WBEZ | museum http://www.wbez.org/tags/museum Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago to house American Writers Museum http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-house-american-writers-museum-113526 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Writers%20Museum.jpg" style="height: 338px; width: 620px;" title="The museum will include interactive displays and constantly changing exhibits, including an exhibit celebrating Chicago’s rich literary heritage. (Courtesy of the American Writers Museum)" /></div></div><div>At first glance, the authors Dr. Seuss and Kurt Vonnegut don&rsquo;t seem to have much in common.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But soon, these two American writers and others like them will be on display at the American Writers Museum, the city&rsquo;s newest cultural institution on the Magnificent Mile.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;People are fascinated by writers,&rdquo; museum founder Malcolm O&rsquo;Hagan said. &ldquo;They want to see the people, they want to meet them, they want to understand how they do what they do.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The interactive museum, which has been in the works for a few years, is expected to open its doors at 180 North Michigan Avenue in March of 2017.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s especially significant that this institution is located in Chicago &mdash; home over the decades for so many great writers,&rdquo; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Several famous authors like Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandburg and Ernest Hemingway, have connections to the city. In addition to Hemingway&rsquo;s house located in Oak Park, the museum says it&rsquo;s collaborating with 50 authors&rsquo; homes and museums around the U.S.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Alderman Ed Burke, an author himself, who has supported the effort for the last five years, estimates the museum will draw 120,000 visitors a year &mdash; a number O&rsquo;Hagan says is a &ldquo;conservative&rdquo; estimate.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>So, where did the idea come from?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Well I&rsquo;m Irish,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Hagan said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a great writers museum in Dublin. One time when I came back and I wondered where the American counterpart is, and I was astounded to find out it didn&rsquo;t exist. So then I started thinking, well, maybe it should.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>O&rsquo;Hagan said he hopes the museum will appeal not only to bookworms, but all readers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;We have to be careful not to appeal just to the academics,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Hagan said, &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want to be too high-brow or too low-brow because we want this to have broad appeal.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He added because there&rsquo;s such a long list of American writers and a limited amount of space, the museum will be constantly changing exhibits.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;One of the challenges and one of the exciting things we have to deal with is the fact that we have such a richness in terms of the number of writers we could profile and present,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Hagan said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Andy Anway with Amaze Design is creating the museum exhibits. He says the designers have to figure out how to make a writing museum relevant in a digital world.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Most people think immediately of a library setting or something that&rsquo;s much more cerebral than you think of typically with a museum exhibition,&rdquo; Anway said. &ldquo;So one of the things we&rsquo;ve been really working on is trying to figure out a way to both present writing in a way that gets at the intimacy &hellip; which very much relates to your personal experience and reading, and also expresses the larger story about both individual authors and the context of writing.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For example, one of the interactive exhibits will be called, &ldquo;Are you a Bukowski or Vonnegut?&rdquo; in which visitors take a quiz to learn what writers they align with.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Visitors will also be able to create their own stories after learning the writing techniques that make a &ldquo;master work.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The museum will include new media, newly emerging authors, author readings and educational programs.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The museum will be privately funded by donors. It also received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Chicago Community Trust. Museum officials say there&rsquo;s still about $5 million left to raise to reach their goal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Meredith Francis is a WBEZ news intern. Follower her @MMLFrancis</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-house-american-writers-museum-113526 Inaugural museum week kicks off tomorrow http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-30/inaugural-museum-week-kicks-tomorrow-113125 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/field museum Flickr Lisa Andres.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Starting Thurday and lasting for a week, 11 of Chicago&rsquo;s museums and the Lincoln Park zoo are taking part in Chicago&rsquo;s inaugural <a href="http://chicagomuseumweek.com/">Museum Week</a>. Visitors can enjoy free admission, discounts and special exhibits at select locations.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/dray4255?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Don Hall</a>, museum lover and events director at WBEZ, talks about some of the best museums on and off the list for Museum week.</p></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-30/inaugural-museum-week-kicks-tomorrow-113125 Sweet Home Navy Pier? http://www.wbez.org/news/sweet-home-navy-pier-112881 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Chicagotheater_BRC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may be known as the home of the blues, but there&rsquo;s never been a permanent space dedicated to its history, artifacts, and cultural heritage. That could soon change with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobluesexperience.com/">Chicago Blues Experience</a>, set to open at Navy Pier in 2017.</p><p>WBEZ&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519">reported earlier this year</a>&nbsp;that Navy Pier was the rumored future site of an interactive blues museum, but most details were unconfirmed until now.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s high time that this attraction and celebration honoring Chicago blues happened here,&rdquo; said Sona Wang, a venture capitalist and Managing Director of the Chicago Blues Experience.</p><p>Although the blues didn&rsquo;t start in Chicago, the music found its groove on the city&rsquo;s south side during the Great Migration. There, legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin&rsquo; Wolf, Jimmy Reed and others electrified the blues for labels like Chess Records on S. Cottage Grove and later S. Michigan Avenue.</p><p>Some local fans say that&rsquo;s where a Chicago blues museum belongs. So why build one on Navy Pier and not where musicians actually lived and played? &nbsp;</p><p>Because, Wang says, Navy Pier with its nine million annual visitors is the city&rsquo;s number one tourist attraction.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s foot traffic is unmatched by any other attraction,&rdquo; said Wang, whose group is still finalizing the museum&rsquo;s footprint at the Pier, estimated at being somewhere between 50,000 - 60,000 square feet.</p><p>Aside from a museum, Wang says CBE will have two music venues and a restaurant. The same company that produced interactive exhibits for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. (BRC Imagination Arts) will also create exhibits for CBE.</p><p>According to Wang, more than 760,000 people are projected to visit the Pier for its interactive museum.</p><p>&ldquo;The Chicago blues is an international brand that many visitors who come to the city come here hoping to and expecting to experience,&rdquo; Wang said. &ldquo;[But] that doesn&rsquo;t always happen and isn&rsquo;t as accessible as it should be.&rdquo;</p><p>The numbers Wang referred to come from a study by the Anderson Economic Group, commissioned by the CBE to determine its economic impact for Navy Pier and the city of Chicago. AEG is the same firm the Obama Foundation used to bolster the case for building the Obama Presidential Library on the city&rsquo;s south side.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="700" scrolling="no" src="https://drive.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/file/d/0B3Vhva251XObbGxETkJsOW96c2s/preview" title="Economic Impact of the Chicago Blues Experience" width="600"></iframe></p><p>A space&nbsp;at Block 37 in the Loop was considered at one point. Wang says they&rsquo;ve raised most of the 45 million dollars for the project, but won&rsquo;t say who the individual and corporate donors are. Nor is it known what kind of artifacts will be on display for visitors to see.</p><p>A spokesman for Navy Pier, which is currently in the midst of a major overhaul, confirms that talks are underway with the CBE. Pressed for more details, the spokesman said the Pier will not discuss any prospective partner until a deal has been finalized. &nbsp;</p><p><br /><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a></em></p></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 18:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sweet-home-navy-pier-112881 Gary celebrates Michael Jackson’s birthday but not much else http://www.wbez.org/news/gary-celebrates-michael-jackson%E2%80%99s-birthday-not-much-else-108567 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/MJ Gary.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>It took her more than 15 hours to drive from Tampa, Florida, but Mary Singer finally made it Thursday morning to Gary, Indiana. She says there&rsquo;s only one reason she drove all that way in the middle of the night.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s because of Michael Jackson. I wouldn&rsquo;t be in Gary, Indiana right now if it weren&rsquo;t for Michael Jackson,&rdquo; Singer told WBEZ while she stood outside the late singer&rsquo;s boyhood home.</p><p>Today kicks off a three day celebration of food and music centered around the small, one-story white house at 2300 Jackson Street. The neighborhood has seen better days &ndash; there are almos as many boarded up homes as occupied ones nowadays &ndash; but fans from all over the world are still expected to show up to mark what would have been Jackson&#39;s 55th birthday.</p><p>Singer says she was surprised not to find a more permanent installation honoring the King of Pop in his hometown.</p><p>&ldquo;This is Michael&rsquo;s legacy now. I think if there was a museum or something here in Gary where he was born that people would come here more often than just on his birthday,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Turn that little house into a museum,&rdquo; Singer suggested.</p><p>A year after Jackson died, there was an effort to build a massive, multi million dollar museum campus in Gary dedicated to Michael Jackson and his musical family. The idea had the backing of the late former Gary Mayor Rudy Clay and Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family. The museum was to have been built over several acres near Indiana University Northwest, not far from Jackson&rsquo;s boyhood home.</p><p>But those plans quickly fizzled when it was learned that the property that the museum was eyeing was wetlands. There was also concern that the city would have to provide some financial backing to get the project off the ground.</p><p>When Karen Freeman Wilson was elected mayor nearly two years ago, having the city fund such a project was not a priority. Today, Freeman Wilson says it&rsquo;s not the proper role of government to back such a museum project &ndash; even for its best known former resident.</p><p>&ldquo;In the past I&rsquo;ve been pretty clear that I don&rsquo;t envision a museum. I am certainly am open to any type of lasting legacy to Michael Jackson and his contribution not just to the City of Gary but to the world that is done by any private entity,&rdquo; Freeman Wilson said. &ldquo;But as it relates to a city-funded or city-driven project like a museum, that is not our vision of a commemoration of Michael Jackson that we would be willing to invest in.&rdquo;</p><p>So for now, fans will have to be content with a little moonwalking on the sidewalk outside Jackson&rsquo;s home.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 16:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/gary-celebrates-michael-jackson%E2%80%99s-birthday-not-much-else-108567 South Side neighborhoods vie for presidential library http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/south-side-neighborhoods-vie-presidential-library-107926 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lakeside-kari-lydersen.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>A biting wind blew off the lake. A group of Southeast Side residents pulled their coats tight and gazed north to the downtown skyline. On this raw March day, they stood on the northern edge of the former site of U.S. Steel&rsquo;s South Works mill. The plant closed in 1992, and now all you see is rubble, weeds and mud.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But LaMeise Turner and her neighbors envision a glorious future for this spot. &quot;I would love to see the Obama library here,&quot; Turner said. &quot;I think that would be good, it would give access not just to the neighborhood but to everybody. Because he&rsquo;s the first African American president, the first one from Chicago, so I think this is an ideal place for it.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&rsquo;s right on the lake and the view is spectacular. Fertile mud from the Illinois River was trucked in to grow native plants and flowers. And if developers have their way, these hundreds of acres will be home to a glistening new neighborhood with tens of thousands of homes and businesses.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dan McCaffery, the developer spearheading the project known as Lakeside, said the Obama library would bolster this development and help revitalize the whole area. McCaffery said, &quot;I noticed in <em>Time</em> magazine September 2008, one quote of his is: &#39;I found my calling to public service in a community devastated by the loss of steel workers.&#39; So I think this would be a very nice way for him to put his imprint permanently in that community. We have a gorgeous site, sits on the lake, looks back at the city. So Dan McCaffery thinks Mr. President, you ought to be there.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There are 13 official presidential libraries spread across the country. President Obama won&rsquo;t formally make the decision about his library until he&rsquo;s out of office. But the courtship has already begun.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There&rsquo;s no guarantee Obama&rsquo;s library will be in Chicago; the University of Hawaii is mulling a bid.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But the top contender appears to be the University of Chicago. Obama was on the law school faculty there for years, and Michelle Obama held administrative positions too. A university spokesman said it is &ldquo;premature&rdquo; to comment, but many people think it&rsquo;s a done deal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This upsets Harold Lucas, who knew Obama in his days as a community organizer. Lucas said, &quot;I remember when he came to Chicago with his big ears sitting off his head, little bitty skinny guy. We went out to the Gardens. That&rsquo;s where I met him.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Lucas is president of the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council in Bronzevile. He&rsquo;d like the library to go on the site of the old Michael Reese Hospital. &quot;Knowing that Bronzeville began in 1916, we want to celebrate our centennial in 2016; the cherry on the sundae would be the presidential library,&quot; Lucas said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then there are at least two other Chicago candidates for the library. Like the U.S. Steel site, they are on the Far South Side where Obama cut his teeth in community organizing.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Chicago State University has enlisted former State Senate President Emil Jones to lure the library to its campus.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Others are pushing the historic Pullman neighborhood, near the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex. Tom Shepherd and other local history buffs have been trying for years to create a railroad museum in the old Pullman rail car factory.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The University of Chicago, they already have so many resources,&quot; Shepherd said. &quot;I&rsquo;m sure they&rsquo;re going to make a big push for it, but I just feel that by bringing some of the university resources out to a neighborhood like Pullman would help Pullman, help Roseland, the neighboring communities that are really troubled right now.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ed Gardner, 88, is founder of Soft Sheen products and a long-time proponent of African American empowerment and economic development.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He&rsquo;s been a major Obama supporter and donor. He&rsquo;s also a big backer of Lakeside Development on the U.S. Steel site, and he thinks the Obama library would be the crowning touch.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Downtown or even the University of Chicago, they have their pluses,&quot; Gardner said. &quot;But President Obama came from the people, and they&rsquo;re the ones who put him into office, who worked these streets on the South Side of Chicago and all of the state of Illinois and the whole country. He would want the world to come through this part of the city on their way to see the library.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Chicagoans like Ed Gardner still feel a strong connection to the president. Just as Obama started his career trying to help Chicago communities, now the decision about the library could go a long way toward revitalizing the South Side.</div></p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/south-side-neighborhoods-vie-presidential-library-107926 Chicago's National Veterans Art Museum finds new home in Portage Park http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicagos-national-veterans-art-museum-finds-new-home-portage-park-103765 <p><p>The National Veterans Art Museum will be celebrating this Veterans Day in a new home on Chicago&rsquo;s Northwest Side.</p><p>The museum is leaving its South Loop location on Indiana Avenue for a larger space at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Portage Park.</p><p>NVAM Executive Director Levi Moore says the move is an opportunity for the museum to broaden existing exhibits.</p><p>&ldquo;We want to be able to show the diversity of the US. military. Whether that is the growing role of women, the role of Latinos, the roles of Asians, the roles of African-Americans, we really want our museum to look more like Chicago,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The museum also plans to reach out more to the community through programs like art therapy for children. Moore says kids growing up in violent neighborhoods can have symptoms similar to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.</p><p>The chance to interact with other community groups also played a role in the museum&rsquo;s decision. Portage Park is home to several arts organizations including Arts Alive 45 and the Portage Park Theater.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We won&rsquo;t be alone. We&rsquo;re going to have various entities working with us. They&rsquo;re promoting the area as a destination for arts and cultural arts. It&rsquo;s actually part of the Chicago cultural plan,&rdquo; Moore said.</p><p>NVAM Communications Director Sarah Eilefson says the museum hopes highway proximity and ample parking will bring in more traffic from tourists and school groups.&nbsp;</p><p>The new location will open its doors Nov. 11 with the unveiling of Welcome Home, an exhibit exploring the experiences of veterans across generations.</p></p> Sat, 10 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicagos-national-veterans-art-museum-finds-new-home-portage-park-103765 Museum documents evolution of surgical practices http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-08/museum-documents-evolution-surgical-practices-83424 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//body-world.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>How many times have you wanted to peek inside one of the ornate mansions along Lake Shore Drive? Well, there&rsquo;s one that will give you more than a tour of the architecture.<a href="https://www.imss.org/" target="_blank"> The International Museum of Surgical Science</a> on Lake Shore Drive, just south of North Ave., surveys medical technology and surgical practices through the ages. It also gives a very intimate look at the human body in its current exhibit <em>Our Body: The Universe Within</em>.<em><br /><br />Eight Forty-Eight</em> host Alison Cuddy toured the museum with Lynnea Smith, the Director of Education and Events at the Museum.</p></p> Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-08/museum-documents-evolution-surgical-practices-83424 Chagall windows back on display at Art Institute http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/art/chagall-windows-back-display-art-institute <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-28/Chagall_lg.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The famous blue stained-glass windows by artist Marc Chagall go back up for public viewing at the Art Institute of Chicago on Monday.</p><p>The Art Institute took down the windows five years ago to protect them from vibrations from construction of the Modern Wing.</p><p>The head of the Department of European Painting and Sculpture, Douglas Druick, says when they got the windows down, they noticed they needed cleaning. But first, conservators brought the windows back to the lab to make sure they were stable enough to treat. They also did research and consulted experts about how the windows were made.</p><p>Druick says visitors are going to notice a big difference.</p><p>&ldquo;What they're going to see is a range of color and a depth of brilliance of color unlike they were able to see for many, many years,&rdquo; Druick says. &ldquo;It's like cataracts have been removed from the Chagall windows and we can see them clearly.&rdquo;</p><p>He says many more shades of blue are visible. So are the figures that celebrate religious and cultural freedom in the United States.</p><p>The windows were up in a gallery that opened to a courtyard for many years, illuminated by natural light. Druick says that meant visitors couldn&rsquo;t see much at night or on dim days.</p><p>Now they&rsquo;re up in a new smaller gallery lit by artificial light that looks natural. The windows are framed differently, and that, curators say, combined with the smaller space, means the windows will glow through the room.</p><p>Chagall&rsquo;s a Russian-born artist who spent much of his life in France. Druick describes him as one of the pioneers of modernism, known for his expressive color and his poetic use of folkloric and religious imagery.</p><p>In the early 1970s, Chagall came to Chicago to work on his mosaic near Chase Tower. The Art Institute says there was so much enthusiasm for that work, Chagall offered to create the windows for the Art Institute to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial. He dedicated them to Mayor Richard J. Daley for his support of public art.</p><p>The stained-glass panels were made famous in &ldquo;Ferris Bueller&rsquo;s Day Off,&rdquo; and they remain one of the museum&rsquo;s most popular attractions. Since they&rsquo;ve been off display, Druick says visitors ask almost daily when they&rsquo;ll go back up.</p><p>Members get a sneak peek at the windows starting tomorrow. The general public can see them again starting on Monday.</p></p> Thu, 28 Oct 2010 18:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/art/chagall-windows-back-display-art-institute