Steps away from Chicago's Magnificent Mile, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum gives guests a fascinating look into the palatial homes built by Chicago's wealthy Gilded Age magnates. 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.
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. While you can always visit the museum on your own, this upcoming fall's outstanding lineup of fascinating lectures, concerts, tours and more. Here are six ways to immerse yourself in Driehaus Musuem.
Meet the "Tiffany Girls" on the "Tiffany Girls" Studio Tour (Saturday, August 30): Set off on an interactive living history tour, where you'll be introduced to the women of the Women's Glass Cutting Department, established by Tiffany in 1892. Discover the process of selecting and cutting glass for lamp and window designs, discuss the delicate balance between art and business, and explore the Museum's exhibition through the eyes of Tiffany's designers.
Join the the Driehaus Book Club: I am Madame X, by Gioia Diliberto (September 6): The Driehaus Museum presents the first selection in our Fall Book Club, author Gioia Diliberto interpretation of the life of American beauty Virginie Gautreau, the subject of John Singer Sargent's famous 1884 painting, Portrait of Madame X. Immerse yourself in Belle Epoque Paris as Diliberto presents Virginie's life in vivid detail illuminating the struggle between the painter and his subject.
Take a Driehaus day trip to Ruthmere, an eclectic Beaux Arts mansion in Elkhart, Indiana (September 27): Set off on a fascinating day trip to Elkhart, Indiana with art historian Rolf Achilles. You'll explore Ruthmere Museum's exceptional fine and decorative arts collection housed in an elegantly restored 1910 Beaux-Arts mansion as well as the historic 1831 Beardsley House. On the return to Chicago, you'll enjoy a pit stop in South Bend, Indiana, at the Joseph D. Oliver House, also known as Copshaholm, a 38-room Romanesque Queen Anne house built in 1875 and featuring all original furnishings.
Enjoy an enchanting evening with Mozart and Bartók (September 29) The Rembrandt Chamber Players present Mozart's effervescent Quartet for Flute and Strings, as well as Bartók's intricate and intense Romanian Dances, in the Museum's historic Ballroom. Grammy Award-winning artist Howard Levy will also premiere his commissioned Sonata for Oboe and Piano, a kaleidoscope of jazz, abstract blues, and Brazilian rhythms and melodies.
Mansions and Millionaires: The McCormickville Walking Tour (First and third Saturdays, through November 15) Set off on a special walking tour of Chicago's River North district, a neighborhood formerly known as McCormickville. Visit the surviving historic buildings while Chicago historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach shares anecdotes and historic photographs, illuminating the lives of the industrial businessmen, entangled families, notable public figures, and artists that once called River North Home.
Solve the 4th Annual Murder Mystery (Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25) Jump into the middle of a bloody feud between two prominent Chicago families in the Driehaus Museum's popular Murder Mystery, Feud in Ragtime. Expect many scandalous twists and turns over cocktails and a seated four-course meal. You might be solve the mystery...or be the murderer! Period attire is encouraged but not required and an advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.The Rchard H. Driehaus Museum is located at 40 E. Erie St. For more upcoming programs, including exhibition-related events and guided tours, please visit DriehausMuseum.org or call 312.482.8933.