Field Museum Store

When one of the world’s largest natural history museums asked us to create a series of permanent displays for their museum store, we eagerly accepted the challenge.
Home to nearly 40 million artifacts and species, the Field Museum in Chicago is a unique and notable landmark. Since 1894, the museum has been diligently documenting, studying, and preserving the natural and cultural artifacts that line the historied halls and exhibit spaces.
Museum artifacts live forever – and therein lay our biggest obstacle. For this project, our task was to elevate the look of the Field Museum store with captivating displays. The challenge was to craft perfect pieces that carried the permanent feeling of a museum exhibit through to a retail environment. These displays needed to have depth, color, and movement to make them more engaging than what an average museumgoer is accustomed to seeing.

Project Highlight

We crafted the large mesh sculptures by stacking foam board into molds. These molds were used to shape and stitch wire mesh into large figures of animals and historic artifacts that appear to be stepping out from the store walls. Primary colored lights were installed to cast vibrant, colorful shadows behind the sculptures, mimicking the iridescent acrylic used in the shadow boxes.

Beginning with rough concepts, we designed, engineered, and fabricated store signage, large mesh sculptures, shadow boxes. For both, we started small with miniature models and then scaled up to achieve full-scale displays.  
The eight-foot-tall shadow boxes feature the work of Artist-in-Residence, Peggy MacNamara. These installations pay tribute to the permanent collection of MacNamara’s watercolors on display at the museum. We added dimension to MacNamara's signature wildlife artwork by printing and layering her watercolors on several sheets of iridescent acrylic.
Every part of our engineering and production teams had a hand in this project’s success. We utilized our entire facility and some of our local partners to design, fabricate, and install this project within just a few months.
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