Museums in Chicago


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  • Arts and Artisans
    Arts & Artisans showcases work by more than 500 contemporary American artists, designers, and craftspeople. Each one-of-a-kind piece is handmade, and knowledgeable employees can expound on the history and techniques behind each functional and decorative item ranging from wood sculpture to women’s clothing. Artfully crafted jewelry helps accentuate patrons’ facial features, and a collection of jewelry boxes cradles wearable investments during casual dream sessions.
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    35 E Wacker Dr
    Chicago, IL US
  • International Museum of Surgical Science Chicago
    Before Dr. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio, there was the iron lung—a ventilator that allowed people to breathe when their muscles stopped working. Today, one of the few remaining fully functional iron lungs can be seen at the International Museum of Surgical Science. Strewn among four floors, other items range from x-ray machines to the original plaster cast of Napoleon’s death mask.
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    1524 N Lake Shore Dr
    Chicago, IL US
  • Loyola University Chicago
    LUMA features ten galleries, a lecture hall, a library, and a gift shop. The museum?s mission is to explore, promote, and understand art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures. LUMA is dedicated to helping people of all creeds to explore their faith and spiritual quests.
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    820 N Michigan Ave
    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
  • Museum of Broadcast Communications
    From the first televised presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon to Neil Armstrong using his smartphone to check-in at the moon, some of society's most formative moments are products of major advances in communication technology. In its collection of nearly 100,000 hours of digitized television and radio broadcasts and more than 1,800 artifacts?including the camera that broadcast the Kennedy-Nixon debate?the Museum of Broadcast Communications immortalizes the progression of media formats and their place in history. Besides historic newsreels and pivotal artifacts, the museum's curators have equally embraced the light-hearted side of communications, with collections of puppets and props from classic children's television shows and a compendium of television commercials dating back 60 years. Those who grew up in the Chicagoland area will recognize artifacts from locally filmed WGN programs such as Bozo's Circus and Garfield Goose and Friends. Several characters from The Ray Ranyer Show spark fond memories, most notably his beloved canine puppet, Cuddly Dudley. Additionally, a compendium of television commercials dating back 60 years. Elsewhere, a 17-foot tall neon and steel media tower makes for great King Kong reenactments, and features 36 monitors as well as vintage control room equipment. The interactivity continues in the television studio, where visitors can tape their own newscasts. While museum guests are free to explore permanent exhibits in the National Radio Hall of Fame, which houses artifacts from The Jack Benny Program and the original ventriloquist dummies from The Charlie McCarthy Show, they're also encouraged to check out new summer exhibits such as The Life & Times of Gary Coleman.
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    360 N State St.
    Chicago, IL US
  • 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

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