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Senior Curator

EXPERTISE: Olivia Mahoney’s area of expertise includes but is not limited to the following Chicago topics: the fur trade; innovation; and Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

EXPERIENCE: Chicago History Museum: Curatorial Staff, 1980present

EDUCATION: M.A., Museum Studies, Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York, 1980; B.S., Education, emphasis in American History, Student of Distinction, Northwestern University, 1974.

Olivia Mahoney is responsible for curating numerous exhibits including Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America (2018); Lincoln’s Undying Words (2016); Abraham Lincoln Transformed (2009); Chicago: Crossroads of America, the museum’s core exhibition (2006); and Go West! Chicago and American Expansion (1999).

In addition, Mahoney developed two prize-winning exhibitions with Eric Foner of Columbia University: A House Divided: American in the Age of Lincoln for CHM (1990) and America’s Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War, a traveling exhibition that opened at the Virginia Historical Society (1995).  Their catalog for A House Divided received the Gustavus Myers Award for outstanding book on human rights in the United States.  The film Mahoney scripted for Abraham Lincoln Transformed received an honorable mention in the American Association of Museums Muse competition.  Mahoney has served on several review and advisory panels, including the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum.

Read Olivia’s Blog Posts
Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories
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