The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Seven unique Chicago museums to check out this quarter

Maya Oclassen

Whether you’re a Chicago native or new to the city, we all know the great museums of Chicago. Don’t get me wrong: The Art Institute and the Field Museum are two of my favorites. But what about the smaller museums that are scattered around the city? Our smaller, more niche museums need some attention too. These are seven smaller museums to check out in Chicago. 

Museum of Surgical Science 

The International Museum of Surgical Science is North America’s only museum devoted to surgery. Located at 1524 Lake Shore Drive, just 25 minutes from DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus and the perfect way to spend a free afternoon. The museum contains four floors of surgical equipment, historical surgery practices, antique and contemporary artwork, as well as numerous temporary exhibitions. 

Make sure you don’t overlook these noteworthy exhibits: a distinctive array of ancient Incan skulls depicting one of the oldest surgical procedures called trephination, a plaster cast of Napoleon’s death mask dating back to 1821 and mural panels crafted by the Italian painter Gregorio Calvi di Bergolo. Admissions cost $15 for students and $20 for adults. 

Museum of Post Punk & Industrial Music 

Run by Martin Atkins, the Museum of Post-Punk and Industrial Music located in Bridgeport, a neighborhood on the city’s South Side, is a unique display of the history of post-punk music across the globe. Chicago is the perfect place for a museum like this, as the city is home to record labels like Wax Trax and Chicago residents like Trent Reznor and En Esch. 

The museum is currently open by appointment only, however, from Sept. 14-17, they are having open houses every day in honor of this year’s Riot Fest. Their website is updated regularly with opportunities to visit the museum in person. 

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum 

Hull House was founded in 1899 in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood to support houseless and impoverished people. It was the first in the settlement-house movement and inspired many others to be created in cities across the United States. The museum outlines the history and lives of Jane Addams and other social reformers who worked alongside community members to foster social change in their communities. Admission is free with a suggested $5 donation.

Driehaus museum 

You’ll find the Richard H. Driehaus Museum at 40 East Erie Street on the Near North Side and near Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The museum is located within the impeccably restored Samuel M. Nickerson House, a historic dwelling that dates back to 1883 and was formerly owned by a prosperous Chicago banker. Richard Driehaus’ mission in restoring the museum was to engage and inspire the community through the exploration of art, architecture and design in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Admissions cost $10 for students and $20 for adults, and they are open Wednesday through Sunday.

American Writers Museum 

The American Writers Museum is in the Loop, just steps away from the Lake Street Red Line station. This interactive museum is dedicated to celebrating the influence of American writers on our identity, culture, history and daily lives. The AWM is not one to skip out on, as it is the only interactive museum dedicated to American writers and their works  in the country. Admission costs $9 for students and teachers and $14 for adults. 

Museum of Mexican Art 

Tucked in the historic neighborhood of Pilsen, the Museum of Mexican Art strives to stimulate knowledge and appreciation of Mexican art and culture from both sides of the border. Founded in 1982 by Carlos Tortolero, the museum started as a small collection of work and has expanded to more than 48,000 square feet of art from Mexican artists all over the United States. Take a couple of hours to discover the 18,000 pieces from ancient Mexico to the present. The neighborhood of Pilsen is also known for their plethora of murals and public art, which are a wonder to explore, and great Mexican food. Admission to the museum is free for all! 

DePaul Art Museum 

Rounding out the list with one of my personal favorites is the DePaul Art Museum. It’s located just past the Fullerton L station and is a great opportunity to see artwork created by famous artists. The museum contains just over 4,000 pieces of art that are all available for viewing online or in person. The DePaul Art Museum frequently hosts events that are free and open to the public. Check out their next event Sept. 21: Conversations & Creations: A Talk and Workshop with Oscar Arriola & Derek Potts.

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to note that the DePaul Art Museum exhibits do not include student artwork.

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