Yet at the end of its six-month run in Seattle, the second stop on what is supposed to be a multicity, multiyear tour of the United States, Lucy had drawn only about 100,000 people. The exhibition has no confirmed next destination, and at least one museum that had considered hosting the show in the future, the Field, has decided against it. But Mr. Kebede said negotiations were under way for the show to open in New York this summer.
Yet Donald C. Johanson, the paleoanthropologist who plucked Lucy out of an Ethiopian ravine 35 years ago and is one of few people close to Lucy who has seen both exhibits, said, “I enjoyed the Seattle presentation much more than I did the Houston one, because I think Seattle put an enormous amount of effort into placing Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, in a broader framework.”
Mr. Johanson said he particularly liked the display of prehuman skulls that suggested a kind of evolutionary ascendance on the way to the exhibit’s focal point, the Lucy fossils. He also noted a lighter feature he liked, a display that used soda bottles, filled with varying amounts of fluid, to show the difference in brain capacity between humans and Lucy.