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From Mystery to Masterpiece

From soaring joy to deep grief, pride to livid outrage, and all of the mundane moments in between, our newest exhibition Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection highlights real life in Chicago and celebrates the work of award-winning Chicago Sun-Times photojournalists. Their bold images earned the Sun-Times the moniker “Chicago’s Picture Newspaper,” and today nearly 150 of them are displayed in Millions of Moments—a first look at some highlights from nearly 5 million negatives spanning the 1940s to early 2000s.

Last year, the Museum acquired those negatives—one of the largest newspaper photograph collections ever acquired by an American museum—thanks to work that began in December 2017. The location and condition of the newspaper’s photograph archive had been a mystery, as owners and employees of the Sun-Times were unaware that the negatives were sitting in a storage facility 100 miles outside of Chicago.  

John Russick, CHM senior vice president, and Julie Wroblewski, CHM head of collections, sat down with Ashlee Rezin of the Chicago Sun-Times to talk about the Museum’s acquisition of this outstanding collection and their aspirations for its future. Read the article.

Chicago Sun-Times photographers hit the streets, 1956. From left: Louis Giampa, Larry Nocerino, Bill Pauer, Bob Kotalik, Carmen Reporto, Howard Lyon, Ralph Walters, Bill Sturm, Bill Knefel, Dave Mann, and Joe Kordick. ST-17500856, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM

In partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago History Museum is now making these once unknown images available to the public. Thanks to our team of archivists, 45,000 images can be viewed through our online portal, and additional batches will be added as work continues. Explore the images.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories