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Gallery Tours

gallerytoursGuided Exhibition Tours

See Chicago’s past and present from new perspectives with guided or self-guided tours. They’ll give you the backstory and historian’s angle to help you get the most from these special exhibitions.

Railroaders: Jack Delano's Homefront Photography

Soldiers and civilians, food and supplies, fuel and raw materials—everything moved by rail during World War II (1941–45). America’s railroads were critical to the war effort, and the Office of War Information assigned photographer Jack Delano the job of telling the nation’s rail story in pictures. He focused his lens on the railroaders who kept the industry running, the men and women whose demanding jobs and long hours demonstrated the sacrifices needed to win the war. During the assignment, Delano captured three thousand images, two-thirds in Chicago—the heart of the nation’s rail industry.

Chicago Styled: Fashioning The Magnificent Mile ®

Open November 15, 2014–August 16, 2015

Featuring more than twenty ensembles from the Museum’s permanent collection, Chicago Styled explores the development of North Michigan Avenue into one of the country’s most recognized and renowned destinations for upscale retail. Set against a shifting cityscape, the clothing tells the story of the growth of this landmark district, while showcasing the fashion from past decades and the stylish people who wore it. Highlights include designs by Norman Norell, Adolfo, Gianni Versace, and Chanel.

Chicago: Crossroads of America

Discover the city's vast history in Chicago: Crossroads of America. Whether you want to explore the grandeur of the world fairs of 1893 and 1933, or Chicago innovations that changed the world like skyscrapers and modern retail, or the diverse neighborhoods and lively cultural scene, this exhibition is a must see!

Highlights of Chicago

Discover the city’s vast and colorful history on a tour of our permanent exhibition, Chicago: Crossroads of America.

Chicago’s World’s Fair

Experience the grandeur of the magnificent White City of 1893 and the rainbow-colored oasis created in 1933.

Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 50 people for permanent exhibitions, maximum varies for special exhibitions

Duration: 50–60 minutes

Cost: $16 for adults; $14 for seniors (65+) and college students, plus $2 fee for Inspiring Beauty

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Curators Guided Tour

Get a first-hand account from one of our curators about his or her vision of a current exhibition’s scope and its development.

Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 25 people

Duration: 60 minutes

Cost: Call 312.799.2162 or e-mail grouptours@chicagohistory.org

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Self-Guided Tour

Learn all about Chicago history as you stroll through the galleries at your own pace. Audio tours of Chicago: Crossroads of America are available for $2 per person.

Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 100 people

Duration: 2–4 hours

Cost: $12 for adults; $10 for seniors (65+) and college students

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History Scavenger Hunt

How much do you know about Chicago? Test your knowledge with a scavenger hunt in the Museum. This tour is ideal for team-building or for a fun way to experience history.

Cost: $2 per person in addition to the self-guided tour fee

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Facing Freedom

Using images, artifacts and interactivity, this exhibition explores familiar and not-so-familiar stories from the nation’s past where Americans have struggled over the true meaning of freedom.

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