Situated at 400 South Lake Shore Drive near Chicago Harbor, the Field Museum is the centerpiece of a lakefront Museum Campus that also is home to the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium. The campus’ three attractions are regarded as among the finest of their kind in the world and together they attract more annual visitors than any comparable site in Chicago. The Field Museum traces its roots all the way back to 1893 and is named after the Museum’s first major benefactor, Marshall Field.
Founded to house biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, the Field Museum’s collection has grown to more than 20 million specimens thanks to world-wide expeditions, exchanges, purchases and gifts. Containing specimens spanning the fields of anthropology, botany, geology and zoology, the Museum’s collection is widely respected both nationally and internationally.
Probably the most famous piece of the Field Museum’s collection is a T-Rex (not a boy) named “Sue.” The largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found, Sue is 42 feet long from snout to tail and 13 feet tall at the hip. Sue’s body is affixed with a replica skull and the original, which weighs 600 pounds and contains 58 dagger-like teeth, rests within a nearby exhibition. Sue’s skeleton is more than 90 percent complete and visitors to her exhibit will surely walk away with improved knowledge about how scientific understanding of Tyrannosaurus Rex has changed over the years.
In addition to the Field Museum museum’s formidable permanent collection, the Museum also has a variety of exhibitions that change throughout the year. Running until January 20, 2014, “Images of the Afterlife” gives museum visitors the opportunity to envision two ancient Egyptian mummies from the Field Museum’s collection as living, breathing people. Using CT scans and the latest 3D imaging techniques, Museum scientists collected enough information about mummies #30007 and #11517 to enable an artist to create hyper-realistic sculptures portraying how the two individuals looked when they were alive thousands of years ago. Visitors can take a gander at the two new-look mummies – a woman in her forties with curly hair and a teenage boy named Minirdis – and investigate coffins and wrappings of other ancient Egyptian mummies.
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