Genghis Khan: The Exhibition at the Irving Arts Center

The residents of and visitors to North Texas have an exciting opportunity available to them these days.  Genghis Khan: The Exhibition is on display at the Irving Arts Center from June 1 – .  This marks the first time an exhibition of this  scale has been on view at the Center and in the City of Irving.  You may be wondering a few things about Genghis Khan and this exhibit.

What Was So Special About Genghis Khan?

Genghis Khan is a fascinating part of history and, as it turns out, you just might be related to him.   Nearly .5 percent of the world’s male population can trace their heritage back to Genghis Khan’s family.  That’s nearly 16 million men!

Genghis Khan was also an innovator.  He is noted for his cultural influences on the world, his appreciation of the arts, and his creation of a stable government.  Passports, international borders, the postal system, hamburgers and even pants can be traced back to his rule.

Of course, Genghis Khan is more known for his role as a conqueror.  In just 25 years, the Mongolian Army conquered more lands and people during the Romans during their 400 year rule.  He and his sons united smaller countries into larger ones and developed international borders for countries that still stand today.  These include China, Korea and India.  At one point their empire spanned between 11 and 12 million square miles, across Europe and Asia.

Most interesting to me is Genghis Khan’s burial place.  It is one of the greatest archeological mysteries of our time.  The warrior was placed in an unmarked grave in Mongolia.  According to one imaginative account, 800 horseman trampled repeatedly over the burial site to obscure the location of the grave.  The horseman were then killed by another set of soldiers so that they could not disclose the grave site.

Why Should I Go to this Exhibit?

The story of Genghis Khan the conqueror, the myth and the man is told through a stunning and highly interactive world-tour exhibition. Genghis Khan: The Exhibition follows the life of a poor, illiterate child as he becomes one of the world’s greatest conquerors and leaves a lasting imprint on modern-day culture. More than 200 artifacts including gold jewelry, weaponry, silk robes, currency, tomb treasures and more are displayed alongside video-screens, hands-on activity stations and role-playing kiosks to create an educational and historical experience for visitors of all ages.

This exhibition features the largest collection of 13th century Mongolian artifacts ever gathered in a single showing.  Of particular note, the exhibition features the recently uncovered mummy and tomb treasures of a Mongolian noble woman, nicknamed The Princess Giant because of her unusual height.  And, for the kid in all of us, the interactive aspect of the exhibition leads visitors through a life-size ger (traditional nomadic dwelling); and allows visitors to shoot a model trebuchet, create a Mongolianstyle hat and use computer touch screens to live out the lives of characters from the 13thcentury.

Genghis Khan: The Exhibition was produced by “Dino” Don Lessem, with curatorial consultation by leading Genghis Khan scholars Dr. William Fitzhugh of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Morris Rossabi of Columbia University. Lessem is an author, longtime science journalist and president of Exhibits Rex, Inc. The exhibition was developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Lenders include the National Museum of Mongolian History, the Institute of Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the National Library of Mongolia, the Military Museum of Mongolia, the Dornogobi Province Museum, and the Dornod Province Museum in Mongolia. Artifacts are also on loan from private collections including the Kooros and Gotuaco families, Natsag Gankhuyag and Francis Boyd.

Opportunities Like This Don’t Come Often

Exhibits such as this do not come to every city and town.  The Irving Arts Center is privileged to have Genghis Khan: The Exhibition on site through September 30.  There are multiple lectures, special discount days and event scheduled throughout the summer.  Admission prices range from $5 – $12 depending on age and group size.  The exhibit is open 7 days a week and parking is free.  I know that I will be visiting this exhibit before it leaves and I hope that you will too.  I am pleased to announce that Yankee Texan Mom will be hosting a ticket giveaway soon, so keep your eyes peeled.