Holiday hours: 12/26–12/30, open until 6pm; 12/24 & 12/31, closing at 2:30pm; 12/25 & 1/1, closed. MORE

The Trianon Ballroom: What Would Have Been 100 Years

Chicago has had more than its fair share of big band and jazz dance halls across the city to accommodate nearly everyone’s musical taste. On December 6, 1922—100 years ago—at 62nd Street and Cottage Grove, in the Woodlawn neighborhood, the Trianon Ballroom opened its doors and counted itself among the city’s nightlife destinations. An undated More

Fashions of the Hour: The Axis of Art and Industry

This post is from Marissa Croft, CHM’s research and insights analyst and author of our Fashion and Costume Research Guide. As a PhD candidate at Northwestern University, she also researches the clothing of the French Revolution and women’s clothing reform movements of the 19th century. As December dawns, many Chicagoans may find themselves fondly reminiscing More

Seeing Yourself in Sacred Texts

This year, National Bible Week began Sunday, November 20, and ends on Saturday, November 26, 2022. To mark the occasion, CHM curator of religion and community history Rebekah Coffman highlights a remarkable illustrated publication in CHM’s collection. National Bible Week originated in 1941 under US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, when founders of the National Bible More

CHM Staff Spotlight: Elena Gonzales

Elena Gonzales joined the Chicago History Museum in spring 2021 as a guest curator and began as the Curator of Civic Engagement and Social Justice in October 2022. In this blog post, she talks about her work at CHM and how she approaches it. Elena Gonzales. Image credit: Ben Gonzales What led you to the More

The Birth of the Báb and Baháʼu’lláh

From sundown on Tuesday, October 25, through sundown on Thursday, October 27, followers of the Baha’i faith will be celebrating important Twin Holidays: the birth of the Báb (Arabic: the Gate) and birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic: Glory of God), its two foundational figures. In recognition, we look to the Chicago History Museum’s collection of pamphlets More

Resurrection Mary, The Hitchhiking Ghost of Archer Avenue

This ghostly image was taken at the Electric Theater night club at 4812 North Clark St., Chicago, April 5, 1968. ST-10003431-0024, Chicago Sun-Times Collection, CHM Chicagoland has a lot of ghost stories, but none are as well-known as the infamous Resurrection Mary, the hitchhiking ghost who haunts the roadsides of Archer Avenue. Mary has different More

Scotty Piper, “The Dancing Tailor of 47th Street”

In our latest blog post, CHM costume collection manager Jessica Pushor talks about the fascinating life of Louis “Scotty” Piper, his career as a tailor, and his generous donations to the Chicago History Museum. Piper is one of the designers featured in Treasured Ten: Selections from the Costume Collection, which runs through January 16, 2023. More

The Sanctuary Movement in Chicago

This blog post has been adapted from an essay by CHM intern Megha Khemka, based on her work in the summer of 2022 focused on Chicago’s history with immigration. Whatever your current picture of undocumented individuals, it’s probably incomplete. I know mine was. Immigration was a topic I thought I knew well; my parents were More

Chicago Sings! (In Many Voices)

This blog post has been adapted from an essay by CHM intern Bella Santos, based on her work in the summer of 2022 around the printmaker Carlos Cortéz and the work of student activists at the Chicago History Museum. In September 2019, Anton Miglietta, a history teacher at Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy (ILJA) in More

Sukkot: Weaving Community Stories

This year, the Jewish festival of Sukkot began at sundown on Sunday, October 9, and ends in the evening of Sunday, October 16. CHM curator of religion and community history Rebekah Coffman explains the meaning and significance of the holiday and talks about an artifact in our collection that is inspired by it. While Sukkot More