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07 September 2014 @ 07:06 pm
The World's Fair Exhibit!  
I've always loved the way that the Field Museum smells.

softlykarou and I went to the World's Fair Exhibit at the Field Museum today, since it was the last day, we've been meaning to go, and we're members so we get in for free. Especially after I read The Devil in the White City with my book group earlier this year, I really wanted to go, and it's only our natural procrastination and the fact that since moving back to Chicago we've apparently become super social that prevented us from going for so long.

Well, and me losing that disagreement with a doorframe.

It was smaller than I expected, but pretty neat. The Field Museum began as a museum of the World's Fair exhibit specifically, so they had a lot of old material from their archives that usually spent time just sitting down in the basement in crates. Some of it was actually still in the crates, like a stuffed sea lion that had a really oddly and inflated elongated neck. I was half convinced that we could have stuck a couple arms on the sides and made some kind of sealiontaur thing. Now that would have been a worthy World's Fair exhibit.

A lot of the exhibit was focused on the scientific treatment of the fair exhibits. Or oftentimes, the lack thereof. Most of the exhibits were both examples of scientific learning and also pieces for sale, and some of the ones in the Field Museum's collection even had the price stickers still on them. Also, there were a lot of people from all over the world who were invited to come live in their traditional manner (as defined by the fair owners) in recreated communities on the fairgrounds. One group of Inuit did so, figuring that travel and promised room and board was a pretty good deal, but when they were given substandard food and dirty water, they eventually left and set up their own exhibition outside the fair's gates.

There was a bunch of other neat stuff, like the gourd made from a double coconut or the Javanese gamelan. I'd say you should go, but 1) today was the last day and 2) the Field Museum was able to put it on because they already owned all of the items in it. But if it does end up traveling some how, it's worth a trip. And if it doesn't, The Devil in the White City is a great book.
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