Field Museum of Natural History
Field Museum of Natural History
Field Museum of Natural History.
Location in central Chicago
|Location||1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL|
|Architect||Daniel H. Burnham & Co.; Burnham Graham & Co.|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||75000647 |
|Added to NRHP||September 5, 1975|
The Field Museum of Natural History, located in Chicago, Illinois, USA, is one of the largest natural history museum in the world. The museum maintains its status as a premier natural history museum through the size and quality of its educational and scientific programs. The diverse, high quality permanent exhibits, which attract up to 2 millions visitors annually, ranges from the earliest fossils to past and current cultures from around the world to interactive programming demonstrating today’s urgent conservation needs. 
Additionally, the Field Museum maintains a vibrant temporary exhibits program of traveling shows as well as in-house produced topical exhibits. The professionally-maintained collections of over 24 million specimens and objects provide the basis for the museum’s scientific research programs. These collections include the full range of existing biodiversity, gems, meteorites, fossils, as well as rich anthropological collections and cultural artifacts from across the globe. The Field Museum Library, which contains over 275,000 books, journals, and photo archives focused on biological systematics, evolutionary biology, geology, archaeology, ethnology and material culture, supports the Field Museum’s academic research faculty and exhibit development. The Field Museum academic faculty and scientific staff engages in field expeditions, in biodiversity and cultural research on all continents, in local and foreign student training, in stewardship of the rich specimen and artifact collections, and in collaboration in public programs of exhibits and education.
The Field Museum and its collections originated from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the artifacts displayed at the fair. In order to house the exhibits and collections assembled for the [[World Columbian Exposition|1893 Chicago World’s Fair] for future generations, Edward Ayer convinced the merchant Marshall Field to fund the establishment of a museum. Originally titled the Columbian Museum of Chicago in honor of its origins, the Field Museum was incorporated into the State of Illinois on September 16, 1893, for the purpose of the "accumulation and dissemination of knowledge, and the preservation and exhibition of artifacts illustrating art, archaeology, science and history." The Columbian Museum of Chicago occupied the only building remaining from the White City (Chicago), the Palace of Fine Arts, which now houses the Museum of Science and Industry.
In 1905, the Museum's name was changed to Field Museum of Natural History to honor the Museum's first major benefactor, Marshall Field, and to better reflect its focus on the natural sciences. In 1921 the Museum moved from its original location in Jackson Park to its present site on Chicago Park District property near downtown. By the late 1930’s the Field Museum of Natural History emerged as one of the three premier museums in the United States, the other two being the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH, New York) and the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC).
The Field Museum maintains its high reputation through continuous growth, expanding the scope of collections, and extensive scientific research output, in addition to the institution’s award-winning exhibits, associated outreach publications, and programs. Today, the Field Museum is part of Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus that includes the John G. Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.
||This section may contain promotional material and other spam. (June 2013)|
Many of the original exhibitions at the museum were from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Today the museum has permanent exhibitions that include:
- Animal exhibits and dioramas such as Nature Walk, Mammals of Asia, and Mammals of Africa that allow visitors an up-close look at the diverse habitats that animals inhabit. Most notably featured are the infamous Lions of Tsavo featured in the 1996 movie The Ghost and the Darkness
- The Grainger Hall of Gems and its large collection of diamonds and gems from around the world, and also includes a Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window. The Hall of Jades focuses on Chinese jade artifacts spanning 8,000 years.
- The Underground Adventure gives visitors a bugs-eye look at the world beneath their feet. Visitors can see what insects and soil look like from that size, while learning about the biodiversity of soil and the importance of healthy soil.
- Inside Ancient Egypt offers a glimpse into what life was like for ancient Egyptians. Twenty-three human mummies are on display as well as many mummified animals. The exhibit features a tomb that visitors can enter, complete with 5,000-year-old hieroglyphs. There are also many interactive displays, for both children and adults, as well as a shrine to the cat goddess Sekhmet and her kinder, less hostile form, Bastet. A popular feature of the exhibit is the replica of the chapel in the tomb of Unis-Ankh, the son of Unas (the last pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty).
- Evolving Planet follows the history and the evolution of life on Earth over 4 billion years, from the first organism to present-day life. Visitors can see how mass extinctions in Earth’s history helped shape all the organisms. There is also an expanded dinosaur hall, with dinosaurs from every era, as well as interactive displays.
- The Ancient Americas displays 13,000 years of human ingenuity and achievement in the Western Hemisphere, where hundreds of diverse societies thrived long before the arrival of Europeans. In this large permanent exhibition visitors can learn the epic story of the peopling of these continents, from the Arctic to the tip of South America.
- Working Laboratories
- DNA Discovery Center: Visitors can watch real scientists extract DNA from a variety of organisms. Museum goers can also speak to a live scientist through the glass every day and ask them any questions about DNA.
- McDonald's Fossil Prep Lab: The public can watch as paleontologists prepare real fossils for study.
- The Regenstein Laboratory: 1,600-square-foot (150 m2) conservation and collections facility. Visitors can watch as conservators work to preserve and study anthropological specimens from all over the world.
Other exhibits include sections on Tibet and China, where visitors can view traditional clothing. There is also an exhibit on life in Africa, where visitors can learn about the many different cultures on the continent and an exhibit where visitors may "visit" several Pacific Islands. The museum houses an authentic 19th century Māori Meeting House, Ruatepupuke II, from Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand. There are also a few vintage Mold-A-Rama machines that create injection-molded plastic dinosaurs collected by Chicago children.
Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex
On May 17, 2000, the Field Museum unveiled Sue, the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil yet discovered. Sue is 42 feet (13 m) long, stands 13 feet (4 m) high at the hips and is 67 million years old. The fossil was named after the person who discovered it, Sue Hendrickson, and is commonly referred to as female, though the fossil's actual sex is unknown. The original skull, located elsewhere in the museum, was not mounted to the body due to the difficulties in examining the specimen 13 feet off the ground, and for nominal aesthetic reasons (the replica doesn't require a steel support under the mandible). An examination of the bones revealed that Sue died at age 28, a record for the fossilized remains of a T. rex.
The library at the Field Museum was organized in 1893 to meet the research needs of the museum's scientific staff, visiting researchers, students, and members of the general public interested in natural history and are an essential resource for the Museum’s research, exhibition development and educational programs. The 275,000 volumes of the Main Research Collections concentrate on biological systematics, environmental and evolutionary biology, anthropology, botany, geology, archaeology, museology and related subjects. Some highlights of the Field Museum Library include:
- Ayer Collection: The private, chiefly ornithological, collection of Edward E. Ayer, the first president of the museum. The collection contains virtually all the important works in history of ornithology and is especially rich in color-illustrated works.
- Laufer Collection: The working collection of Dr. Berthold Laufer, America’s first sinologist and Curator of Anthropology until his death in 1934. The Library houses approximately 7,000 volumes in Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and numerous Western languages on anthropology, archaeology, religion, science, and travel.
- Photo Archives: A compilation of over 250,000 images in the areas of anthropology, botany, geology, and zoology. The collection also documents the history and architecture of the museum, its exhibitions, staff and scientific expeditions. Two important collections from the Photo Archives are now available via the Illinois Digital Archives (IDA): World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 from The Field Museum and Urban Landscapes from The Field Museum. In April 2009, the Photo Archives became part of the Flickr Commons .
- Karl P. Schmidt Memorial Herpetological Library: Named for Karl Patterson Schmidt. A research library that contains over 2,000 herpetological books and an extensive reprint collection.
Research and education
||This section may contain promotional material and other spam. (June 2013)|
As an educational institution, the Field Museum offers multiple opportunities for both informal and more structured public learning. Exhibits remain the primary means of informal education, but throughout its history the Museum has supplemented this approach with innovative educational programs. The Harris Loan Program, for example, begun in 1912, provides educational outreach to children, offering artifacts, specimens, audiovisual materials, and activity kits to Chicago area schools. The Department of Education, begun in 1922, offers a challenging program of classes, lectures, field trips, museum overnights and special events for families, adults and children. Professional symposia and lectures, such as the annual A. Watson Armour III Spring Symposium, present the latest scientific results to the international scientific community as well as the public at large.
The Museum's curatorial and scientific staff in the departments of Anthropology, Botany, Geology, and Zoology conducts basic research in the fields of systematic biology and anthropology, and also has responsibility for collections management, and collaboration in public programs with the Departments of Education and Exhibits. Since its founding the Field Museum has been an international leader in evolutionary biology and paleontology, and archaeology and ethnography, and has long maintained close links, including joint teaching, students, seminars, with local universities—particularly the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The Museum publishes four peer-reviewed monograph series issued under the collective title Fieldiana, devoted to anthropology, botany, geology and zoology. Monographs in these series are accessible via the Internet Archive.
In popular media
The Field Museum of Natural History served as the setting in the horror film The Relic (1997). Many parts of the film, though, were created with computer graphics or with sets that bear only a passing similarity to the actual museum.
A portion of Dead Beat (2005), the seventh novel of The Dresden Files series, takes place at the museum. In one of the best-remembered moments of the series, Harry Dresden revives Sue the T-rex as a zombie and rides her into battle against a powerful necromancer.
Recreated Elephant Diorama
Animated display of ocean life during the Cambrian Period
Lifesize display of a forest from the Carboniferous Period
Recreation of Papeete street in Traveling the Pacific
Skull of Parasaurolophus
Skull of Masiakasaurus
Skeleton of Buitreraptor
Skeleton of Deinonychus
Skeleton of Rapetosaurus
Skull of Rapetosaurus
Skeleton of Giant Beaver
Skull of Daspletosaurus
Skeleton of Mamenchisaurus
The Tsavo Maneaters on display
Front view of Daspletosaurus
Skeleton of Brachiosaurus
Skeleton of Daspletosaurus
Skeleton of Menodus
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- Bardoe, Cheryl (2011). The Field Museum. Beckon Books.
- Coleman, L.V. (1939). The Museums in America: A critical study, Volumes 1-3. The American Association of Museums.
- Williams, P.M. (1973). Museums of Natural History and the people who work in them. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Metzler, S. (2007). Theatres of Nature Dioramas at the Field Museum. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.
- "Museums in the Park: Attendance Statistics".
- Alexander, E.P. (1979). Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History.
- "Field Museum Traveling Exhibitions".
- Nitecki, M (1980). "Field Museum of Natural History". ASC Newsletter 8 (5): 61-70.
- Boyer, B. H. (1993). The Natural History of the Field Museum: Exploring the Earth and its People. Chicago: Field Museum.
- Shopland, J. M. and L. Breslauer (1998). The Anthropology Collections of the Field Museum. Chicago: The Field Museum.
- Resetar, A. and H.K. Voris (1997). Herpetology at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago: the First Hundred Years. Lawrence, Kansas: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
- Lowther, P. 1995. Ornithology at the Field Museum, pp145-161. In: Davis, W.E. Jr. and J.A. Jackson (eds). Contributions to the History of North American Ornithology. Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, 12, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Missing or empty
- Williams, B.W.; W.P. Fawcett (2011). "Field Museum of Natural History Library". Science and Technology Libraries 6 (1/2): 27-34. doi:10.1300/ J122v06n01_04.
- Nash, S. E.; G. M. Feinman (2003). Curators, collections, and contexts: Anthropology at the Field Museum, 1893-2002. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.
- "CEB, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Faculty (Field Museum)".
- "University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Anthropology, Associated Field Museum Faculty".
- Farrington, Oliver C (1930). "A Brief History of Field Museum from 1893 to 1930". Field Museum News 1 (1): 1,3.
- Field Museum of Natural History (1907). Annual Report of the Director to the Board of Trustees for the Year 1906 3 (1). pp. 8–9.
- "Field Museum Changes Locations".
- Ward, L (1998). An explorer's guide to the Field Museum. Chicago: The Field Museum.
- "Port of Aden from the Sea". World Digital Library. 1894-12. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "A Marae Abroad", Gisbourne Herald
-  Sue statistics from the Field Museum
- "Division of Amphibians and Reptiles". The Field Museum. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- "Fieldiana". Field Museum. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
- "Internet Archive".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Field Museum.|