retail store at the Museum.
- 10/28 – Dinosaur discovery made by Museum paleontologists to be named in honor of Perot family and slated for display in new Perot Museum.
- 11/03 – Museum of Nature & Science 2011 “Night at the Museum” annual fundraising event sells out – proceeds to go toward Perot Museum campaign.
- 11/17 – More than a year before the Perot Museum opens, the Museum announces a Moody grant that pushes fundraising totals beyond the $185 million goal.
- 2/2 – North Texas media enjoy a first look at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
- 5/31 – Perot Museum unveils new logo and website.
- 9/12 – Dell Services donates $6.5 million in technology and services to the Perot Museum.
- 9/20 – Perot Museum officials announce the Museum will open Saturday, December 1, 2012, one month earlier than previously announced.
- 10/10 – Alaska’s Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell meets with Museum’s curator of earth science to discuss potential archeological expeditions.
- 10/16 – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Nobel Peace Prize installed and displayed in the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall.
- 10/30 – Perot Museum Unveils The Hoglund Foundation Theater.
- 11/14 – Regional and national media preview the entire Museum, watch a sizzle reel in The Hoglund Foundation Theater and taste delectable bites from renowned exclusive caterer Wolfgang Puck.
- 12/1 – Perot Museum opens December 1 with stellar ribbon cutting, riveting performance by BANDALOOP aerialists, confetti cannons, and more. Scores of visitors, the Perot family, the mayor, and Museum leadership celebrated a significant day in Dallas history.
- 12/16 – Gene and Jerry Jones announce $5 million gift by presenting a commemorative jersey to Perot family members and Museum officials during an on-field ceremony at Cowboys v. Steelers game. The Museum atrium is named the Gene and Jerry Jones Dallas Cowboys Atrium.