Saturday, July 25, 2009

Exhibits to Explore in the Sterling Morton Library

During this year of celebrations – the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of the Species and the 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan - the Sterling Morton Library currently has three special exhibits to explore.

Darwin's Flowers: Unlocking Natural Selection
After returning from his voyage on the Beagle (1831-1836), Charles Darwin renewed his childhood interest in plants. By 1881 he had written seven major books on pollinators and pollinating mechanisms, insectivorous plants, the power of movement in plants, and a pioneering work on orchid biology. This exhibit presents examples of these varied studies as Darwin saw them - supporting evidence for his theory that natural selection is the driving force of evolving life.

Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham's Vision of an American Metropolis
A photo-panel exhibit created by the Newberry Library for the centennial of the Plan of Chicago. More details about this fascinating project can be found at:

Worth His Salt: Joy Morton and the Plan of Chicago
Through photographs and text discover how Joy Morton, a long-time member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, made significant contributions to the development of the 1909 Plan of Chicago. Curious about other centennial events? The Burnham Plan Centennial site has a number of resources and a list of engaging events at:

If these current exhibits within the Library pique your interest, the following selected resources will further your understanding:
  • Smith, Carl S.The plan of Chicago : Daniel Burnham and the remaking of the American city, 2006. NA737.B85 S65
  • Plan of Chicago : prepared under the direction of the Commercial Club during the years MCMVI, MCMVII, and MCMVIII, 1909. REF NA9127.C4C7
  • Ballowe, James. A man of salt and trees : the life of Joy Morton, 2009. CT9610.M6B3
  • McGinty, Alice B. Darwin, 2009. J CT9460.D2M4
  • Schanzer, Rosalyn. What Darwin saw : the journey that changed the world, 2009.
    J CT9460.D2S3
  • Quammen, David. The reluctant Mr. Darwin : an intimate portrait of Charles Darwin and the making of his theory of evolution, 2006. CT 9460.D2Q3
  • Keynes, R. D. Fossils, finches, and Fuegians : Darwin’s adventures and discoveries on the Beagle, 2003. QH11.K49

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