Unstructured learning in the “Windy City”

A full bus-load of select Archaeology, Art, French, and TRiO students journeyed up to Chicago on Thursday, April 2nd for a day filled with museums and sight-seeing.

The two main locations on the itinerary were the Field Museum and the Art Institute.  Although the BHC squad was given free-reign to explore the city as they chose, the majority of the students took advantage of the opportunity to see ancient artifacts and expressions of artwork.

If you had only ever traveled up to Chicago for the shopping, you are definitely missing out on an experience. The Field Museum alone has enough exhibits and relics to keep you entertained for hours.

Professor Rachel Horner-Brackett confided, “I always enjoy the Egyptian and Native North American exhibits at the Field Museum, and right now the museum has two temporary exhibitions that interested many students.  One is on the lives of Vikings, and the other is on Haitian vodou (voodoo).  There are archaeological artifacts at the Field Museum that you just can’t see anywhere around the Quad Cities, so it is a great opportunity for students.”

Simply being able to walk around the city was a new experience for many students on the trip. There are sites throughout the city that are large tourist attractions, including Cloud Gate – otherwise known as “the bean” – a large bean-shaped, mirrored structure in Millennium Park.

BHC student Pria Liang affirmed, “My most favorite part of the day was walking around the city with some students from my Archaeology class. It really put me in touch with the city in real time. It was also a sense of nostalgia for me because my mother and father have told me so much about those very streets, and it was like I could finally see it with my own eyes!”

For students interested in forms of art, the Art Institute has everything from Impressionist to Byzantine exhibits. Professor Melissa Hebert-Johnson claimed that her favorite exhibit was the Paris Street: Rainy Day painting in the Impressionist gallery. “It had been gone for some time for cleaning and preservation by conservator Faye Wrubel.”

Taking the extra time on your next adventure through the Windy City to visit the Field Museum and Art Institute could open your eyes to wonders that you would never experience in the Quad Cities. If you are interested in mummies, ancient civilizations, classic artwork, or a rewarding cultural experience, sign up for this trip in a future semester or take a road-trip. Astounding artifacts are merely hours away.