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Decorative and Industrial Arts

Fires, Fairs, and More!

Decorative and Industrial ArtsThe Museum's collection contains a rich variety of three-dimensional artifacts reflecting the city's growth from a frontier outpost to a major urban center. It is especially strong in decorative arts produced in Chicago during the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • Teco pottery;
  • Kalo silver;
  • stained glass designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and George Maher;
  • furniture designed by Wright, Abel Faidy, and Wolfgang Hoffman; and
  • decorative elements created by the artist Edgar Miller.

The collection also contains materials from the Great Chicago Fire, the world's fairs of 1893 and 1933, city politics, business, and industry. A number of significant materials dating from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War enrich the collection, including artifacts closely associated with Abraham Lincoln.  

Widely recognized as one of the nation's finest, the collection continues to grow with new acquisitions documenting the contemporary city and its diverse people. New areas of focus include recent immigrants, decorative arts from the 1950s through today, industrial products, and transportation-related materials.

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