Mummy mysteries, Catholic fashion trends, an army of the dead and the king of rock ’n’ roll are drawing daily crowds at blockbuster museum exhibits in 2018. These headline-making exhibits can make a tempting add-on for faith-based group leaders looking to punch up an itinerary.
For example, even those who’ve already seen the Field Museum will appreciate the traveling exhibit that allows guests to virtually unwrap mummified faces using modern technology. Revered museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art are featuring must-see exhibits for religious groups, including a look at how Catholicism has influenced fashion.
Some group leaders may want to plan entire trips around some blockbuster exhibits, such as “Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China” at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Faith-based groups should pay attention to these fascinating exhibits that delve into everything from the afterlife to Elvis.
Field Museum, Chicago
Scientists at the Field Museum had no idea what secrets they would discover with a borrowed CT scanner they had set up in an employee parking lot. The images this technology exposed were so compelling that in 2012, the museum organized a pop-up show to highlight them. The display evolved into the larger “Mummies” exhibit that traveled briefly before returning to the Field Museum in March.
Groups can listen to a 20-minute introductory presentation before entering the gallery. The exhibit is self-guided, allowing time for participants to try out the interactive mummy-unwrapping simulator. With large screens broadcasting above attendees, multiple people can digitally unwrap mummies without damaging them. With the move of a finger, the CT scan will reveal skeletons and meaningful objects buried with the person.
Among finds that intrigued researchers were jars of corn beer shaped like people with sculpted faces found in a Peruvian burial site. The exhibit also examines mummified animals, including a baboon, a gazelle and a baby crocodile. Egyptians frequently raised animals with the purpose of mummifying them for afterlife as an offering to the gods.
The Field Museum has one of the largest collections of Egyptian and Peruvian mummies in the country. Professional staff oversee collections of over 24 million specimens that serve as objects of study and exhibits. The diverse exhibits of fossils, animals and cultural artifacts attract up to 2 million visitors annually.
“Mummies” will be open at the Field Museum through April 21, 2019.