Brock Helps Sponsor Amazing Maize Exhibit Running Through January 2013 at Indiana State Museum
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A., September 23, 2011 — After more than five years in development, the Indiana State Museum opened Amazing Maize: The Science, History and Culture of Corn for a 16-month run through January 20, 2013.
Amazing Maize is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, Ford Motor Company, Case IH, National Starch, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance and Brock Grain Systems.
Why Corn? is the first of six sections in the exhibition, pointing out the more than 4,200 different uses for corn products in our culture. It takes 25 corn plants per person every day in American to sustain our way of life.
As you walk through the gallery, you follow a 10,000 year genetic journey that shows the evolution of the corn plan from the time of the ancient Mesoamericans when a teosinte plant was first domesticated and shaped for specific traits. Artifacts such as hand-powered farm tools, stone and wood corn grinders, and examples of dozens of different species of corn are highlighted, as well as an 11-foot Indiana corn god based on those of Mesoamerican cultures.
Other sections of the exhibition show Americans and Europeans’ growing dependence on this crop, as it goes global and dramatically changes our cultures, even playing a part in the development of the slave trade.
The chronology of the exhibit continues on to just prior to World War II, as scientists began to cross-breed higher-yielding corn varieties, followed by the introduction of mechanized tools in American farms. Farmers were now better able to manage thousands of acres of corn fields, and their yield was becoming a commodity, rather than just being used within their own farm and family.
Present-day genetic research, with an assist from sponsor Dow AgroScience, completes the exhibit, as visitors learn about genetic modifications to improve corn’s productivity and hardiness.
Overall, visitors will be amazed at the scientific, economic and cultural significance and impact that this domesticated grass (corn) has on daily life, both past and present.
The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The Indiana State Museum is Indiana’s museum for science, culture and art — a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. For more information, call 317.232.1637 or visit indianamuseum.org.