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. Read more about Q&A with a Conservator: The Complex Cultural Use History of Elephant Ivory
Blogs & Videos: Object Conservation
The Akeley's Fighting African Elephants are some of the best examples of taxidermy ever created-- but they'll need help if they're to survive the next 100 years. Read more about The 'Sistine Chapel of Taxidermy' - Conserving Akeley's Elephants
Ann Prazer makes mounts in the shop, helps install exhibits, and transports and handles precious artifacts within the Museum. Read more about Women in Art: Ann Prazer, Mountmaker
The Field Museum’s collection includes many different objects: dinosaur bones, dried plants, and ancient artifacts, just to name a few. But there’s another fascinating collection here that you may not expect: books. They’re located in an active, working library, where researchers can make appointments to pore through books and documents on a wide range of subjects. Read more about Four Fascinating Finds in the Rare Book Room, from Audubon to Ole Worm
Here at The Field Museum, we often show our Chicago pride by outfitting our Brachiosaurus plastic mounted skeleton on the west side of the building with an oversized team jersey. Whenever we do this, it creates a flurry of questions and comments about why we don’t do this with SUE the T. rex, too. Here’s why you won’t see SUE decked out in festive attire. Read more about Why We Don’t Dress Up SUE (Or Any Other Real Skeletons)
After cleaning, the first part of Minirdis’ burial equipment that we treated was his coffin. The coffin was constructed of wood panels joined with wood dowels. A layer of an orange colored plaster like material had been applied over the wood to fill gaps between the wood panels and provide a smooth surface. On top of the plaster layer, the coffin had been painted black with red and yellow decoration. Read more about Through thick and thin! Stabilizing the Plaster on Minirdis’ Coffin
Removing the lid of the coffin was just the start. Now there was the problem of removing the damaged mummy from the lower half of the coffin. With the lid off we found that the right side piece, which had been held in place by the lid, was detached from the bottom of the coffin and could easily be removed. This meant that the mummy could be slid out, instead of trying to pick it up – good news because the assembly was very fragile. Even so, this was no small task, and it took four people to safely move him out of the coffin. Read more about How to Uncoffin a Mummy
YOU can be a part of The Field Museum's History -- Donate to the #ProjectHyenaDiorama and help the hyenas!! Read more about Project Hyena Diorama: IndieGoGo Campaign!
Traveling exhibits pose a challenge for museums, especially when particularly fragile objects such as mummies are involved. We want to share our objects and what we’ve found out about them with people outside the museum, but transporting the objects to other museums involves all kinds for risks – traffic accidents, malfunctioning forklifts, road vibration, and freezing winters to name just a few. Read more about Introduction to the Conservation of "Mummies: Images of the Afterlife"
Mummies: Images of the Afterlife will begin touring in September, 2015. Stay tuned to see them visiting a museum near you! Read more about Mummy Brains