The Chicago Athenaeum

Facilities: Architecture (1st corporate headquarters of Montgomery Ward, 1899); Auditorium (300 seats); Exhibition Area (16,000 square feet; additional 1,000 apart); Lecture Room; Library (2,500 volumes); Rental Gallery; Sculpture Garden (Schaumburg, IL); Shop. Activities: Lectures; Self-guided Tours; Temporary Exhibitions; Traveling Exhibitions. Publications: catalogue, “Good Design” (annual): magazine, “Metropolitan Review” (bi-monthly).

The Chicago Athenaeum is an international museum of architecture and design. It displays objects from its permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions and also offers walking tours, gallery walks, and other programs dealing with design and the urban environment. Highlights of the permanent collection of the Athenaeum include architectural drawings and models, building fragments, decorative arts, industrial design (household appliances, business equipment, cameras, electronics), graphic design (graphic arts from corporate logos to poster art), and photographic and film/video archives.

The Chicago Athenaeum Photo Gallery

Chicago Cultural Center

Facilities: Architecture (former central library, 1897 Beaux Arts design by the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan, & Coolidge); Cabaret: Concert Halls (2); Conservation Facilities; Dance Studio; Food Services (Cafe); Galleries (8); Performing Arts Space; Theatres (2). Activities: Concerts; Dance Recitals; Educational Programs (elementary and high school students); Film Series; Galley Talks; Guided Tours (Tues-Sat, 1:15pm); Lectures: Panel Discussions; Performances; Readings; Temporary Exhibitions (40+/year): Workshops. Publications: calendar (monthly); exhibition catalogues.

Interior view of the Chicago Cultural Center, Tiffany dome in Preston Bradley Hall. Architects: Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, 1897. Photograph by Degnan/Moloitis courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago. Illinois.

The Chicago Cultural Center presents more than 1,000 admission-free programs and exhibitions annually. Listed on the Register of National Historic Places, the building housing the Chicago Cultural Center was the first home of the Chicago Public Library. Its interior features rooms modeled on t he Doges Palace, the Palazzo Yecchio. and the Acropolis. Its ornamentation includes two stained-glass domes (one is Tiffany’s largest design), marble, mosaics, and coffered ceilings. The Center houses a number of galleries: Landmark Chicago Gallery, three Michigan Avenue Galleries, Sidney R. Yates Gallery. Exhibit Hall. Chicago Rooms, and Renaissance Court. The exhibition program is aimed at the offerings of Chicagos traditional museums and alternative galleries, to broaden the arts audience in Chicago, and to provide opportunities for Chicago artists to exhibit as well as view significant works bv their counterparts on the local, regional, national, and international scene. Several major exhibitions are organized annually by the staff of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs or guest curators Exhibitions present a wide range of traditional and new media: painting, sculpture photography, graphics, crafts, architecture, and design. A variety of contemporary, historical, and cultural offerings include national traveling exhibitions as well as one-person shows by local artists.

Chicago Historical Society

The Chicago Historical Society mounts temporary .exhibitions focusing on Chicago, Illinois, and American history. White primarily a history museum, the Historical Society does have an art collection. It acquires artifacts that reflect the artistic communities of Chicago, and it also houses a nationally recognized collection of portraits, both in flat art and in sculpture. There is as well a collection of locally-produced decorative arts.

City Gallery

City Gallery is located in the Chicago Water Tower, originally erected in 1869 to house a 138-foot-high standpipe and now a memorial to the victims of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. A project of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, City Gallery is dedicated to displaying Chicago-themed photographs by Chicago photographers.

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