Stepping Out

Beauty uncovered from our seas

Garvies Museum displays seashells from around the world


From the waters of the Caribbean to the oceans in Asia, Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove has gathered seashells from across the globe. In celebration of the museum’s 50-year anniversary, the museum unveiled its latest exhibit, “Seashells…Nature’s Inspired Design,” on July 15.

Garvies’ staff began working on this exhibit in September 2016. Most of the shells were donated by Glen Cove residents Henry Dwyer and Alfred Wu, who are collectors. Some of the seashells also came from the Indo-Pacific, Florida, and Africa. As for the museum, collecting these exotic shells wasn’t the hard part.

“A big part of it was identifying them,” says Veronica Natale, museum supervisor. “Most of them were tough to identify so we had our entire staff helping. We spent a lot of our time making labels for each seashell and we had our volunteers assisting us as well.”

Natale’s mother, Kathryne, who also works for the museum as president of Friends of Garvies, helped to piece together this exhibit.

Each shell in their exhibit has its own unique qualities. They vary in size, color, shape, and so much more.

“They have so many variations and they all have such interesting names,” Natale says. “They’re unique and yet, there’s so many of them. Each one is its own animal. We have a shell called a hammer oyster, which is shaped just like a hammer.”

Aside from the striking colors and shapes, the museum also wants to share some of the biological aspects of their shells.

“We wanted to show the snails as they were living,” she says. “The shells are beautiful but we also want to teach our visitors a little bit of biology and information about the actual animal. We have some educational information on them and with our aquarium, children and parents can see these interesting snails and corrals. It’s more than just colorful shells.”

Over the years, the museum has featured numerous exhibits. Natale added that based on some of the past success of the museum’s interactive exhibits, children would “love” to check out these underwater creatures in action.

“We want people to enjoy it and I think that people might be surprised just by how many different snails are out there,” she says. “They’re one of the largest groups of animals in the world and we hope this exhibit will portray that.”

The exhibit will remain open until Dec. 30.

When: Now through Dec. 30. $4, $2 children 5-12.

Where: Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, 50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove. (516) 571-8010 or