Chicago Museum Next To Host 'The Horse' Exhibit

Chicagoans and guests to the Midwest can marvel over the history and development of our modern world courtesy of "The Horse," an interactive exhibit at The Field Museum through Aug. 14.

The exhibit allows visitors to view horses as much more than athletes, companions, or romantic memories of days gone by. Through dioramas, fossils, and cultural objects horses are presented as the "motor" that drove the development of our entire civilization and as one of the most important animals to ever interact with humans.

"Enterprising humans needed an animate energy source that was both mobile and controllable--hence the domestic horse," said exhibition curator Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History.

"What no one could have foreseen was that, over the millennia, while we molded the horse to our ends, the horse also molded us by changing the scale and scope of what could be carried, traded, fought over, or used to make life better--in short, civilization as we know it," he continued.

Exhibit highlights include a 15th century German suit of armor; a 19th century horse-drawn fire engine; a diorama depicting equid species roaming the plains more than 10 million years ago; and 20,000-year-old horse skeletons and artifacts from La Solutré, France.

The American Museum of Natural History organized "The Horse" with The Field Museum, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau-Ottawa, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. Harris Bank is the exhibit's major sponsor.

Because of the quality of its collections, The Field Museum played an important role as an exhibition collaborator, and artifacts from the museum are included in the exhibit. Following a successful 2008-09 run at New York's American Museum of Natural History, "The Horse" is scheduled to head to San Diego after closing in Chicago.

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Lisa Kemp

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