The Fin-de-Siècle World

January 28th, 2016by Gary Johnson Filed under: Stories

In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.

Saler ed. cover
Michael Saler, editor. The Fin-de-Siècle World. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (2014).

Dozens of writers contribute to this fascinating reconsideration of the “fin-de-siècle before last.” Peter Fritzsche, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, contributed an overview of urban life in major cities, including Chicago, Berlin, and Tokyo. The global reach of his study is characteristic of the collection, which succeeds in broadening our understanding.

An Iconic Blackhawks Uniform

January 11th, 2016by Guest Blogger Filed under: Collections

In the midst of hockey season, costume collection intern Corie Azem takes a close look at the uniform of a hockey legend.

When the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on home ice on June 15, 2015, the team dedicated that win to former Blackhawks standout and team ambassador Stan Mikita. Mikita played his entire career with the Blackhawks (1958–80), a feat that is especially rare in professional sports today. The Chicago History Museum is fortunate to have one of Mikita’s full uniforms, and a close examination of it gives insight into the game, the player, and the organization.

Hockey uniform, c. 1973–76. Synthetic knit. Wilson/Gunzo’s. United States. Gift of Mr. Bob Pulford. 1978.178a-o. Photographs by CHM staff.

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Remembering Fort de Chartres

December 17th, 2015by Russell Lewis Filed under: Stories

The world looks different from Chicago. For many of us raised in the city or currently living here, we have a decidedly Chicago-centric sense of the past, present, and future. Indeed, Chicago easily takes up all of the space on our horizon, the bandwidth on our computers, and the curiosity and imagination our minds can summon. But a century before Chicago rose to preeminence, other places in Illinois commanded attention and defined what was then called the Illinois Country. Fort de Chartres was one such place.


The powder magazine at Fort de Chartres, photographed by Lester Jones in October 1940, is believed to be the oldest building in Illinois.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, HABS ILL, 79-PRARO.V1A—1

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100 Ideas that Changed Fashion Forever

December 4th, 2015by Gary Johnson Filed under: Stories

In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.

Fogg cover

Marnie Fogg. The Dress: 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion Forever. London: Goodman (2015).

100 dresses, 100 ideas. The author identifies each innovative idea and follows the reverberations. The dresses date from the nineteenth century to the present. The photographs come from a variety of sources and are, themselves, a tour de force in the exacting art of fashion photography. The credits from museums around the world are a reminder of the dedication to this very popular field of history by so many expert curators and collection managers.

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A Perfect Hat for Fall

November 20th, 2015by Guest Blogger Filed under: Collections, Stories

Costume collection manager Jessica Pushor puts one of our Bes-Ben hats in the spotlight.

With the autumn chill in the air, stores are enticing shoppers with warm clothes for the fall. Hats were once a major part of a woman’s wardrobe, and here at the Chicago History Museum, we have found the perfect one for the change in seasons.


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