Anchor: #worlds-columbian-exposition

World"s Columbian Exposition

Chicago played hold to the 1893 world Columbian Exposition, organized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s come in “the brand-new World.” The six-month event drew 27 million human being to the city.

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A glittering showcase the art, architecture, technology, and an international culture, the event introduced the world to the Ferris wheel, newly invented assets such together Cream the Wheat, and also multitudes of rarely objects that would certainly later go into the collections of a brand-new natural history museum in Chicago.

Anchor: #establishment


A Chicago Tribune article by Professor frederic Ward Putnam first suggested the a museum be formed as a an outcome of the exposition—three years before the exposition also took place.

But the many instrumental figure in do the dream of the museum a reality was Marshall Field, a local company magnate. Ar was known to support any type of plan for raising Chicago’s accessibility to cultural and education facilities, and the museum to be no exception.

Edward E. Ayer, who would later become the museum’s very first president, called Field to solicit his support for the museum, and after some consideration, Field offered $1 million. Field’s contribution—plus contributions from various other wealthy donors—ensured the success and permanence the a good museum in Chicago. Your donations assisted purchase the very first collections the what would soon come to be the Columbian Museum that Chicago.

The state the Illinois approved the charter the officially produced the Columbian Museum the Chicago—which was easily renamed the ar Columbian Museum to respect its very first major benefactor. ~ above June 2, 1894, the museum opened up to the general public in the royal residence of good Arts building in Jackson Park (which to be rebuilt in the 1930s and also now houses the Museum of Science and Industry).



Anchor: #collection-and-expeditions

Collection and expeditions

Our collection started with objects that had been on screen at the exposition, native anthropological artifacts and also geological specimens to comprehensive botany collection.The Museum’s earliest acquisitions contained the Ward’s natural background collection, the whole Tiffany & Co. Gem display, a collection of pre-Columbian gold ornaments, musical instruments from Samoa and Java, and a huge collection of native American objects.

Museum researcher went on expeditions right native the start—beginning in 1894—as a way to both broaden the collection and document diverse life and also environments about the world. In 1896, Carl Akeley and also David Giraud Elliot travel to Africa, the first expedition there arranged by a north American museum. Expeditions continued on v two world wars, and also our scientists are still traveling to all corners that the earth.

Today, the collection contains practically 40 million objects, only a portion of which room on screen to the public—and our collections employee continually functions to make much more of ours specimens and artifacts obtainable in brand-new ways. World-renowned items on screen include Egyptian mummies, the man-eating lions the Tsavo, and SUE, the largest and most finish Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered—and over there is for this reason much more in the study collections.

Anchor: #new-home

New home

The museum’s extensive collection ongoing to grow, however the royal residence of well Arts building was not aging gracefully. The search started for a website to rebuild the museum.

After much deliberation on the site and style the the museum’s brand-new home, construction began in 1915 ~ above a brand-new building in ~ a site near give Park. The building, design by architect Peirce Anderson of Graham, Anderson, Probst and also White, expense $7 million to build and was component of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 setup of Chicago.

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In march 1920, crews began the arduous job of moving the museum’s repertoire to its brand-new home. Specimens to be loaded right into crates and also transported by rail and horse-drawn carriage.