Kernels of Culture: Maize Around the World

May 3, 2024 - March 31, 2025
11:30 am - 4:30 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden > Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum
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The Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum presents a fascinating exploration of what we know as corn—integrating maize, art, farming, foods, community, tools, and pop culture into a multimedia exhibition on display May 3, 2024 through March 31, 2025.

Where did the grass species Maize (Zea mays) we know and enjoy come from? Maize has a complex story from which we are continuing to reap the benefits every day. It begins thousands of years ago with the first Indigenous farmers in Mexico and Central America who hybridized these plants continuously, domesticating the kernels of teosinte—the acknowledged wild grass ancestor to
maize—to the corn cobs we grow and use today. The story continues with the Spanish and other European colonizers who brought Maize to other parts of the world where it was quickly adopted in the 1500s, growing to become one of the top three cereal crops globally. Our knowledge of Maize has grown from the work of botanists who have spent many years untangling the taxonomic origins of this crop, and those who are working on the genetic possibilities of this complex grass species into the future.