lascaux_painting (Photo credit: williamcromar)

This summer’s theme is Have Book – Will Travel!  Why not travel back in time – way back – maybe 17,000 years back?  Currently and through September 8 you can do that at the Field Museum.  Visit the Mystery of the Lascaux Caverns!

In September 1940 four teenage boys and a dog named Robot were climbing Lascaux Hill near Montignac, France.  Robot fell into a hole.  The boys returned with lamps and a rope to look for the dog.  Not only did they find Robot, but their lamps also illuminated a hidden world – huge, colorful wall paintings of Pleistocene Age animals.  Bulls, bison, deer, and horses came into view.  The texture of the cave walls had enabled the prehistoric artists to show perspective and feelings of movement.

Scenes from the Stone Age:  The Cave Paintings of Lascaux

At the Field Museum, explore a recreation of parts of the Lascaux Caverns.  (The actual caves in France have been closed to the public since 1963 due to destructive moisture.)  A small, tube-like  reconstruction  of the caves winds through the exhibit space.  See models of a stone-age family made by the sculptor Elisabeth Daynès and wearing replicas of clothing of the time.  Look at objects of their everyday lives.  You can view videos of the modern artists talking about their work for the exhibit.  You can even draw your own animal on an electronic tablet!

Want to be in an online drawing for a Family Plus Membership to the Field Museum?  Fountaindale cardholders ages 0 through 11 (not entering 6th grade in fall) can join the Have Book — Will Travel! children’s summer reading program.  Registration is June 3-July 31 and logging begins June 10.  After you have read the basic 20 books or 20 hours in the program, you can try for two chances in the drawing by reading and logging 20 additional books or hours for each chance!

So visit the Field Museum this summer and step through a portal into the past!  -Mrs. Nancy S.


Hoving, Thomas.  Art for Dummies.  Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, 1999, pp. 24-25.

In the Field: the Field Museum Member Magazine, January – April 2013, v. 84, no. 1, pp. 4-5, 14-15.

For further reading (available at Fountaindale Library):

Aczel, Amir D.  The Cave and the Cathedral:  How a Real-life Indiana Jones and a Renegade Scholar Decoded the Ancient Art of Man.  Hoboken, NJ:  John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
930.1 ACZ

Dubowski, Mark.  Discovery in the Cave.  New York: Random House, 2010.
ER 944.72 DUB

McCully, Emily Arnold.  The Secret Cave:  Discovering Lascaux.  New York:  Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010.
J 936.4 MCC

Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw.  Mystery of the Lascaux Cave.  New York:  Benchmark Books, 1998.
J 936.4 PAT

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