Museums in Andersonville, Chicago


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  • Swedish American Museum
    Chicago is a hub of cultural diversity—Andersonville's Swedish American Museum makes that clear. Originally built in 1976 by Swedish immigrant Kurt Mathiasson, what is now a stalwart guardian of Swedish-American hertiage began as a small storefront log cabin, housing local family histories. His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, gave his blessing to the project by holding the official opening ceremony, but the minds behind the museum had even grander plans. After a decade of collection and education, they moved the Museum to its current, larger location, and invited the King back to celebrate with them again. After that illustrious beginning, the Museum held permanent exhibitions on the Swedish-immigrant experience, including passports and folk crafts as well as information on why the immigrants left, what they packed for their voyages, and what careers they chose in Chicago. The onsite Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration also hosts interactive displays to teach kids about life for ancient Swedes and the crossing to America, whereas the Nordic Family Geneology Center assists people in researching their family's lineage.
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    5211 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL US
  • Swedish American Museum
    A Swedish immigrant himself, Kurt Mathiasson took it upon himself to found an institution that would preserve the legacy of the Swedish-American experience within Chicago. The Andersonville-neighborhood leader opened the original Swedish American Museum in a storefront log cabin in 1976, receiving the blessing of His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, who personally attended the ceremonies. Just over one decade later, the museum moved to its present Clark Street location, giving it both the space and the means to continue its mission of celebrating Swedish heritage and the experiences of Chicago's Swedish immigrants. The three-story museum's permanent collection boasts roughly 12,000 artifacts. These historical pieces include original passports and steamship tickets, household items that immigrants brought to the New World, and various folk crafts. Within the museum's permanent exhibits, these artifacts provide visitors with valuable insight into the struggles and triumphs of Swedish immigrants as they established a new, vibrant community within Chicago. Beyond the permanent exhibit, the institution also features the Brunk Children?s Museum of Immigration, which provides youngsters of all ages with hands-on opportunities to experience life in a replica of a Swedish farmhouse. Youths collect firewood, learn to milk a cow, and connect to the internet using a crank-powered modem. From there, children can board a 20-foot model of a steamship, which mimics the journey across the Atlantic and then teaches passengers about the log-cabin lifestyles of America's frontier settlers. The Swedish American Museum's Nordic Family Genealogy Center provides yet another service for interested visitors, giving them the opportunity to research their families' Scandinavian heritage.
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    5211 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL US

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