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Members | Members

Virtual Members’ Open House, Day 1

Wednesday, May 26

The CHM Members’ Open House provides members and Historical Alliance with exclusive access to Museum collections and staff. This is a great chance to hear about all of the Museum’s upcoming projects, exhibitions, and programs. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to go behind the scenes!

This event is FREE for CHM members and Historical Alliance. You may attend all or some of the sessions. If you register for Wednesday, you will receive links to access all of the day’s sessions. These links will arrive via email the week of the event.

Questions? Members should contact Justina Doyle, member relations manager, at [email protected], and Historical Alliance should contact Lauren Wissbaum, individual giving and annual fund manager, at [email protected]


Wednesday’s Schedule

3:00 p.m. – The History of Our History
Hear about CHM history from those who experienced it. Volunteer and intern manager Marne Bariso leads this special discussion with her fellow longtime CHM colleagues, some of whom have been with us for more than twenty years! They’ll talk about the changes they’ve seen at CHM and in the museum field, as well as their hopes for the future. Bring your questions for these veterans.

4:00 p.m. – New Photography Acquisitions
Join senior vice president John Russick as he shares the stories behind some of CHM’s recent major photography acquisitions, including Hedrich-Blessing, Chicago Sun-Times, Raeburn Flerlage, and Vivian Maier. Russick will discuss the breadth and depths of each collection and how we (and you!) can use them in the future.

5:00 p.m. – Fire Relic Excavation
Ever seen or heard about the “Fire Blob” that was behind the Museum? Go behind the scenes with CHM senior collection manager Britta Keller Arendt to hear about the history of this giant relic from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Learn about the many homes it’s had over the decades and what it took to unearth it from its former location by the plaza and prepare it for display on the History Trail.

6:00 p.m. – Afro-American Patrolmen’s League Oral History Project
This summer, in preparation for a future exhibition, CHM will begin an oral history project documenting the early years of the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League (AAPL) and their groundbreaking struggle to reform policing in Chicago. Hear from assistant curator Julius L. Jones about the history of the AAPL and this exciting initiative.

7:00 p.m. – New Acquisition: Vashon Jordan Photography Collection
Learn about our newest photography collection acquisition in a conversation with head of collections Julie Wroblewski and photographer Vashon Jordan. Hear from Jordan about his images, which provide a tangible visual record of the social justice demonstrations that took place in Chicago during the summer of 2020.

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CHM senior collection manager Britta Keller Arendt (far right) looking at the fire relic with two members of the collections staff, March 2021.
A flyer for the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League.
An envelope of negatives from the Chicago Sun-Times photography collection.

The Details



26 th

3:00–8:00 p.m.

Event Location


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories