At Chicago's Field, 'Ancient Americas' Exhibit a Bust

Museum 'patronizes, demeans' its subjects
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2008 5:10 PM CDT
The Field Museum in Chicago.   (Field Museum)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Revisiting Chicago’s Field Museum—an institution enshrined in loving childhood memories—for its “The Ancient Americas” exhibit is a sore disappointment, PJ O’Rourke writes in the Weekly Standard. Once a bastion of public scholarship so solemn it contained a section devoted to useful varieties of wood, the Field now panders unabashedly to the most intellectually lazy, politically correct misconceptions of the lives of the original Americans.

“The Ancient Americans” characterizes its subjects as “regular folks, the same as you and me, although usually more naked and always more noble,” O'Rourke writes. "The exhibit tells you nothing that a fourth grader doesn't know,” and insults intelligence by glossing over human sacrifice and brutal internecine conflicts while demonizing of European involvement.