Field Museum Image Credit - A Rendering of Death - Life's Greatest Mystery
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By Dr. Tracey Bond

My worldview of death just expanded to new depths of cultural and special
diversities of expression during my recent SPLASH Magazine visit to Chicago’s
Field Museum Special exhibit on “DEATH.”

Field Museum Image Credit – A Rendering of Death – Life’s Greatest Mystery

Image Credit Model depicting the sunken body of a whale and the new ecosystem it creates
Right: Rendering of Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery © Field Museum.

The exhibition invites museum goers to ask big questions and explore the ways that death affects both the natural world and human culture. Visitors can see a model depicting how the sunken body of a whale provides food and shelter for organisms around it, an ofrenda or altar created during Dia de Los Muertos as an offering for loved ones who passed away, and commentary on how social inequalities in the United States affect quality of life and life
Exhibition Hours: MUSEUM OPEN DAILY

Exhibit Address: The Field Museum, 1400 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive

This exhibit closes on August 27, 2023

Rituals Like Burying The Dead Help Humans Overcome Grief – Skeletal Remains Model at DEATH Lifes Greatest Mystery Exhibit Opens at Field Museum Chicago

This October, the Field Museum’s new special exhibition has officially opened. “Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery” poses big questions about death and life and guides visitors through a multisensory, interactive experience to develop new perspectives on some of life’s biggest mysteries. The exhibition shows how the way we experience death and life, and wonder about what’s next are part of what makes us human— yet, it’s also a subject we often push aside.
“Death can be hard to talk about, so we’re excited that this exhibition will be a safe and welcoming place for visitors to get curious, ask some questions, and explore all the different answers offered by the natural world as well as human cultures through time.” says Meredith Whitfield, Exhibition Developer at the Field Museum.
“We humans tend to have big questions about death: what happens to my body, my soul, the friends and family I leave behind?” adds Ben Miller, Exhibition Developer. “Visitors will see that these questions don’t necessarily have just one answer, but many.”
Ben added, “…the Field Museum gets lots of questions about death – we host mummies,
taxidermy, and we get families asking what’s this all about. So we wanted to provide a safe and comfortable place for people to think about death. We know that the topic of death is very taboo in the United States, and we just wanted to create a comfortable exhibit where families can explore how people around the world, and how living things around the world deal with death, and contend with death.”

Tardigrades The Most Resilient Creatures om earth display model at DEATH Life’s Greatest Mystery Exhibit Opens Field Museum Chicago Photo by Dr. Tracey Bond – Splash Magazine

Dr. Tracey Bond (Splash Magazine): Why do you
think Ben, its (death) is such a “taboo” here in the

Ben Miller (Exhibition Developer): Its very culturally
specific. I mean you go to other parts of the world and
people are much more open with death. Here in the
U.S., I mean like we’re afraid of it – we don’t want to
talk about it, we don’t want to think about aging and
dying. It is something that…literally everything that’s
alive is going to die.

Dr. Tracey Bond: That’s right it is part of the cycle…of
life, absolutely.

Ben Miller: We organized the exhibit around big
personal questions: What will happen to my body? Do
I have to die? How will my death affect others? So
these are things…the ways people are thinking about
death, about themselves, their family; and we use
those as jumping off points to explore different
cultures around the world, as well as stories from

DEATH Life’s Greatest Mystery Exhibit Opens Field Museum Chicago Photo by Dr. Tracey Bond – Splash Magazine

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Enjoy more of the press images I captured from opening Day last Tuesday, October 18, 2022 as follows:


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