Downton Abbey at The Driehaus Museum Chicago

British period drama television series Downton Abbey has been dazzling U.S. audiences since it premiered in 2011. Set in a fictional Yorkshire country estate, the series transports viewers to the post-Edwardian era, depicting the tumultuous lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. This February, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum will be bringing Downtown Abbey to Chicago via its much anticipated exhibition, Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.

Opening on February 9, 2016, the exhibit will feature more than 35 costumes, all produced by renowned London costume house Cosprop Ltd. The costume design team has won numerous awards for their use of early 20th-century, original fabrics and embellishments, with many re-created from old photographs, paintings, patterns and magazine pictures. Everything from sumptuous evening attire to practical, daily wear, the fashions featured depict the historical events and changing tides experienced by the beloved Downton Abbey characters.

Downton Abbey at The Driehaus Museum Chicago  Downton Abbey at The Driehaus Museum Chicago

The Driehaus Museum provides the perfect backdrop for this rich exhibit. Steps away from Chicago's Magnificent Mile, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum (40 E. Erie Street) gives guests a fascinating look into the palatial homes built by Chicago's wealthy Gilded Age magnates. The museum, housed in the 1879 mansion of Chicago banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson, stands as a premier example of historic preservation, offering visitors the chance to experience the end of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th through its architecture, interiors, collection and exhibitions. Step back in time and into the stunning galleries, all elegantly furnished with pieces from the most celebrated designers of the late 19th and early 20th century, such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Herter Brothers.




Whether your an extreme Downton Abbey fan or not, try to plan your visit to coincide with some of the excellent programming related to the exhibit. Tea Experiences (February 11 through May 6, 2016) will give you the opportunity to enjoy a traditional English tea before or after viewing the Dressing Downton exhibition.


The Cole Porter Tribute (March 11) will celebrate the life of Cole Porter, a favorite of the young ladies of Downton Abbey, with an evening of jazz and cocktails.


Meet the set designer Jude Farr at the Signature Lecture: Behind the Scenes with Set Designer Jude Farr (April 7) and learn what it takes to recreate the post-Edwardian era of Downton.


The Members-only: Downton Abbey Series Finale Viewing Party (March 6) celebrates the end of the wonderful series with a viewing party for museum members, so become a Driehaus Museum member today.



Downton Abbey at The Driehaus Museum Chicago


For more info on Dressing DowntonTM: Changing Fashion for Changing Times, including info on upcoming programs, events and guided tours, please visit or call 312-482-8933.


From Van Gogh to Warhol to LEGO, Chicago has several mega museum exhibits opening in 2016. Don't miss out!



Photos credit Choose Chicago