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National Geographic’s Indiana Jones Exhibit Opens on May 14

Film props are showcased alongside real archaeological artifacts.
National Geographic’s Indiana Jones Exhibit Opens on May 14
The Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, a prop from The Raiders of the Lost Ark, is included in the exhibit. Photos courtesy National Geographic Museum.

“Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” opens at the National Geographic Museum on May 14, and it’s sure to make Indy fans giddy. Props, costumes, and behind-the-scenes commentary offer visitors a glimpse into the making of the franchise, while also providing a look into the field of archeology. Here’s what you can expect at the exhibit.

Photo by Christy Solberg/National Geographic.

Upon entering the museum, guests are handed a personal “video companion,” which is equipped with an audio greeting by Harrison Ford. The device offers interesting tidbits about the franchise, including which plot points are based on fact and which are fictionalized.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic Museum.

Iconic props like the Ark of the Covenant and the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol are showcased at the exhibit. Both make an appearance in The Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first film in the series. In the opening scene, Jones surrenders the idol to his rival, René Belloq. The Ark, on the other hand, is sought after by the Nazis, who believe it has the power to make their army invincible. Other highlights include the Holy Grail and the Crystal Skull.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic Museum.

Archeological artifacts are featured along with the Indy film displays. This gold leaf wreath was found at the fabled city of Ur, which is believed to be Abraham’s birthplace. By intertwining props with the real thing, visitors can get a sense of what real-life Indys do.

Photo by John Scarpinato

Who can forget the franchise’s costume design? From Indy’s hat and whip to Kate Capshaw’s famous red dress, visitors get a close look at some of the film’s most iconic designs. And don’t forget about the exhibit’s handy video companion. It offers some interesting wardrobe facts. Did you know that Steven Spielberg practically invented rimless glasses? The director didn’t want to cover Sean Connery’s face, so he asked a costume designer to create clear, round frames.

“Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” is on view at the National Geographic Museum from May 14, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

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