Visit

Visit

Hours
Monday - Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

General Admission Prices  (Click here for Admission Information and ASTC Member Benefits)

AdmissionChart2017

                                                                                         * For more information visit our Membership page.

Planetarium & Science Theater 

A variety of planetarium programs are offered throughout the day. Tickets are $5 per person for those ages 4 and older. 

See a schedule of the programs by clicking here: Now Showing in the James Lynn Planetarium!

Special Events & Festivals

Prices for special events and festivals vary. Please call 704-866-6908 in advance to verify fees.

Directions (click here for a map)
1500 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054

Holiday Closings
The museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Parking

Free parking is conveniently located near the entrance to the museum. During special events and festivals, additional parking is available nearby. Click here for a map of the most easily accessible overflow parking. 

Accessibility

The Schiele Museum welcomes all visitors and strives to make its exhibitions, programs and services accessible to everyone.
All of the museum's indoor exhibits are accessible by wheelchair, and all public floors of the museum can be reached by using an accessibility ramp.

The James H. Lynn Planetarium includes wheelchair locations and companion seats.

All restroom locations are accessible to those in wheelchairs or with mobility impairments. Wheelchairs are available for visitors on a first-come, first-served basis at the admissions desk. Due to inclines and gravel footing of the nature trail, all areas may not be accessible by those with mobility impairments.

How long does a visit take?

With about 60,000 square feet inside the museum and nature trail that's nearly three-quarters of a mile long, there's so much to see and do! We have made general estimates for visitation time, but these can vary greatly based on age and interest level.

Estimated Visit Times:
Museum Exhibit Galleries: 1-2 hours
Most Programs: 45 minutes
Nature Trail: 30-45 minutes
*18th Century Backcountry Farm: 30-45 minutes
*Catawba Indian Village: 30-45 minutes
*Open seasonally

Visit the Schiele Museum Store

Be sure to allow time to visit the Schiele Museum Store. Our store is a wonderful source of books and toys that mix fun with education and provide you with a memento of your visit. Members receive a 10% discount on all store purchases!

Admission

Admission fees help support our educational programming, exhibitions and ongoing research.

For your convenience, we accept the following forms of payment: cash, personal check, Visa, American Express, and Mastercard.

Interested in FREE admission all year, countless discounts and invitations to exclusive "Members Only" events? Visit our Membership section for details and become a Member today!

Free Tuesday-click here for more information 

ASTC Reciprocal Passport Program

Members of Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) organizations may be eligible for free or discounted admission. Please see the most current list of participating organizations at the ASTC website

Please note some exclusions apply regarding museums within a 90 mile radius of The Schiele Museum.

Corporate Sponsorships

corp

Corporate giving to The Schiele Museum supports programs, exhibits, and activities — all of which contribute to an unmatched visitor experience for families, teachers, and students.

Support of The Schiele through corporate giving goes a long way to:

- Provide education to Gaston County students and 14 other regional county school systems to meet state curriculum requirements in the sciences and natural history. We know we've changed future career choices for tomorrow's citizens.
- Sustain operations of our outdoor interpretive areas.
- Further original worldwide research being conducted by our staff.

Not only does your corporate support help provide a stable financial future for The Schiele, it also demonstrates your commitment to quality of life and exemplary education in the communities you serve.

Corporate Sponsorship
The Schiele Museum has numerous opportunities for your corporation to sponsor an exhibit, permanent gallery, educational program, etc, linking your organization with a true community asset.

For additional information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 704.836.0020.

 

Collections

The Schiele Museum was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled by Bud and Lily Schiele over the course of their lives. These objects form the core of the museum's collections, which have grown through the generosity of individual donations, purchases and gifts. The collections provide the foundation of the museum's exhibition, research and education programs.

Our collections include more than 150,000 objects in the broad category of ethnology, which includes archaeology, Catawba pottery, general ethnology, kachinas, Native American baskets, Native American jewelry, North American pottery; and natural sciences to include bird eggs, entomology, lepidoptera, mineralogy, mycology and paleontology.

Archaeology Collection
Our Archaeology Collection contains items such as arrowheads, pottery shards, glass and other artifacts from our research projects. We have more than 650 pieces of Catawba Pottery, including 263 pieces from The Larry A. Ware Collection, giving us one of the largest museum-owned Catawba pottery collections in the country.


General Ethnology Collection
Our General Ethnology Collection, which includes objects such as shirts, moccasins and dolls, represents several American Indian cultures.

American Indian Basket Collection
In our American Indian Basket Collection, we have nearly 200 baskets from tribes such as Catawba, Cherokee, Navajo and Hopi.

American Indian Jewelry Collection
Necklaces, rings, and bracelets made from clay or semi-precious stones and metals are found within our American Indian Jewelry Collection.

Kachina Collection
Our Kachina Collection includes figures made primarily by Hopi artists.

American Indian Pottery Collection
Pots, bowls, animal effigies and pipes from tribes such as Acoma, Pamunkey and San Ildefonso compose our American Indian Pottery Collection.

Beal Bird Egg Collection
The Beal Bird Egg Collection includes more than 900 specimens from Arctic Terns to Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

Entomology Collection
In our Entomology Collection, we have more than 50,000 specimens of insects, spiders and beetles.

Malacology CollectionThe Malacology Collection at the Schiele Museum is a compilation of primarily marine and terrestrial mollusks from several personal and professional collections. Mollusks include the aquatic snails and clams as well as land snails and slugs, including many miniature species under 3 millimeters. The Schiele mollusk collection houses over 10,000 specimens and 800 species of marine and terrestrial mollusks, making it one of the largest in the state.

The marine mollusk collection at the Schiele is mostly a dry collection of shells from the east coast of the United States with a number of exotic species from various locations worldwide. The shells comprise about 80 – 90% of the known species of marine mollusks found in North Carolina and surrounding states. The largest portion of the Schiele collection was collected by Denise Furr, Schiele Malacologist, over a period of 40 years on the southeastern coast of the United States. This collection also includes the Ed Menhinick Collection from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Menhinick collected marine mollusks from the Woods Hole area of Massachusetts and southern Florida. Other donated collections have contributed exotic species from Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and Pacific Islands. Freshwater mollusks have a limited representation in the collection as well.

A special emphasis has been placed on terrestrial mollusks in the last decade at the Schiele. The important role of the terrestrial mollusk in ecological studies has recently been recognized by several researchers in the state. The Southern Piedmont has been a relatively understudied area in terrestrial malacology even though about 75 species are indigenous to the region. The Schiele Malacologist Denise Furr is actively contributing to this research by collecting and studying the Piedmont land snails. The Schiele Museum has one of the largest collections of terrestrial mollusks in the state, with many alcohol preserved as well as dry specimens of over 125 species of pulmonate (primarily land) mollusks, primarily from the Piedmont of North Carolina.

Lepidoptera Collection
More than 1000 butterflies from Gaston County to India are held within our Lepidoptera Collection.

Taxidermy Mounts Collection
Mr. Schiele himself prepared many of the more than 600 taxidermy specimens we have in our Taxidermy Mounts Collection.

Gems and Minerals Collection
Our Gems and Minerals Collection contains more than 1000 specimens including Blue Tourmaline from Brazil, Lazulite from North Carolina and Tiger Eye Quartz from South Africa.

Mycology Collection
Most of the 1300 fungi and mushrooms in our Mycology Collection are from North Carolina.

Paleontology Collection
Our Paleontology Collection contains fossils of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants collected primarily in the Western United States.

Community Involvement

CommunityInvolvement

The Schiele Museum is a part of our community and we aim to give back abundant support in the same way that we receive it. Please feel free to reach out to us directly with information about how we can support your goals to improve our community. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if The Schiele Museum can partner with you to improve our community.

Membership

BecomeAMember

Why become a member? The benefits are significant! Free General Admission to The Schiele for an entire year, passport benefits to other ASTC affliated science centers, supporting us financially to enhance our community, and MORE!

Please note: Participating science centers and museums and/or a Member's primary residence located within 90 miles (as the crow flies) of The Schiele Museum can be excluded from the Passport Program. Discovery Place/Kids is among the participating science centers and museums within a 90-mile radius that is excluded from the Passport Program. Passport Program Members must show a valid ID at Admissions. Please note: on special event days: ASTC reciprocals will need to pay general admission plus any additional upcharge for that day. 

The Schiele Museum is a public institution that promotes awareness and appreciation for nature, and instills a sense of individual and social responsibility for the diversity of the natural world and the role of humanity in it. Your membership, either as an individual or as a corporate partner, supports The Schiele Museum's many scientific, cultural, and educational programs.
 
Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 704-866-6904 with any membership questions you may have.
Want to purchase or renew online?
 

Membership Levels

Individual - $50

  • Unlimited free admission to The Schiele
  • Membership card and decal
  • Free admission to 600+ ASTC museums & science centers
  • 2 free tickets in the James H. Lynn Planetarium & Science Theater
  • Quarterly activities calendar and Member newsletter
  • 10% discount in the Schiele Museum Store
  • Exclusive notice of field trips, workshops, and events
  • "Members Only" events and exhibit openings

 

Family - $75 (For one or more people in the same immediate family or grandparents and grandchildren)

  • Unlimited free admission to The Schiele
  • Membership card and decal
  • Free admission to 600+ ASTC museums & science centers
  • 4 free tickets in the James H. Lynn Planetarium & Science Theater
  • Quarterly activities calendar and Member newsletter
  • 10% discount in the Schiele Museum Store
  • Exclusive notice of field trips, workshops, and events
  • Discount on summer camps and children's programs
  • "Members Only" events and exhibit openings

 

Benefactor - $250 (For one or more people in the same immediate family) includes all family level benefits plus:

  • Annual holiday reception
  • Reduced rental rate for museum facilities

 

Schiele Society - $500+ (For one or more people in the same immediate family) includes all family level benefits plus:

  • Annual holiday reception
  • Discounts on museum travel programs, children's programs and workshops
  • Reduced rental rate for museum facilities
  • Invitation to annual Schiele Society Gala
  • Exclusive exhibit openings and programs

Maps

Maps

 The Schiele Museum of Natural History is located at 1500 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054.

Click here for driving directions supported by Google Maps. 

Download driving directions in a .pdf with this link.

Indoor floor map / Outdoor trails map

Jobs & Internships

JobsInternships

Currently Posted Jobs:

Currently Posted Internships:

  • Archaeology: Will provide an in-service learning experience that illustrates a career in Archaeology and Archaeological Collections management.  The intern will learn about critical steps in the application and administration of archaeological research. 
  • Live Animal Husbandry: Will provide in-service learning experiences in museum live animal care, education and exhibition activities. For a full internship description click here.
  • Environmental Education: Will provide in-service learning experiences in environmental education and exhibition. For a full internship description link click here.

Most interns work 15 to 25 hours a week. Some interns choose to find a part-time job to help support their stay.

For more information and to submit applications please complete the Internship Applicant Form and return to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or mail to 1500 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054.


Mission: The Schiele Museum's internship and fellowship program is designed to provide an educational opportunity for students in the area of museum practice, research, and programming through guided work/research experiences using the resources of the museum. An internship at The Schiele Museum is a prearranged, structured learning experience scheduled within a specific time frame under the direct supervision of Schiele staff and may apply toward academic credit.

Projects vary by department. Past projects include:
- Archaeology: fieldwork on prehistoric sites and artifact analysis.
- Education: assist with developing, presenting and evaluating public programs and workshops.
- 18th Century History and Backcountry Lifeways: researching and presenting living history programs.
- Aboriginal Studies and Primitive Skills: learning primitive skills and assisting with programs and workshops.
- Exhibits: fabricating and installing exhibits, developing databases for exhibitions, developing press kits and editing label text.
- Visitor Services: developing and evaluating visitor guides and giving tours.
- Collections: organizing and cataloging photos, monitoring museum environmental conditions and assisting with upgrading collections storage.
- Exhibits: learn about critical steps in the exhibit development and implementation process. .
- History Education: will learn about application and administration of education programs in the museum setting.
- Interpretation: learn about critical steps development, implementation, and evaluation of program and exhibits products

History

History

The Schiele Museum goes way back... to 1961! It was then that Rudolph "Bud" Schiele was able to work with the community of Gastonia to establish a building for him to house his vast collection of animal specimens collected from his years spent exploring the natural world. 

Bud Schiele was 67 years old when he founded the Gaston County Museum of Natural History, today known as the Schiele Museum. The museum's opening was a culmination of a lifetime devoted to studying, cataloging and preserving nature. To understand The Schiele Museum's beginning is to understand this self-styled naturalist and botanist who refused to stop working in a profession that he loved so much.

Rudolph Melchoir Schiele was born in Philadelphia on April 2, 1893. He developed a keen interest in nature at an early age and, as a young man, worked as an apprentice curator at the Philadelphia Commercial Museum. Though only 17, Schiele began to dream of having his own sanctuary to display his nature collection.

Schiele served as a Second Lieutenant in the 87th Infantry Division of the United States Army after which he declined a job offer to be the only wildlife official in the Territory of Alaska. Instead, Schiele took the job as Scout Executive with the Boy Scouts of America. It was around this time that he married Lily Hobbs, who became his lifelong companion, naturalist and collector.

The Schieles came to Gaston County in 1924 where he remained with the Piedmont Scout Council until 1958. Under his leadership, the Schiele Scout reservation at Tryon was built and became the home for thousands of scouts every summer until it was closed in 1981.

For 38 years, Schiele collected wildlife, rocks and minerals, which he displayed at the scout office in Gastonia and at his home.

After he was forced to leave scouting because of mandatory retirement age limits, Schiele applied to be a ranger-naturalist for the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Before leaving Gastonia, however, Schiele proposed to a group of community leaders: "If you can persuade the county to build a place to house it, I will offer my entire collection of animals and minerals and give my services for free."

When the Schieles returned to their Gaston County home, plans were already in the works to find a sanctuary for the collection of birds, mammals, rocks, minerals and photographs. The original museum was dedicated in 1961 and, in 1965, the name of the museum was changed to The Schiele Museum of Natural History to honor its founder and benefactor. Today it's called The Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium.

Bud Schiele continued to be active in Museum affairs until he died in 1974. He was able to pass on some of his vast knowledge of the outdoors to his successor, Alan Stout, who retired in 1995. Stout, who spent nine years under Schiele's tutelage, says he wouldn't trade the experience for "two or three Ph.D.s."

Over the years, Bud Schiele received several commendations for his endeavors as a naturalist, historian and community servant. In 1930, he was awarded honorary membership in Alpha Phi Omega at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 1967, he was cited by the Gastonia Chamber of Commerce for outstanding service. In 1968, he received an honorary doctor of law degree from Belmont Abbey College. And each year, the museum observes the first week in April and the month of February as Founder's Week and Founder's Month, respectively, in his honor.

Bud Schiele's legacy lives on — not only in the exhibits, but in the spirit of education and conservation engendered at The Schiele Museum.

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