The Field Museum of Natural History and the National Hellenic Museum will co-present an extraordinary exhibition of ancient Greek antiquities—The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great, in November of 2015. Taking advantage of the unique attributes of each institution, the museums will offer Chicagoans an unprecedented chance to experience both the exhibition and its links to the Greek-American experience.
The Greeks is the most comprehensive exhibition about Ancient Greece to tour North America in a generation. It will feature more than 500 artifacts from 22 Greek museums. The exhibition invites visitors on a journey through 5,000 years of Greek culture, from the Neolithic Era to the age of Alexander the Great. The artifacts — many of which have never been exhibited outside Greece — include the iconic bust of Alexander the Great from Pella, the impressive statues of Archaic-period Kouroi, and golden jewelry from famous tombs. The exhibition is organized under the leadership of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Gatineau, Ontario will be the first stop on the tour, followed by the co-presentation in Chicago, and finally the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC.
Both Chicago museums are embarking on extensive preparation for the exhibition. The Field will host The Greeks, while new permanent and temporary exhibits at NHM will complement the traveling exhibition, as will a variety of lectures, demonstrations, and other educational programs linking the development of Greek civilization to its deep impact on the American way of life. NHM has developed a strong reputation for making the ancient history accessible to its audience.
Additionally, NHM and The Field plan to explore opportunities to display Greek artifacts from The Field Museum that have rarely – if ever – been on public view. Fundraising for the initiative is currently underway.
“This is a momentous opportunity for Greeks in America, for the city of Chicago and for both museums.” noted John Calamos, NHM Chair, “We are honored The Field Museum is joining with the National Hellenic Museum to make this possible. It is our hope and my belief, this amazing exhibition will remind people of the importance of Greek culture to this country and the world at a magnitude similar to the Tutankhamun exhibits of past decades.”
For more information about the upcoming exhibition, visit http://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org or call 312-655-1234.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts