The Field Museum to host Becoming Jane, an Immersive Multimedia Exhibition on the Legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall
Photo by Hugo Van Lawick, Jane Goodall Institute
Dr. Jane Goodall revolutionized the way scientists study the natural world, and she challenged how people picture scientists, both in terms of research techniques and gender roles in the field. On May 21, the Field Museum will open their newest special exhibition, Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall, exploring the life and legacy of Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace. Produced by the National Geographic Society in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, the exhibition explores Dr. Goodall’s life from her early years as an intrepid young woman with a dream to learn about animals in Africa, to her years establishing herself as a renowned scientist in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, to her present role as an activist, mentor and advocate for creating a better world for all life on Earth.
“Becoming Jane gives such a personal look at Dr. Goodall,” says Jaap Hoogstraten, the Field Museum’s director of exhibitions. “She’s a figure that’s changed the way that we see animals and inspired countless people to help protect our planet, and we’re excited to bring her story, and some of her personal belongings, to the Field.”
Widely known for her innovative approach to animal behavior research, Dr. Goodall traveled to what is now Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park and immersed herself in the natural habitat of wild chimpanzees. Her work studying the lives of chimpanzees in the wild captured the imagination of the world. Rather than seeing the animals as subjects, she came to know them as individuals with personalities and emotions—a notion once rejected by the scientific world, yet now considered revolutionary. Her story—one of fearless determination, curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and a passionate love of the natural world—has resonated with generations of people around the globe.
“Jane Goodall has been inspiring National Geographic audiences, young and old, for over half a century,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of public programming at the National Geographic Society. “This exhibition allows us to experience her amazing life story in a highly personal and powerful way. Through immersive media, authentic scenics, and interactives, this exhibition takes visitors into the field and around the world with Jane, walking in her shoes and experiencing her powerful message of hope firsthand.”
Highlights of the exhibition include some of Dr. Goodall’s childhood belongings, including a beloved stuffed monkey, interspersed with stories about her as a budding naturalist, studying a chicken coop at age four. The exhibition also features augmented reality interactives that invite visitors to try their hand at chimpanzee vocalizations, a hologram-like projection of Dr. Goodall sharing her memories of living among the chimpanzees, and a replica of her field research tent.
“Scientific institutions all over the world, including the Field Museum, are indebted to Jane Goodall-- her approach to animal behavior research and the immersive study of animals in their natural habitats changed the way we learn about nature,” says Abigail Derby Lewis, an ecologist at the Field Museum and the exhibition’s content advisor at the Field. “As we work to protect the natural world from climate change and habitat destruction, Jane Goodall’s legacy is ever more relevant, and we’re excited to share that legacy with our visitors in such a fun, meaningful way.”
The exhibition will run through September 6, 2021, presented in English and with a Spanish translation booklet. Admission will be included with the museum upgraded ticket. Becoming Jane is organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Society.
About Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, is an iconic voice for holistic, compassionate, and sustainable solutions. Through her global advocacy as an ethologist and environmentalist, she is shaping attitudes and policy on issues ranging from human rights to the climate crisis, and inspiring action through the power of hope.
Jane Goodall was born on April 3rd, 1934, in London, England. At the age of 26, Jane followed her passion for wildlife and Africa to Gombe, Tanzania. There, under the mentorship of paleoanthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey, she began her landmark study of chimpanzees in the wild. Her revelatory observation in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools rocked the scientific landscape and forever redefined our understanding of the relationship between humans and other animals.
In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global community-led conservation, research, and animal welfare organization to advance her vision of a better future for all. In 1991, Dr. Goodall created Roots & Shoots, JGI's international youth program, now active in more than 60 countries, to develop the compassionate changemakers our world needs.
From scientist to world-renowned activist, Jane has been a leader in the community-led conservation and animal welfare movements for decades.
About the Jane Goodall Institute
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is a global, community-centered conservation organization founded in 1977 that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall in over 30 countries around the world. We aim to understand and protect chimpanzees, other apes and their habitats, and empower people to be compassionate citizens in order to inspire conservation of the natural world we all share. JGI uses research, collaboration with local communities, best-in-class animal welfare standards, and the innovative use of science and technology to inspire hope and transform it into action for the common good. Through our Roots & Shoots program for young people of all ages, now active in over 50 countries around the world, JGI is creating an informed and compassionate critical mass of people who will help to create a better world for people, other animals and our shared environment.
About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.
About the Field Museum
The Field Museum is a forward-thinking scientific leader on a mission to explore, protect, and celebrate nature and culture. From exhibitions that inspire journeys of discovery in visitors young and old, to the groundbreaking research and conservation efforts driven by our 40 million artifacts and specimens, we’re on a mission to spark public engagement with science and uncover solutions for a brighter world.
Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL - Illinois 60605, USA