Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more

Happy National Chocolate Day!

While Chicago is commonly known as the “Hog Butcher for the World,” it has also been a prolific producer of sweets. An 1857 survey showed forty-six confectioners working in the city, seven of which were large-scale manufacturers with wholesale markets. By the end of the century, Chicago would become the largest producer of candy in More

“The Whole World is Watching!”

Have you watched Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 yet? If you haven’t or want more of the backstory, we’ll get you caught up. Warning: some spoilers below. The film tells the story of the Chicago 7—David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, John Froines, and Lee Weiner—which was originally the More

The Palmer House: Next Door to Everything

In light of the recent news that the Palmer House Hotel faces a $338 million foreclosure suit, CHM staff members take a look back at its three iterations. The Palmer House Hotel was long the pinnacle of grandeur and luxury in Chicago and was for decades the hotel of choice for visiting presidents, dignitaries, and More

To Stretch and Pull and Expand a Universe

Head into costume storage with CHM costume collection manager Jessica Pushor as she discusses the iconic costume pieces that came out of the partnership between dancer and choreographer Ruth Page and artist Isamu Noguchi. Ruth Page (1899–1991) was a legendary ballerina and innovative choreographer. She was the first American guest ballet soloist with the Metropolitan Opera, and More


Missing college football’s annual fall kickoff? We’ve huddled up some images from the first half of the twentieth century. Peter T. Alter, CHM chief historian and director of the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History, provides insights on a time when Chicago-area teams and coaches dominated the collegiate gridiron.  A football game between the University More

Remembering Victor Skrebneski

Legendary photographer Victor Skrebneski passed away on April 4, 2020. For this blog post, Nena Ivon, past president of the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum, delved into her personal archive and reflects on her friend’s work with the Museum. Victor Skrebneski had a varied and exciting association with the Costume Council of the More

Muralist Trinidad Castillo and His Journey

As part of their public history class, DePaul University students Anne Crowe, Patrick Elliott, Joshua Khalilian, and Andrea Weiss-Tracy explore the life and work of Chicago artist Trinidad Castillo in this blog post. The Chicago History Museum commissioned Castillo to paint a mural for its exhibition American Medina: Stories of Muslim Chicago. The students’ course More

An Eyewitness to Studs

To mark what would have been the 108th birthday of Studs Terkel, Peter T. Alter, CHM chief historian and director of the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History, reflects on the memorable moments he shared with Studs at the Museum and Studs’s enduring cultural influence.  When I started working at the Chicago History Museum in More

The Assassination of Fred Hampton

On the fiftieth anniversary of Fred Hampton’s murder, the Chicago History Museum remembers his life, tragic death, and legacy with an eye toward the future. In keeping with the Museum’s goal of sharing Chicago’s stories and educating the community, CHM assistant curator Julius L. Jones partnered with undergraduate research assistants from Lake Forest College to present More

A Century of Chicago Bears Football

The 2019 National Football League season marks the centennial for both the league and a few original teams, including our very own Chicago Bears. To commemorate the occasion, assistant curator Julius L. Jones compiled some highlights from the Bears’ first century using artifacts and images in the Chicago History Museum’s collection.   The Chicago Bears More