Some Big Shoulder Pads to Fill

April 22nd, 2015by Petra Slinkard Filed under: Collections, Stories

Costume curator Petra Slinkard reflects on the life of Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone.

I distinctly remember the day when I came across these shoulder pads in costume storage. Costume collection manager Jessica Pushor and I were pulling objects for an upcoming private tour, and they caught my eye. I wanted to pull something that would represent the breadth of the collection and that our group would not expect. You see, it is commonly believed that the Chicago History Museum’s costume collection is one comprised of only high-end clothing or couture. While those items do make up a large portion of our holdings, we are fortunate to own many other types of garments and accessories that reflect the city’s diverse and varied history. The recent passing of Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone represents such an event and serves as a reminder of how fortunate the Museum is to house a variety of objects such as this one, which honors the legacy of a significant Chicagoan.

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Shoulder pads worn by Doug Buffone, 1978. Gift of Mr. George Halas. 1978.38a. All photographs by CHM staff.

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Enslaved Women in America

April 21st, 2015by Gary Johnson Filed under: Stories

April 2015: In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.

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Emily West. Enslaved Women in America: From Colonial Times to Emancipation. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield (2014).

What sets this study apart is the command of research focusing specifically on women from their lives in Africa through the different chapters of their lives as slaves in North America.

> Read more about and buy this book

> Learn more about abolitionism in Chicago

1919, The Year of Racial Violence

March 31st, 2015by Gary Johnson Filed under: Stories

March 2015: In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.

Krugler cover

David F. Krugler. 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back. New York: Cambridge University Press (2015).

The centenary of World War I is an opportunity to reflect on its aftermath. David F. Krugler shows how the demobilization of black troops, who had served in war “to make the world safe for democracy,” returned to a homeland that frustrated their aspirations. Violence broke out in many places not only in the South, but in northern cities, such as Chicago and Gary, Indiana, that had been destinations for the Great Migration. There is detailed research from many locations, allowing the author to draw conclusions about what otherwise might be seen as primarily local events.

> Read an excerpt from 1919, The Year of Racial Violence

> Discover more about African Americans in Chicago

> Find out more about World War I’s impact on Chicago

Finding African American Roots

March 17th, 2015by Peter Alter Filed under: Collections, Stories

DePaul University students Callie Bretthauer, Nikki Camp, Matt Siek, Mariam Usmani, and Kara Zelasko talked with members of the Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio (KIO) Study Group of the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC) for this entry in the Museum’s People and Places series. They were students of the Museum’s archivist, Peter T. Alter, as a part of DePaul’s public history program.

Dr. Adlean Harris and Muriel Wilson founded the AAGHSC in 1979. They had noticed the lack of African American genealogical research groups in Chicago and wanted to address the inherent challenges in African American genealogical research. With that in mind, the AAGHSC set out to “preserve and perpetuate records of African American ancestry and to encourage the study of African American history and genealogy.”

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KIO members (from left): Dr. Cheryl Gaines, Angela McGhee, Nettie Nesbary, Thomas Tracy, and Bonita Wood.

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A CHM Western Wear Treasure

February 27th, 2015by Guest Blogger Filed under: Collections, Stories

Costume collections manager Jessica Pushor writes about a fine example of western wear from the Museum’s costume collection.

Western wear and high-quality custom tailoring may not seem like they go hand in hand, but there was a time when western wear provided some of the finest examples of Old World tailoring techniques. While searching for a 1970s men’s dress shirt to pair with the Pucci suit in Chicago Styled, we unearthed this Nathan Turk shirt.

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Men’s western wear shirt worn by Philip K. Wrigley, c. 1960. Gift of William Wrigley III, 1979.180.23. All photographs by CHM staff.

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