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EVENT: Field Museum and Oriental Institute launch bird exhibits

“Taxidermy is not front and center at the Oriental Institute Museum’s new ornithological exhibition.

That art form is better observed to the north, at the Field Museum, where the institution’s Ronald and Christina Gidwitz Hall of Birds has recently been renovated (more on that in a moment). 

But there is one preserved bird in the Hyde Park museum that is simply stunning. Resting amid a larger exhibition comprising mostly artistic representations of birds, it’s a mummified eagle, stripped of its swaddling, laid out on its back in a display case. 

It won’t make the splash that King Tut’s remains have made, of course, and it’s not even the centerpiece of the show it’s in. But its presence, at once desiccated and regal, timeless and powerfully ancient, is remarkable nonetheless. 

It’s a perfect example of why Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer, a University of Chicago doctoral candidate in Egyptology, thought birds were worthy not just of her scholarship but also of an exhibit at the school’s museum devoted to early civilization. 

“Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt” derives from the observation by guest curator Bailleul-LeSuer, a bird enthusiast even before she chose her academic path, that the more she looked into ancient Egypt, “the more I realized birds were everywhere.” “ -via Chicago Tribune.

Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt

When: Through July 28

Where: Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago, 1155 E. 58th St.; 773-702-9520 and oi.uchicago.edu

Tickets: $10 suggested donation


Gidwitz Hall of Birds

When: Ongoing

Where: Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive; 312-992-9410 orfieldmuseum.org

Tickets: Included in admission, $15 adults.


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