The Museum's permanent exhibition of artifacts is carefully chosen and presented by Kelsey curators to represent and explain the range of objects in our collections. It was reconceived and reinstalled in the William E. Upjohn Exhibit Wing in 2009.

In addition to the permanent exhibition,a portion of the Museum is dedicated to special exhibitions that change on a regular basis. Topically oriented, or focused on specific past Kelsey fieldwork projects or Museum initiatives, these exhibitions present artifacts from our own collections as well as objects borrowed from museums around the world. Many of these special exhibitions are preserved in on-line versions once they have closed.

A final category of Kelsey exhibitions is entirely virtual. These shows, mounted in collaboration with other units, have always existed only on-line.