Calumet Voices, National Stories

Category: Exhibitions

Exhibition Summary

Included with Basic admission

Closes Oct 22, 2023


Included with Basic admission

Closes Oct 22, 2023

Discover a local region like no other

The Calumet region, shaped by generations of community resilience and passion, is home to rare ecosystems and monumental steel mills. Explore the unique relationship between nature, world-class innovation, and artistic expression that makes this region located at the southern end of Lake Michigan an unexpected national treasure.

Calumet Voices, National Stories shines a spotlight on the region’s past, present, and future, and on the people who have fought to protect it. Experience the daily life of an industrial worker and the role their work has in the region. See neighborhoods and nature through the eyes of renowned artists, and learn about the region’s natural areas through specimens like puccoon plants and red-headed woodpeckers on display.

Two steel mill workers in green coveralls pose on either side of a ten-foot-tall steel plate that was created during World War II. The plate features women’s names written in cursive.


Calumet is one of this nation’s crossroads for nature, labor, and people.


Exhibition highlights

  • Encounter a recently re-discovered ten-foot-tall steel slab with welding by some of the first women to work in the area’s steel mills, during World War II.
  • Learn how bird feathers show the rise, and fall, of coal-induced air pollution in Calumet.
  • See photomurals and maps portraying the unique natural ecosystems of Calumet waterways, dunes, and Lake Michigan.


Collaboration across the Calumet region

The exhibition at the Field Museum is a culmination of a collaborative series presented across the region in recent years, with 15 local museums and history centers sharing their collections and stories. The Field’s exhibition focuses on the region by highlighting our own Calumet collections while presenting our scientists’ research and activism in the area.

Learn more about the collaboration.