Chicago's Field Museum is a major attraction for residents, tourists and school children.
Renowned for its historic collections and scientific research, Chicago's Field Museum is home to many biological and anthropological exhibits. It is situated amidst other science-based museums, which are also popular attractions in the Chicago area, according to the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau.
Chicago's Field Museum was originally known as the Columbian Museum of Chicago and was started in 1893. It was not until 1905 that it became known as the Field Museum of Natural History. Marshall Field was the first major benefactor of the museum, thus earning the honor of lending his name to the institution. It was originally located in the Jackson Park area, but was relocated to its present location in 1921.
More than 20 million specimens call Chicago's Field Museum home. The museum was originally created to serve as the holding place for displays for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. These items are still held at Chicago's Field Museum and serve as the basis for the majority of the exhibits, research and learning opportunities at the museum. A natural history library adds to the knowledge and educational opportunities housed within the walls of Chicago's Field Museum.
Permanent exhibits at Chicago's Field Museum include displays of animals, plants, rocks, fossils and various cultures. With more than 30 exhibits, there is something to interest everyone. Sue the T. Rexan is one of the most popular exhibits at Chicago's Field Museum. Three self-guided tours offer visitors the chance to focus on certain displays based on themes.
In addition to the permanent exhibits at Chicago's Field Museum, temporary and traveling exhibits are also on display. These special exhibits stay at the museum for a few months to a few years, depending on the specific display. The subjects of these temporary and traveling displays vary. Current and upcoming displays can be viewed on Chicago's Field Museum's official website as well as information about and photographs of past exhibits. Topics of past displays include natural disasters, King Tut, mythical creatures, George Washington Carver, dinosaurs, chocolate and pearls.
The Crown Family PlayLab is an interactive play area for children containing six play areas: Illinois Woodland, Pueblo, Rhythm Section, Scientists Lab, Dino Field Station and Art Studio. Activities available for kids and their families include grinding cornmeal, playing instruments from around the world, digging up dinosaur bones and creating nature collages.
Chicago's Field Museum is a popular destination for school field trips due to the vast collections of historical artifacts on display. Chicago's Field Museum also offers an outreach program, which brings educational opportunities into Chicago-area classrooms. Teacher resources, including online interactive programs, are also available on Chicago's Field Museum website. The museum offers additional educational opportunities through classes, lectures and special events.
Chicago's Field Museum operates with a staff of 250 scientists specializing in anthropology, botany, geology and zoology. These scientists conduct experiments and research projects at the museum as well as in the field. These research expeditions take place around the world and focus on many different scientific ideas.
Chicago's Field Museum is situated in what is called Chicago's Museum Campus, a lakefront park area that is also home to the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. The lake view and park setting add to the overall visual appeal of Chicago's Field Museum.
A number of opportunities are available to support the mission of Chicago's Field Museum. With more than 1.75 million visitors each year, Chicago's Field Museum relies on support from the community. Over 600 volunteers play an integral role in the operation of the museum.
Chicago's Field Museum offers membership packages that help support the museum's objectives. Members enjoy a number of perks including free admission to the museum and free or discounted tickets for special exhibits. Members also receive free admission to more than 200 other museums across the country. Special member events are also held throughout the year.
Corporate sponsorships are another important avenue of support received by Chicago's Field Museum. They help support the many exhibits, pay salaries for staff, fund research projects and enable Chicago's Field Museum to maintain its place as one of the top scientific museums in the world.