Press Releases

Chicago History Museum Recipient of Gift from Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation

Jul 22 2021

The Chicago History Museum today announced that The Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation has approved an award of $1,000,000 to complete the renovation of the Museum’s research collection facility. The gift will ensure that the Museum’s library and archive holdings are properly preserved and provide access to scholars and the public. A dedication ceremony will take place at the Museum on July 26th, at which point the Research Center will officially be named The Abakanowicz Research Center.

“The Chicago History Museum is dedicated to making our research collections accessible to everyone and this generous gift from The Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation will allow us to expand our collections and preserve materials for generations to come,” said Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Chicago History Museum. “It is through our research collections and continued work across communities that we are able to share Chicago stories from diverse perspectives, and we are grateful to The Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation for this gift to further our mission.”

In addition to preservation and access of the Museum’s renowned research collection, this generous gift will support several elements of the research center facility and collections, including compaction storage, the installation of a new waterproof roof, updated lighting, HVAC systems and other necessary elements for collecting and preservation. It will also provide support for programs and activity such as the Chicago Metro History Fair, house histories, new scholarship, and further research into Chicago communities.

The Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation honors the legacy of Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017), a renowned artist of the twentieth century and pioneer of fiber-based sculpture and installation. Influenced by her life in Poland under Nazi and Soviet occupation during World War II, her work draws from various experiences, encouraging multiple interpretations, and highlights her belief in history determining the future of society and cultures. She is best known in Chicago for her public work, Agora (2006), in Grant Park. The designation of the Abakanowicz Research Center underscores the artist’s commitment to truth in history, the value of telling diverse stories, and her long association with the city of Chicago.

For more information on the Abakanowicz Research Center and availability of research collections, please visit:

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