More Chicago area museums open

See an in-person exhibit on Nelson Mandela, Women in the Military, Monet or Marvel Comics.

As the number of COVID cases go down Chicago’s museums have begun inviting visitors back, enticing them with special exhibits.

Safety protocols will be followed including timed tickets and, of course, wearing masks. As an old, once popular ad said, “Don’t leave home without it.”

The Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum opened in January. The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Lake County Dunn Museum are opening in February and the Museum of Science and Industry opens in March.

 

Illinois Holocaust Museum in skokie (Photo courtesy of the IL Holocaust Museum)
Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie (Photo courtesy of the IL Holocaust Museum)

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

The museum welcomed the public back with free admission on Feb. 3, 2021 and will continue to offer free admission on Wednesday through March. Hours are 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday but tickets must be purchased online ahead of time. See safety procedures.

Current main special exhibition is “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” up until about Feb. 20, 2021.

Upcoming special exhibit is “Mandela’s Struggle for Freedom” opening Feb. 20.

For tickets and other information visit ILholocaustmuseum.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum is at 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie, (847) 967-4800.

 

Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs photo)
Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs photo)

Art Institute of Chicago

The museum’s blockbuster “Monet and Chicago” seen only as a virtual exhibit after the pandemic closed its doors, is now possible to view in person through June 14, 2021.

The museum reopened Feb. 11 with limited days: Thursday-Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Member are invited to come from 10 to 11 a.m. and the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For tickets and protocols see Visit a Chicago Landmark | The Art Institute of Chicago (artic.edu).

The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 S. Michigan Ave. and 159 E. Monroe (Modern Wing).

 

Lake County Dunn Museum (photo by John Weinstein)
Lake County Dunn Museum (photo by John Weinstein)

Bess Bower Dunn Museum

The museum, a Lake County Forest Preserves property, reopens Feb. 13 with online, timed tickets.

“Modifications have been made throughout the galleries and gift shop to minimize touch points and support social distancing,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt.

Along with displays of Lake County history and artifacts, the museum is currently celebrating Black History Month. Its special exhibit, “Breaking Barriers: Women in the Military,” will be up through June 13, 2021.

Modified hours are 10 am to 3:30 pm, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with visitation time slots available from 10–11:30 am, 12–1:30 pm, and 2–3:30 pm. The galleries and gift shop will be closed between these time slots for cleaning and disinfecting.

The museum will be open on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb.15 and  then will resume its regular schedule.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back again to the Dunn Museum,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “Our priority remains to create a safe environment and provide peace of mind for all our visitors and staff while connecting them with Lake County history and culture.”

For tickets, safety protocols and other information visit Bess Bower Dunn Museum. The museum is  at 1899 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville, (847) 367 6640.

 

MSI opens with Marvel Universe exhibit (photo courtesy of Marvel and the Museum of Science and Industry)
MSI opens with Marvel Universe exhibit (photo courtesy of Marvel and the Museum of Science and Industry)

Museum Of Science and Industry

MSI as Chicagoans call the museum, will reopen  with the premiere of “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes,” when it welcomes members on March 4 and the public on March 7.

A major exhibit, the ” Marvel Universe” will contain more than 300 items ranging from sculptures, interactive displays and costumes to props from Marvel films and original comic book pages.

After opening weekend, MSI will be open Wed -Sun  from 9:30 a.m. to 4.p.m. For tickets, protocols, hours and other information visit MSI status.

The Museum of Science and Industry is at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.

Jodie Jacobs

Related Chicago museums opening now and next two months – Chicago Theater and Arts

 

 

 

Chicago museums opening now and next two months

Some Chicago museums are opening to members beginning Jan. 23 and then to the public in the coming days. The museums’ reopening comes on the heels of IL Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s announcement this week that the city has moved to tier 2  mitigation.

(Pritzker is expected to announce today, Jan. 23, that the city has also reached tier 1 thus restaurants and bars will be be allowed to re-start indoor seating at 25 percent capacity.)

The Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum on the city’s Lake Shore Drive Museum Campus are among the current open museums. The Art Institute of Chicago plans to reopen in February.

Shedd penguins (J Jacobs photo)
Shedd penguins (J Jacobs photo)

Shedd Aquarium

Visitors can start purchasing tickets to the Shedd Aquarium at noon, Jan. 23, 2021. The Shedd, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, is home to the penguins seen by thousands of viewers across the world on UTube.

Members can visit on the early access days of Jan. 27-29. To join the Shedd  visit  become a Shedd Aquarium member and visit free for a year and support its aquatic life.

The public can visit beginning Jan. 30. To obtain tickets visit Shedd aquarium/purchase. visit To get tickets.

Field Hall dinosaur (J Jacobs photo)
Field Hall dinosaur (J Jacobs photo)

Field Museum

The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, opened to members Jan. 21 and is opening to the public today, Jan. 23. To buy tickets visit Calendar/FieldMuseum/ticketing. Members should sign in at Verify your membership.

Illinois residents can visit for free on January 25 and 28. Tickets for Free Days are only available onsite and cannot be reserved in advance.

For hours, safety protocols  and exhibits visit Know Before You Go.

Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs phto)
Chagall Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago (J Jacobs phto)

Art Institute of Chicago

A world-renown art museum, the Art Institute of Chicago at 111 N. Michigan Ave., will reopen Feb. 11. It will start with a limited schedule Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open to members only the first hour.

More museums have indicated they will open in March. For more museum information and future openings visit Choose Chicago/museum reopening, the city’s tourism site.

Jodie Jacobs

 

More holiday gift ideas

Art Institute of Chicago (Photo by J. Jacobs)
Art Institute of Chicago
(Photo by J. Jacobs)

We may yearn to get out of our abodes but given the increase in Covid cases virtual has become a password. To stay safe more holiday shoppers have been looking online for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and soon, Cyber Monday, deals (which have moved back to Friday and Saturday. But not all gift ideas are through computer and print ads. Shopping online is a chance to be creative.

 

One of a Kind show online

Meet artists during virtual programs. Tour their studios. Find the perfect stocking stuffers. The One of a Kind Show that usually is in theMart (formerly the Merchandise Mart) makes holiday shopping safe and fun this year.

The show is available through Dec. 6, 2020.You can also follow the artists on  Instagram and Facebook and view a daily series of IGTV videos with more artist talks, demos and studio tours.

 

Art Institute of Chicago Shop

The world-famous art museum carries treasures you may not have considered. Just as important, its online museum shop has items for different price ranges.

Check out the Frank Lloyd Wright designs. Look for the Bisa Butler prints and Claude Monet items from the current exhibits. Gifts are categorized from Under $100 to Under $25 and from Best Sellers to Artist and Style.

 

Buy at Buddy

Consider supporting small Chicago businesses through Buddy, a new store founded by the Public Media Institute so that Chicago artists and small businesses can show and sell their wares. It is currently online but will be in the Chicago Cultural Center when Covid restrictions are lifted . Among items found at Buddy are toys, jewelry, wearables, music and publications. For sales, goods and other information visit Buddy/about.

Related: Three Holiday Shopping Ideas

Chicago museums close

Shedd Aquarium photo
Shedd Aquarium photo

Following Gov. Pritzker’s Covid-19 case mitigation orders on Nov. 17, 2020, Chicago’s museums will close this week. Several of them will shutter late afternoon Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd plans to close at 5 p.m. Wednesday and hopes to reopen Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. Its website has some fee-based videos, animal encounters and education programs to offset the loss of revenue it needs for animal care and conservation. For more information visit sheddaquarium.

 

Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat, (Art Institute of Chicago photo)
Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat, (Art Institute of Chicago photo)

 

Art Institute of Chicago

The museum closed Nov. 17. However, some of the exhibits and interesting information about them can be found online. Check Beyond the Surface for painting background on Monet at YoutTube/Watch and other information at articedu closure.

 

Museum of Science and Industry

MSI will close Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. The museum has digital programs and resources. Visit MSIChicago for more information. See some of the tree decorations that are part of the museum’s annual Christmas Around the world exhibit at Trees and Traditions. To see how the exhibit was build and what it looks like now visit Christmasaroundtheworld.

 

Adler Planetarium on the eastern edge of Chicago's Museum campus. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Adler Planetarium on the eastern edge of Chicago’s Museum campus. (Photo by J Jacobs)

Adler Planetarium

The museum closed back in March 2020 and has remained closed but it has  an online presence for star gazers and folks who want to stay current on sky events.  Visit astronomy live but also check the events that occur every week and every other week such as Skywatch Weekly. Click on the arrow to see what is available free such as NASA LIVE for the latest operations at the International Space Station.

 

 

 

Two in person and one virtual art now in Chicago

Visit Monet exhibit and maybe one you don't know at the Art Institute of Chicago. (J Jacobs photo)
Visit Monet exhibit and maybe one you don’t know at the Art Institute of Chicago. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Expo Chicago

Normally, and we all are wondering if life will return to the old normal, art collectors would be elbow to elbow down at Navy Pier as they perused choice works shown by upscale galleries at the International exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art.

Known as Expo Chicago, the popular art gathering is now scheduled to return in person April 8-11, 2021. But for 2020, the show and its educational programs are virtual and are called Exhibition Weekend Alternative. Plus ,the event will showcase Chicago.

Set for Sept. 25-27, it will feature Chicago-based exhibits, artist programs and curatorial projects through virtual tours and discussions. There will also be opportunities for custom viewing and sales. The platform is provided by HOOK which connects collectors and galleries.

The platform is provided by HOOK which connects collectors and galleries.

For more information visit ExpoChicago/ExhibitgionWeekend/Alternative.

 

Art Institute of Chicago

After delaying the highly anticipated Monet exhibit until good protocols could be in place, the Art Institute opened “Monet and Chicago” Sept 5. It will be up through Jan. 19, 2021.

Members have access the first hour of any museum day, everyone must wear a mask and social distancing is in place with arrows and the revised spaces set for each picture.

Museum goers know that Art Institute is internationally recognized for its French Impressionist collection. However, they may not know that Claude Monet was well received in Chicago when he first showed outside France and that influential Chicagoans started collecting his works early in the 1890s.Thus the title of the current show.

Among his patrons were Bertha and Potter Palmer (yes, the Palmer House) who amassed 90 of his works including many of the “Stacks of Wheat” paintings by 1901.

The Art Institute which became the first American museum to purchase a Monet (1903) had also been the first US museum to hold the artist’s first solo show in the Us. “20 Works by Claude Monet (March 1895).

The exhibit is by timed ticket. So plan in advance to see it. The Art Institute is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information visit artic.edu.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Several exhibits opened at the MCA in July including the very appropriate “Just Connect” which closes Nov. 8 and “Alien vs. Citizen” which includes a Kerry James Marshall work and closes Feb. 21, 2021..The museum is closed Monday-Thursday. Tickets are timed so plan in advance. For more information visit MCAChicago.

 

More Chicago museums ready to reopen

 

Art Institute of Chicago (Photo by J. Jacobs)
Art Institute of Chicago
(Photo by J. Jacobs)

The Field and Museum of Contemporary Art are re-opening July 24 (See Around Chicago visits the Museum Scene). Now the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry will be ready to welcome back visitors a week later.

Art Institute of Chicago

To celebrate, the museum is offering free admission to Illinois residents July 30-Aug 3, 2020. The public will need to get tickets in advance, however the first hour will be reserved to members each day.

What’s there

The El Greco: Ambition and Defiance will be up through Sept. 7 and won’t need special tickets.

Bauhaus Chicago: Design in the City stays through Sept. 21.

Malangatana: Mozambique Modern  opens July 30 and continues through Nov. 15, 2020.

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Celebrity Culture of Paris that opened just before the pandemic closed the museum, will stay through Jan. 31, 2021.

Coming: Monet and Chicago will open Sept 5 and go to Jan. 18, 2021.

 

Museum of Science and Industry

Opening Aug. 1, MSI will have free admission thru Aug 14. Most exhibits will be open. Among those that will still be closed because of social distancing protocols are U 505 Submarine and the Coal Mine.

 

Two interesting COVID directed experiences

 

Art Institute's popular painting by Georges Seurat . (J Jacobs photgo)
Art Institute’s popular painting by Georges Seurat . (J Jacobs photgo)

 

Chicago’s theater companies have been inviting audiences to watch productions on line as a way to raise needed funds to stay in business while COVID-19 has shuttered stages and in-person experiences. Citadel Theatre has found a different, fun way (sort of like a movie drive in) to enjoy a program.

Museums and other Chicago destinations have also suffered financial losses from closed doors. Youngsters and their families have also been deprived of popular places to visit. To help with the latter issue, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is journeying out to some of the city’s museums in virtual field trips geared to the whole family. They have been fun and enlightening. So go on, take a virtual field trip with her.

Outdoor Cabaret

Citadel Theatre, a Lake Forest-based equity production company, has found a new way to put on a theater experience in line with Sate and national guidelines. Audiences are invited to watch and hear one-hour matinee performances at the suburb’s Gorton Community Center Parking lot while sitting comfortably and safely in their cars.

Cabaret dates are June 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 1 and 3 p.m. at 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest.

Tickets are considered donations and must be bought in advance because of limited parking space. Entrance is on Illinois Road, exit is at McKinley Road. Community Center facilities (washrooms) will not be available.

For tickets and more information visit Citadeltheatre/cabaret.

 

Hit Play Chicago goes to the Art Institute

The world renown museum is the next stop on the city field trip series that visited the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the National Museum of Mexican Art and the DuSable Museum of African American History.

It’s a chance to visit (or revisit) a famous painting, hear about an upcoming block-buster exhibition and see works that might become favorites.

Visit HitPlayChicago to see the video that went live on Wednesday and will be replayed on WTTW on Friday and Monday. Scroll down to visit past field trip destinations.

Jodie Jacobs

Three places to visit while staying at home

 

When you need a break from working at home, catching up with spring cleaning because you’re at home, or dashing to the grocery store for comfort food, go to a portal to one of Chicago’s arts organization.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Marriott Theatre and Second City are among those places reaching out with fascinating info, lively videos and home classes.

 

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577–79. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Nancy Atwood Sprague in memory of Albert Arnold Sprague. (Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)
El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577–79. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Nancy Atwood Sprague in memory of Albert Arnold Sprague. (Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

 

Art Institute of Chicago

Whether you made it to the famed museum before its temporary c-virus closure or not, you still can see and get inside information on some special art works.

Visit Inside Features to learn the backstory on El Greco’s “The Assumption of the Virgin” which is the current exhibition.

Also while at Inside Features go to the West African headdress  to see it from another angle.

Also, check out an ancient Grecian vase that became known as Chicago Painter’s vase.

Before leaving the site learn about conserving a carousel from the Golden Age of Carousels and the story behind an antislavery medallion.

 

Marriott Theatre

The cast of  “Kiss Me, Kate, Marriott Theatre’s next show in Lincolnshire, has taped interviews and videos. Visit this youtube channel to see and hear from the artists but also go to the videos on the site that have segments from such recent shows as”Grease.”

 

Second City Training Center 

Maybe you know that past students of The Second City Training Center include Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. But even if you don’t aspire to the national comedy limelight, a Second City class would liven up the stay at home experience.

Starting today, March 23, 2020, the Training Center has online classes at different price points and lengths.

“As social distancing separates us physically, we’ve had to improvise the ways we hang out and remain connected. The Second City Training Center immediately rose to the challenge in pioneering new ways, andsays Second City Hollywood Artistic Director Joshua Funk.

Joshua Funk, Second City’s Hollywood Artistic Director, announced that the entire curriculum has been adapted for online compatibility. “Turns out, improv works online! If we all need to hunker down for a while, it’s essential that we are still able to spend time together and laugh,” Funk said.

The faculty in Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood and over 100 students beta tested the new classes over the last week, according to Abby Wagner, Training Center Vice President. “They’ve proven to be both educational and a true lifeline of communication in these strange and isolating times,” Wagner said.

Classes require Internet and web camera access. Pajamas are optional. Classes ranges from one-time drop-in to 4 weeks and 8 weeks and are for all ages. For more information visit Second City From Your Couch.

Jodie Jacobs

World class Chicago arts and museum venues temporarily close

 

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577–79. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Nancy Atwood Sprague in memory of Albert Arnold Sprague. (Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)
El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577–79. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Nancy Atwood Sprague in memory of Albert Arnold Sprague. (Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

 

Looks like the internet, TV and bookstores such as Barnes & Noble are going to be the go-to places for A & E, at least through March.

The latest closures to come into the Chicago Theater and Arts on-line desk are the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and some museums. Please carefully check possible reopening and rescheduling dates and ticket options.

Art Institute of Chicago

The museum will be shuttered from today, March 14, through March 28 but events such as tours, performances and lectures will be on hiatus through April 10, according to a just released statement.

It added that the closure will allow the museum to develop “rigorous health and safety standards and protocols.” Purchased tickets can be refunded to the card used within 10 business days.

Fortunately, AIC’s current exhibition, “El Greco: Ambition and Defiance” goes through June 21, 2020 so there is still time to see the famed artist’s most notable works and also learn he was skilled at more than religious paintings.

 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Beginning March 12, all Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association concerts at Symphony Center and pre- and post-concert special events were canceled through at least the next 30 days . The CSOA’s statement said ticket holders to canceled concerts could exchange them for other concerts or request a refund. For more information call (312) 294-3000 or visit CSO org/alert.

 

Museum Closure Updates

Citing both IL Governor J.B. Pritzker’s mandate to close gatherings involving 1,000 people or more and their own desire to safeguard their patrons and staff, several museums have closed for the rest of March. However, their re-opening varies by museum so best plan is to check their websites.

 

Shedd Aquarium

Normally jammed with students on Spring Break, the Shedd, arguably Chicago’s top (non-art) museum attraction, is closed through March 29. Their statement reads: “Our dedicated caretakers and veterinarians will continue to provide the highest standards of professional care and welfare for our animals on site. And, until we can welcome you back, we invite you to stay connected to them behind the scenes via Shedd’s Facebook and Instagram, as well as explore, experience and learn more about the aquatic animal world through our other digital resources.

For information on refunds and rescheduling of previously purchased tickets, group and experience reservations, programs and events and more, please email contactus@sheddaquarium.org or call us at( 312) 939-2438.

 

Please also visit Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Science and Industry about their closures.

Jodie Jacobs

 

From parades to performances Chicago celebrates Chinese New Year

 

celebrates with its annual Argyle parade. (Photo courtesy of Uptown Assoc.)
Uptown Chicago neighborhood celebrates with its annual Argyle parade. (Photo courtesy of Uptown Assoc.)

Lanterns, dragons, colorful dances, art and instrumental music – there are Chinese New Year events in the next couple of weeks that will enrich our appreciation of Chinese culture.

But do you know your zodiac animal? If you go to any of the Chinese New Year programs in Chicago, you will likely hear that 2020 is the Year of the Rat. Because different elements also take turns, you might hear that it is the metal rat. A good, easy place to find out your animal sign and more about the Chinese Zodiac is the astronomy site of Time and Date.

Now you’re ready to check out the following events to see which fits into your calendar. They are free, open to the public and in Chicago unless otherwise noted.

Chinese Fine Arts Society Chinese New Year Kickoff

On Jan 24 at noon go to the Chicago Cultural Center during the lunch hour to see  lion dances, martial arts, traditional Chinese  dance and hear  China’s Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre. The location is the Preston Bradley Hall on the third floor of the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. For more information visit ChicagoCulturalCenter/events.

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