Past Exhibits

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Past Temporary Exhibits presented at Elmhurst History Museum


But Wait, There's More!: The Irresistible Appeal & Spiel of Ronco & Popeil

June 17-September 18, 2016
The story of Chicago's ultimate TV pitchmen, inventors and entrepreneurs comes to life through the personal collection of Chicago's cultural historian Tim Samuelson.

Patios, Pools & the Invention of the American Backyard

March 19-May 29, 2016
The rise of the mid-century suburban backyard is explored in this traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian in its Chicago-area debut.


Beer Chicago: The Refreshing History

September 18, 2015 - February 14, 2016

Chicago's been a beer town since its inception, and this exhibit traced the frothy's brews roots in the city's business, social, and political history. Written by Chicago beer historian Liz Garibay, the exhibit took a look at the impact of beer on the Windy City from the establishment of the town at Sauganash Tavern to the neighorhood bars and breweries to the current craft beer scene.

Pigskin Peanuts

June 12-August 9, 2015

This traveling exhibition organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA, showcased 50 of Schulz's popular football-themed Sunday and daily strips depicting the cartoonist's heart-warming stories and wry humor through the exploits of the beloved Peanuts characters.

Let Children Be Children: Lewis Wickes Hine's Crusade Against Child Labor

January 15 - April 4, 2015

This traveling photographic exhibition from the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY revealed the circumstances that poor working children endured until legislation against child labor prevailed as late as 1938.


Sox Vs. Cubs: the Chicago Civil Wars

May 16 - September 28, 2014

Major League Baseball in the City of Chicago is divided geographically by only ten miles, but the distance between their fan bases is far greater. This cultural history exposé covers all the bases of the crosstown rivalry to examine concepts of loyalty and fandom through videos of each team’s colorful supporters; interviews with former players, sports journalists and broadcasters; and fan souvenirs and ephemera.


Carl Sandburg in Elmhurst

November 8, 2013 - April 19, 2014

Prairie poet and newspaperman, folk song collector and movie critic, family man and political activist, Lincoln biographer and children’s book author: Carl Sandburg was a Renaissance man of many talents and passions during the 1920s when he resided with his family in suburban Elmhurst.

Our Lives, Our Stories: America's Greatest Generation

August 30 - October 20, 2013

Visitors explored the life arc of America’s Greatest Generation—the stories of their lives from birth to old age, told in their own words—in the Midwest debut of this national traveling exhibition.

Shutter to Think: the Rock & Roll Lens of Paul Natkin

May 31 - August 25, 2013

Paul Natkin is widely considered to be one of Chicago’s most accomplished music photographers. Starting in the early 1970s, Natkin traveled the world documenting signature moments of drama, excitement, and excess that propelled rock’s tumultuous history.

On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen

February 1 - May 19, 2013

The story of NASCAR legend and Elmhurst native Fred Lorenzen came to life through photos, artifacts, and exciting race footage depicting a little-known local hero who etched his name in the annals of racing history.


Centuries of Progress: American World's Fairs, 1853-1982

October 26, 2012 - January 6, 2013

The history of the American World's Fairs came to Elmhurst in a national traveling exhibition documenting the spectacle and wonder of the stateside World's Fairs.

Elmhurst Goes to the Fair

October 26, 2012 Through April 21, 2013

This tandem exhibit featured rare artifacts from the Elmhurst Historical Museum's collection from both of Chicago's World's Fairs -- the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the 1933-34 Century of Progress.

Sweet Home Chicago: The History of America's Candy Capital

May 11-September 30, 2012

From Fannie May and Brach's Candies to Tootsie Rolls, Frango Mints, Lemonheads and many more -- Chicago has a tasty history of producing candy loved the world over. Visitors learned about Chicago's candy-making history and why the city has been a sweet spot for creating confections.

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living With the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965

January 24-March 18, 2012

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945 marked the end of World War II but resulted in a new threat: the uncertainty of the Atomic Age.


Between the States

September 27-December 11, 2011

A touching, poignant traveling exhibition from the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY, "Between the States" focused its sights on the Civil War through the lenses of early American photographers.

Letters from Home

September 27-December 11, 2011

The Civil War's local impact came vividly to life through original artwork created by the Elmhurst Artists Guild and inspired by Elmhurst Historical Museum's collection of Civil War era letters from area resident, Frederick Fischer, and his family.

Toys in the 'Hood

April 26-September 18, 2011

This original exhibit created by EHM staff, in collaboration with author and toy inventor Tim Walsh, brought the art of play to life with an engaging history of toys and the creative Chicago area inventors who have made the city an epicenter for toy invention.

Anne Frank: A History for Today

February 1-April 3, 2011

The history of the Holocaust unfolded in this traveling exhibition from the Anne Frank Center USA telling the story of Anne Frank through family photographs juxtaposed with images of actual historical events.