Programs & Events

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Festivities Member-Only

2018 Member Holiday Open House

Thursday, December 6, 2018 2 - 3:30 p.m., 3:30 - 5 p.m., 5 - 6:30 p.m., 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Members and their guests are invited to celebrate the season while enjoying the warm atmosphere of the Museum’s festive décor.

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Family Day

Magic at the Museum

Saturday, October 13, 2018 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Magician Sean Masterson delights all ages, imaginatively combining sleight-of-hand, mind-blowing illusions and audience participation.

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Lecture Exhibition

2018 Signature Lecture: Mansions and Matrons: Women, Wealth, and the Power Houses of America’s Gilded Age

Wednesday, October 10 , 2018 6 - 8 p.m.

This year’s Signature Lecture continues our exploration of women and design by examining the role women played in the rise of the luxurious mansion in the Gilded Age.

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Tours Member-Only

The Stony Island Arts Bank

Sunday, October 7, 2018 8:30am-1:00pm

Members and their guests are invited to visit The Stony Island Arts Bank, a hybrid gallery, media archive, library and community center – designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923.

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Group enjoying cocktail event Festivities

A Toast to the Gilded Age: American Craft Whiskey

Friday, October 5, 2018 , 2018 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy live music and unearth quirky, fun facts about the origins of American whiskey culture as you sip and sample food and drink pairings.

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Book Club

Book Club: The Age of Innocence

Saturday, September 29 , 2018 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Edith Wharton‘s 1920 novel tells the story of couple, Newland Archer and May Welland, and the challenges they face deciding between desire and obligation.

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SOLD OUT - Travel Tour: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Saturday, September 22, 2018 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. (approx.)

Our fall travel tour will visit the historic and artistic sites of Grand Rapids, Michigan including the Meyer May House, the Meijer Gardens and the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

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Lecture Exhibition

“All That Glitters” Chicago Portraits in the Gilded Age

Thursday September 20 , 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Cultural historian Celia Hilliard will take a look back at the sometimes fraught enterprise of Gilded Age portrait commissions.

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Exhibition Member-Only

Fall Exhibitions Member Preview

Friday, September 7, 2018 4 - 5:30 p.m. or 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Please join us for this Member Preview event. Hear informal gallery talks and enjoy light refreshments and entertainment.

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Sullivan's Transportation Building Exhibition Tours

Chicago's Gold Coast Patronage and the 1893 World's Fair - Sold Out

Saturdays, September 8 - October 13, 2018 1 - 2:30 p.m.

In honor of the city’s 125th Anniversary celebration of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Sally Kalmbach, will treat you to tales about the famous Gold Coast residents and architects who designed buildings for the White City.

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Historic Image of Nickerson Mansion Tours

Mansions and Millionaires: The McCormickville Walking Tour

Saturdays, July 7 - September 1, 2018 1 - 2:30 p.m.

On this walking tour, historian Sally Kalmbach will illuminate the lives of the prominent families and notable public figures of Gilded Age Chicago who once called the area home.

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Servant Using a Vacuum Tours

Help Wanted: The Summer Servants Tour

Wednesdays and Fridays, July 6 - September 28, 2018 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Extended through September! In this popular living history tour, you will play the role of a prospective candidate, hoping to fill one of the household’s domestic service vacancies.

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Jane Addams Lecture

Living Dangerously: The Social Change Work of Jane Addams and the Hull-House Settlement

Thursday, June 21, 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

In recognition of Pride Month, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum director and chief curator, Jennifer Scott discusses Jane Addams’ important contributions to social change.

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Vivian Beer Lecture Exhibition

Designing Women: Refining Landscapes with Vivian Beer

Thursday, June 14, 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Vivian Beer is one of two 21st century designers featured in The Art of Seating. This discussion will provide a window into her inspiration, skills, and creative process.

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Museum 10th Anniversary Festivities

Tenth Anniversary Celebration!

Saturday, June 9, 2018 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In celebration of this landmark anniversary, regular priced adult admission will be reduced to $10, from $20. In addition, a day of festivities has been planned for Saturday, June 9. Click to see schedule.

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Worlds Fair Womens Building Lecture

Leading Ladies of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition: Celebrating 125 Years - Sold Out

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Historian Sally Kalmbach will discuss how Gilded Age Chicago’s leading ladies played an integral leadership role in planning the World’s Fair and cultivating Chicago’s successful future.

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Ornamentation Lecture

The Art & Science of Ornament: Why the Details Matter

Thursday, May 24, 2018 Reception at 5:30, Presentation at 6:30

More than just the capturing of space, architecture impacts us all on conscious and subconscious levels, in particular through the presence and/or absence of architectural ornament.

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Florence Knoll Lecture Exhibition

Designing Women: Florence Knoll

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Learn how Knoll’s business savvy and vision transformed a furniture design firm into an enterprise that played a major role in defining the mid-century modern design aesthetic.

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Goldilocks in Chair Family Day

The Three Bears & Their Chairs

Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join us for this family friendly event that explores our current exhibition, The Art of Seating, through the popular fairy tale.

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Galen Cranz Lecture Exhibition

The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body & Design

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

This lively discussion, by UC Berkeley professor Galen Cranz, will focus on the sociological development of chair design and its relationship to the body, posture, and ergonomics.

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Flower Arrangement Festivities

Flowers for Mom! Make a Mother’s Day Centerpiece

Sunday, May 13, 2018 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Don’t just buy Mom a bouquet this Mother’s Day - make it! World renowned designer Michael Gaffney teaches the art of creating incredible arrangements.

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Bourbon Event Festivities

A Toast to the Gilded Age: Bourbon, Bowties, & Bonnets

Friday, May 4, 2018 6 - 8 p.m.

Explore the history of bourbon within the context of America’s longest running sporting event, The Kentucky Derby, first held in 1875.

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Chamber Concert Concert

DePaul at the Driehaus: DePaul Chamber Music Showcase

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 7 – 9 p.m

Discover the next generation of classical music talent in this performance by some of the top student chamber ensembles at the DePaul School of Music.

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Mariotnettes Family Day

Family Day - Marionette Show

Saturday, April 28, 2018 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Dave Herzog’s Marionettes presents “Dragon Days and Knight Time.” Join King Percy the Persnickety and guests as they celebrate his majesty’s Birthday.

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ChairRestoration Lecture Exhibition

Meet the Experts: Art Rescue 911

Thursday, April 26, 2018 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Bernacki & Associates is one of Chicago’s premier conservation & restoration firms specializing in “saving” period furniture, objects, historic millwork and architectural elements.

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EgyptianChair Lecture Exhibition

The Art of Seating Private Collector Diane Jacobsen

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6 - 7:30 p.m.

A private collector with passion, Diane Jacobsen tells the story of how she began collecting chairs and how that collection became The Art of Seating.

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EgyptianChair Concert Exhibition

Musical Chairs: A Concert and Discussion on The Art of Seating

Monday, April 9, 2018 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Civitas Ensemble plays pieces inspired by the eras that produced the chairs in The Art of Seating and curator, Catherine Shotick discusses the design of the same periods.

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The Driehaus Prize Ceremony

Saturday, March 24, 2018 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Murphy Auditorium

The Museum would like to congratulate the 2018 recipients of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize, Marc Breitman and Nada Breitman-Jakov.

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Family Day Family Day

Family Day - Create a Spring Hat (Rescheduled)

TBD, 2018 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The sun is starting to peak out - don’t squint, wear a hat! Roll up your sleeves and we’ll help you make a bonnet or baseball cap.

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PaddyHoman Concert

Traditional Irish Aires with Paddy Homan and Friends

Thursday, March 15, 2018 6 - 7 p.m. (Sold Out) and 8 - 9 p.m.

Get in the spirit as celebrated Irish tenor, Paddy Homan explores Ireland’s rich history through traditional music and story-telling.

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ChopinTheAwakening Book Club

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Saturday, March 10, 2018 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

We honor Women’s History Month by visiting Kate Chopin’s landmark work of early feminism.

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Speakeasy Festivities

A Toast to the Gilded Age: The Speakeasy - SOLD OUT

Friday, March 9, 2018 7:15 - 10:00 p.m.

Our popular cocktail series is back with this exploration of the Speakeasy and Prohibition-era cocktails set against the Museum’s historical backdrop.

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Dusable Family Day

Family Day - African American History Month

Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Learn about Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable and Chicago’s swampy start through hands-on activities and crafts.

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Kevin Coval Lecture

A People’s History of Chicago - Sold Out

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 6 – 7:30 p.m.

A People’s History of Chicago sheds light on “some of the best and most radical and real and celebratory and difficult parts of our Chicago story.”

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Holly Jolly Jazz Concert

Friday, Dec 8, 2017 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Our historic Ballroom will transform into a cool jazz club as Tammy McCann puts a soulful twist on your holiday favorites.

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Santa Saturdays Family Day

Santa Saturdays

Saturdays, December 2, 9, and 16, 2017 Timed tickets for 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. & Noon

Art projects, lively story time, and sing-a-longs provide fun for the entire family. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Santa Claus!

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Family Day

Glitter & Gold Holiday Brunch 2017

Sunday, Dec 10, 2017 Doors open at 10:00 a.m. Seating at 11:00 a.m.

Gather with family and friends to enjoy a lovely brunch including a Prosecco toast, elaborate buffet, and live music. In the spirit of the season, tables will be shared.

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Front Porch Singers Concert Festivities

Front Porch Concert featuring the Festive Singers - FREE

Saturday, November 18, 2017 3 - 5 p.m.

Stop by the Museum on your way to claim the perfect viewing spot at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and enjoy a free live concert on the porch

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French Connection Concert

The French Connection: Music and Posters of the Belle Époque

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 2017 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Chicago’s celebrated Civitas ensemble will play beloved French music interspersed with commentary about the special exhibition from the Driehaus Museum’s curator.

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old site Tours

Spooky Walking Tour - Sold Out!

Thursdays & Saturdays, October 19 – October 28, 2017 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Today, Lincoln Park is known as one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods, but in the mid-19th century the area served as one of Chicago’s original cemeteries.

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Rembrandt Chamber Musicians Concert

Tango & Jazz featuring Rembrandt Chamber Musicians

Monday, September 25, 2017 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Enjoy the sultry rhythms of tango and the freewheeling style of jazz, interpreted by three iconic stylists of 20th-century music. This program will make you feel like dancing!

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Fifth House Ensemble Concert


Sunday, October 15, 2017 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Fifth House Ensemble showcases contemporary piano trios with an aural landscape, rich with inspirations of film noir, jazz, pop, and folk songs.

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Edgar Allen Poe Book Club

Fall Book Club - Edgar Allan Poe: The Best of Poe

Saturday, October 14, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Read and discuss a selection of Poe’s most influential works including The Tell-tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Raven, considered among the greatest works in American literature

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