Blogs & Videos: Collections

Two women wearing headlamps peer into the mouth of a large taxidermy elephant

Q&A with a Conservator: The Complex Cultural Use History of Elephant Ivory

Stephanie Hornbeck is our Head of Conservation. A specialist in ethnographic objects conservation, she treats a variety of artifact materials, including elephant ivory. Beyond her familiarity with ivory objects, Stephanie has a personal interest in the biological conservation of elephants, which are endangered animals.

Two images, one of a man with braids in a chef's coat plating several identical dishes; and several cobs of corn of different colors laid out flat

The Sioux Chef: Reinvigorating Indigenous Food Systems

Images: Sean Sherman by Rina Oh for the James Beard Foundation; corn cobs from Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, in the Museum's collection.  By Monica Rickert-Bolter, volunteer for the North American Anthropology Program People are growing more concerned with what they put into their bodies, and it’s not just because they’re trying to keep the pounds off. Americans constantly debate which foods should be restricted and which are acceptable to consume to remain healthy.

Black and white photograph of a woman in a floral dress with a large bird on her hand, and a small child smiling and standing at her side

Beautiful Strangers: Telling the Stories of the People and Collections of The Field Museum

The romance of the Museum is palpable: rising from the ashes of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, the story of the Museum’s origins is well known. And yet, there are many strange tales that are left to be fully told, or that resurface in surprising ways. 

Dried plant specimen attached to paper, and a handwritten specimen label identifying the plant

DIY Plant Pressing

How does a plant specimen get turned into an herbarium sheet, ready for a Museum collection? In order for plants to be carefully cataloged and preserved so that they can be studied well into the future, they first have to be dried and pressed. You can do something similar at home—this DIY project is sort of like making a layer cake (or lasagna, depending on your tastes):