A 40.5-foot T. rex, America's fist planetarium, 22,000 aquatic marvels under one roof, and the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere -- Chicago's museum scene is one of the world's best.
Here are six local exhibits to seek and explore this fall and winter season:
The Propeller Group
Museum of Contemporary Art
Through November 13, 2016
The Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam-based artist team known as The Propeller Group brings the Museum of Contemporary Art its first Ascendant Artist series to feature a collective. The show focuses on Vietnam culture and includes multi-part projects spanning videos and related objects.
Fade In tracks the fake antiques trade in Vietnam. The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a film that weaves together funerary traditions from Ho Chi Minh City and New Orleans. Other works take a look at the AK-47 and M16, two rifles that in mainstream movies are often associated with Vietnam and countries in the West, respectively. This is the first time that these projects have been shown together since the group was formed in 2006.
Chicago Children's Museum
Through December 31, 2016
Head to Navy Pier for this hands-on racing exhibit. Kids take over the driver's seat and whiz toy cars through curves, loops, dips, and crash sites of a colossal, multilevel race course.
Developed and designed by Chicago Children's Museum, Zoom Room features hundreds of toy cars and more than 40 tracks, including two bi-level crash courses. It's the ultimate toy car experience for all ages. The educational experience delves into force and elevation, friction and acceleration and gives kids opportunities to race and challenge friends.
Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis
Chicago Cultural Center
Through January 8, 2017
The first comprehensive overview of the art of Norman Lewis presents this pivotal figure in American art, a participant in the Harlem art community, an innovator of Abstract Expressionism and a politically-conscious activist. View 90 paintings and works on paper spanning the 1930s to 1970s.
The exhibit is presented thematically through six motifs: In the City, Visual Sound, Rhythm of Nature, Ritual, Civil Rights and Summation. Attend a gallery talk with curator, Daniel Schulman on Wednesday, October 19 or November 16, at 12:15 p.m.
Above and Beyond
Museum of Science and Industry
October 4, 2016-January 8, 2017
The international Above and Beyond exhibit makes its way to Chicago this season, presenting stirring questions like, "What if we could build a new generation of reusable space vehicles to make trips to Earth orbit as common as air travel?"
Dubbed the ultimate flight exhibition, Above and Beyond celebrates the power of innovation through a 5,000-square-foot traveling aerospace exhibition. Immerse yourself in simulations, interactive design challenges, iconic historical touchstones, visionary concepts for the future, and inspiring stories from game-changing innovators, past and present. Fly your own supersonic jet, pilot a drone into a hurricane and journey to the sky and beyond.
The DuSable Masterworks Collection Series I: Paintings
DuSable Museum of African American History
Through January 16, 2017
The soul-stirring Masterworks Collection consists of paintings from the late 1800s to the 1950s done by black artists. View paintings by Henry Ossawa Tanner, William A. Harper, William Edouard Scott and Archibald Motley, Jr., among others, in a unique and diverse collection as part of the DuSable Museum's world-class Fine Arts Collection.
While you're at the museum, be sure to see the Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey Toward Equality. The limited engagement exhibition is dedicated to lives given in the name of freedom and equality and addresses key periods throughout African American history through 200 objects, artifacts and archival videos and images.
The Field Museum
October 21, 2016-April 30, 2017
The Field Museum's newest special exhibition, Tattoo, explores the global phenomenon of tattooing around the world over time. Originally developed by Paris's musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, this is the first time the exhibit will be on display in the United States.
View 170 objects telling the story of tattooing, including historical artifacts and intricate contemporary designs tattooed onto silicone models of the human body. Explore tattooing across different cultures, early methods and universal human creativity.
Of Note: October is Chicago Artists Month
Chicago Artists Month highlights the creativity of artists throughout Chicago with over 300 opportunities to meet artists, see their work and make your own. Visit chicagoartistsmonth.org for more information.