Week #13 – Chicago History Museum

My family friend Megs works at the Chicago History Museum and offered to take me on a personal tour—how could I refuse? She mentioned a new fashion exhibit called Inspiring Beauty that was definitely worth seeing. Sounds like the perfect Saturday afternoon. And it was!

There is SO much to do here—for adults and children alike—so I’m including just a few of my favorite memories from the day.

  1. FACING FREEDOM – This exhibit gives interactive examples of how groups in U.S. history worked hard to fight for freedom, from the women’s suffrage movement (see me holding my banner below) to a Chicago school boycott. Megs and I were a part of this exhibit, too! First we took our picture, chose a word to go with our photo (we chose UNITE), and, voila!, our photo is one of many that appears on a pillar in the exhibit.
  2. TOURING THE FIRST L TRAIN CAR – Did you know the first L train car can be found here? Not only can you see the train, you can walk through the car. The seats are a little hard, but the car is so beautifully designed. It’s fun to sit and think about all of the people who’ve been on the train before you.
  3. INSPIRING BEAUTY: 50 YEARS OF EBONY FASHION FAIR – Think Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, and so much more! If you see only one thing during your visit, it should be this featured exhibit (open through January 5, 2014). You can’t take photos, so you’ll have to experience this one for yourself! Don’t miss the dozens of haute couture outfits featured during the 50-year history of Ebony Magazine’s annual traveling fashion show. Their beautiful construction, fierce colors, bold patterns, and exotics materials make it difficult to choose one favorite! Some of my favorites include a full-body tattoo black dress by Sarli, a Nina Ricci bold purple coat and jumpsuit, and an elegant blue coat by Pauline Trigere that was worn by Eunice Johnson, co-founder of Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company and producer and director of the Ebony Fashion Fair.
  4. VIVIAN MAIER’S CHICAGO – A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in this exhibit. The black and white photos of Vivian Maier, a nanny who photographed her life during the ’60s and ’70s in Chicago, speak volumes of the times without using a single word. This was another fun way to see fashion of the past, too.
  5. SENSING CHICAGO – I dressed up as a human-sized hot dog, rode a high-wheel bicycle, and smelled a farm. All while in this fun, experiential exhibit. Priceless…

I’ve included lots of photos, so be sure to take a look. Or better yet, plan a visit to the museum! Special thanks to Megs for the great tour!

Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark
Old Town

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