First Major Chicago Area Sword Exhibition in Over Half a Century; Highland Park Historical Society Holds Exhibition of 50 Eurasian and African Swords and Daggers
The Highland Park Historical Society is pleased to announce SWORDS of the Eastern Hemisphere 1500 B.C. - 1990 A.D., the first-ever Chicago region exhibition of Pan-Eurasian and Pan-Historic edged swords and daggers, at the Society's Museum, 326 Central Avenue, Highland Park, IL. Never before has a Chicago area museum presented such a wide spectrum of such weapons from Africa and Western Europe to Eastern Asia. It also is the first major edged weapon museum exhibition in the Chicago area in over half a century.
The exhibition, which will run through November 15, 2010, features a collection of 50 swords and daggers, including a bronze sword from Luristan, Iran, and a Schivona from Venice, Italy. It provides an exceptional panoramic view of the origins, development, and ultimate evolution of this type of edged weapon. All swords and daggers are excellent to superlative examples of their type. A few are so rare that they may be the only ones in known existence.
Special items of related metalwork, including silverwork and paintings, some of incomparable rarity and beauty, such as a silver Tibetan teapot with hundreds of semi-precious stones and fine filigree work from the Dali Lama's Potala Palace workshop, also are on display to illustrate techniques and provide additional perspective into the derivation of these weapons.
From the standpoint of the visitor to an exhibition of this type, the sword and its mini-form, the dagger, represent many things ranging from fantasy to practical utility, and incorporate central concepts of science and engineering. The origins of the sword and dagger lie in the tool-making trends of our pre-human ancestors and 800,000 years of the search for better tools.
Unlike many weapons accumulated by art collectors solely based on visual appeal, these weapons were selected by an expert in modern weapons design. The selection specifically was based on their quality of design as a weapon, the techniques used in manufacture, or their significance in the history of weapons.
Augmenting the exceptional nature of this exhibition, many of the displays use methods never before employed in museum exhibitions, to allow the visitor to view the back and front of the weapons simultaneously when they are not identical, and to see designs or patterns with sharp, clear visual detail.
During the exhibition, the museum is offering a few carefully selected, fine books relevant to the swords for visitors of all ages and levels of expertise, including Donald La Rocca's book on Himalayan arms and armor, "Warriors of the Himalayas," for sale at moderate prices ranging from $20 to $65.
Exhibition hours are Wed. - Thurs., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Fri., 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sun., 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Advance reservations are requested, due to limited space. The entry fee is $5 per person and $3 for active duty military personnel.
For more information, phone 847-432-7090 and visit www.highlandparkhistory.com.