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


History of the Chicago Fire Cyclorama

Featured in our City on Fire: Chicago 1871 exhibition is a 40-feet-long painting study created as a guide for a larger Chicago Fire Cyclorama painting, which was displayed in Chicago in 1892-93 in a round building constructed for visitors to have an immersive experience. You can take an in-depth look at the painting study in More


“Concert is power”

In February 1853, a new law took effect that prohibited African Americans from settling in Illinois. The law was spearheaded by Democrat John A. Logan and passed by Illinois’s all-white legislature. This exclusion of Black Americans was one of the most egregious stipulations in a series of anti-Black laws passed in Illinois that relegated free More


A Chicago Holiday Tradition

The Marshall Field & Co. department store (now Macy’s) has always gone big for the holidays, and in 2020, things will continue with the 113th annual Great Tree, the fifty-third annual animated holiday windows, and the forty-two trumpets along State Street. Along with the decor, a visit to their Walnut Room is normally part of More


Visionary Women

In November 1863, the Christian Recorder reported that the Chicago’s Colored Ladies Freedmen’s Aid Society (CCLFAS) sent a petition for the “entire abolition of slavery” to various federal officials in Washington, DC. The CCLFAS was cofounded by Mary Richardson Jones, who, after moving with her husband to Chicago in 1845, served as a “conductor” along More


How Disaster Shaped the Modern City

On this day in 1871, a fire began on DeKoven Street in a barn owned by Catherine and Patrick O’Leary. Fueled by a gale-force wind, this blaze grew into the Great Chicago Fire. Advancing northward over three days, the inferno destroyed three and a half square miles in the heart of the city, leveling more More


Chicago’s Silent Sentinels

In this blog post, CHM curatorial intern Divya Pai recounts the work of Lucy Hyde Ewing and Madeline Upton Watson as part of a series in which we share the stories of local women who made history in anticipation of an exhibition about Chicago women and the vote. The fight for women’s suffrage in Chicago More

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories