Midwest Living Review
With gallery spaces devoted to artifacts from around the world, the Spurlock Museum covers art as well as anthropology and history. It feels like a miniature version of Chicago's Field Museum, minus the stuffed animals and dinosaur bones and plus some statues from the Art Institute. Spend an hour looking at the Spurlock's exhibits and you'll get a quick tour of the globe and thousands of years of history. Open since 2002 and run by the University of Illinois, the sleekly designed museum covers too much ground to explore in depth. One second you're looking at a German suit of armor from the 17th century, and then a few steps later, you've skipped 300 years, moving onto a World War I helmet from Austria. But the exhibits do a fine job of showing the connections across the world's cultures and historical epochs.Divided geographically, the two-story museum's five galleries showcase the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Africa; ancient Greece and Rome; East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania; Europe; and the Indian cultures of North and South America. The objects on display include original artifacts -- such as an Egyptian mummy -- as well as many plaster replicas of ancient and medieval sculptures. These plasters are still impressive for the way they show the majesty of the original artworks.The ground-floor gallery features temporary exhibits, such as a fascinating collection of Korean funerary figures, shown in the summer of 2010.