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“It tells the story of human ingenuity:” MPM debuts new exhibit on weapons

MILWAUKEE -- A special exhibit debuting at the Milwaukee Public Museum this weekend traces the deadly, yet crucial evolution of weapons throughout thousands of years.

“The human story is really what this exhibit is about, and it’s told through weapons," said Dawn Scher Thomae, curator of anthropology collections.

“Weapons: Beyond the Blade” features almost 200 items from more than 50 countries, the vast majority pulled from MPM's own collection.

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

“We really wanted to highlight several of the collections that people don’t normally see," said Scher Thomae.

There’s an arrowhead that dates back 10,000 years, an ornate, ivory sword worn by a samurai in the 1800s and even hat pins that were a controversial form of self-defense for women at the turn of the 20th century.

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

“There actually was a law, even in Milwaukee, that was passed, because they felt it became a menace to society," said Scher Thomae.

Instead of separating the artifacts by culture or time period, the pieces are arranged by use and impact -- as means of survival, symbols of power, products of innovation and works of art.

“I think weapons, almost more than almost anything else, tells the story of human ingenuity. It tells the story of material culture that has a connection to almost anyone, either directly or indirectly," said Scher Thomae.

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

Milwaukee Public Museum's Weapons: Beyond the Blade

Museum members will get a first look at the new exhibit on Friday, October 6th before it opens to the general public on Saturday, October 7th.

“Weapons: Beyond the Blade” runs through January 1st, 2018.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the exhibit.