Association News - New Member Spotlight - March 2019


Field Museum

Chicago, Illinois, United States

by Juanita Chavarro Arias

Visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago can travel back in time—4.6 billion years to be exact—to explore the history of life on Earth through the “Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet” exhibition, featuring well-preserved fossils, lifelike models, art, videos, and hands-on interactive displays. Here, guests can marvel at the newly renovated home of SUE, the world’s largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil skeleton. Visitors can also see a model of 3.2 million-year-old hominid Lucy, skeletons of mammoths and mastodons, and more than a dozen dinosaurs. This is just one of the Field Museum’s many exhibits showcasing the planet’s diversity in nature and culture, including mummies, gemstones, and the only Māori meeting house in North America.

“We hope to inspire curiosity in all our guests, from the toddler learning what an animal is to the adult reflecting on their own ecological impact and its effects on the planet,” says Megan Williams, director of business enterprises at the Field Museum.

Founded in 1893 as a permanent home for objects that had been on display at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Field Museum has expanded the scope of its mission and collections, encompassing nearly 40 million artifacts and specimens.

“The Field Museum’s mission is to fuel journeys of discovery through time, enabling solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture,” Williams says. “In addition to what visitors see, we’re an active scientific institution with more than 150 scientists who discover new species, figure out the chemical composition of meteorites, study civilizations past and present, and engage in conservation efforts worldwide.”

The Field Museum hosts numerous events and activities throughout the year, including “Dozin’ with the Dinos,” where families and groups with kids ages 6 to 12 can experience the museum after dark, and “ID Day,” where visitors can bring in found objects from the natural world to be identified by scientists.

“The Field Museum joined IAAPA to connect and engage with a diverse audience in the world of attractions,” Williams says. “IAAPA brings all organizations together—from museums and other cultural attractions to amusement parks, aquariums, and zoos. We can all benefit from each other’s expertise and backgrounds.”

Fast Facts

  • The museum’s more than 150 scientists conduct research on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
  • Visitors can see scientists at work in the Field Museum’s Pritzker DNA Lab, Regenstein Pacific Lab, and McDonald’s Fossil Preparation Lab.
  • In addition to Máximo, a touchable skeletal cast of the largest dinosaur ever discovered, Stanley Field Hall is home to four 3D-printed hanging garden clouds—the first of their kind ever created—containing more than 1,000 plants.
  • Many of the museum’s exhibitions have label copy in English and Spanish, and the facility offers maps and visitor guides in a variety of languages.
  • The Field Museum hosts volunteer events in which the public can participate in science and conservation activities, including land restoration excursions and opportunities to help digitize its collections.
  • The museum features two restaurants and a seasonal outdoor grill. At these eateries, adult visitors can enjoy a number of Field-themed beers and the museum’s own line of spirits, including Field vodka, gin, and whiskey inspired by its collection.