Museums | Exhibits | The Field Museum |

The Ancient Americas

Field Museum | Chicago | 2007

Lightswitch worked closely with the Field Museum team to ensure that the lighting not only supported the stories being told, but also respected the sensitive nature of the priceless artifacts.

What It Was

The Field Museum’s ground-breaking new exhibition, The Ancient Americas, takes guests on a journey through 13,000 years of human ingenuity and achievement in the western hemisphere, where hundreds of diverse societies thrived long before the arrival of Europeans. In this 19,000-square-foot permanent exhibition, guests live the epic story of the populating of these continents, from the Arctic to the tip of South America. They discover how and why the early Americans developed farming, created new forms of artistic expression, and forged mighty empires. Through more than 2,200 artifacts, amazing reconstructions, and dozens of videos and interactive displays, guests come to understand the ingenuity with which ancient peoples met the challenges of their times and places – as we meet ours today.

What We Did

Lightswitch worked closely with the Field Museum team to ensure that the lighting not only supported the stories being told, but also respected the sensitive nature of the priceless artifacts. Lightswitch tailored lighting solutions for the numerous vignettes throughout the space, and nearly 100 artifact cases, most of which required detailed fiber optic lighting.

Why It Worked

Relentless attention to detail and collaboration with the rest of the project team ensured that the lighting could be installed in an efficient and timely fashion. Precise and controlled use of light and color not only guides the eye through the space but also helps conserve the sensitive artifacts. Inconspicuous luminaires allows guests to focuses on the feeling of stepping back in time rather than on the lighting apparatus.