January 1st, 2000 - December 31st, 2002 | PROJECT

Chocolate! is a travelling 4,500 sq. ft. exhibit developed and produced by the Field Museum of Chicago. The visitor is invited on a journey through time, where they can explore the interactions between humans and ecosystems, and discover how cultures have shaped -- and have been shaped by -- this gift of nature, chocolate. The exhibition and its associated programs will promote awareness of the process natural products undergo as they are integrated into our lives, and will encourage the visitor to question how cultural traditions, people, and the environment are intertwined. The exhibition consists of four (4) areas. Exploring the cacao tree (Threobroma cacao) beginning with its ecological requirements (Bounty from Nature's Garden), its practical and ritual use by Mesoamerican societies (Food of the Gods), its introduction to Europe several hundred years ago (Bitter Seeds of Sweet Success), and finally its important role in international markets today (Where Money Grows on Trees) will all be highlighted. Throughout the entire exhibition, connections between natural ecosystems and human cultures will be reinforced within the context of contemporary conservation issues. The "Chocolate!" exhibition and programs will tour North America, coordinated by SITES and reaching 1,000,000 visitors over three (3) years. In addition, a website will ensure long-term public and classroom access to the educational materials related to cacao and chocolate.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Anamari Golf, Principal Investigator, Field Museum of Natural History
M. Frances Muraski-Stotz, Co-Principal Investigator, Field Museum of Natural History


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9980479
Funding Amount: 602268


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | History | policy | law | Life science | Nature of science | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media