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The Art of the Brick: Franklin Institute showcasing Lego masterpieces starting Feb. 17

LEGO exhibit The Art of the Brick returns to Franklin Institute
LEGO exhibit The Art of the Brick returns to Franklin Institute 03:08

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The humble Lego steals the spotlight at the Franklin Institute, as The Art of the Brick returns to the museum starting Feb. 17.

The show features more than 100 creations, made entirely of Lego bricks by artist Nathan Sawaya.

New to the show this year are 13 sculptures of endangered animals. The Endangered Species Connection, a collaboration between Sawaya and award-winning photographer Dean West, aims to creatively raise awareness of some of the world's most endangered species, including the humpback whale, polar bear and lowland gorilla.

Visitors can also view galleries full of Lego versions of some of the world's most famous masterpieces, including Van Gogh's Starry Night and Da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" made of Lego bricks at The Art of the Brick exhibit at the Franklin Insititute. CBS News Philadelphia

"There's a lot to see, and I think there's something for the whole family," Sawaya told CBS News Philadelphia. "Sure there's some art history pieces, but we also have some whimsical pieces, there's a dinosaur skeleton built out of over 80,000 Lego bricks … 20 feet long."

We got a look at that impressive dinosaur sculpture here.


Fan favorites from the show's 2015 visit make a return as well. Visitors can check out a life-size sculpture of a man ripping his chest open with thousands of yellow bricks cascading out.

Sawaya said a full life-size piece could take between two and three weeks of him building all day. And larger sculptures like this Lego Moai statue would take even more painstaking work, he said.

CBS News Philadelphia

After exploring the exhibit's galleries, guests can explore a 9,000-square-foot brick play space and build their own creations using hundreds of thousands of colorful bricks.

The Art of the Brick exhibit runs until Sept. 2.

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