Driehaus Museum Announces 2016 Fall Exhibitions and Programs, Including Lectures, Travel Tours, Live Music and Murder Mystery

Driehaus Museum.

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum Exterior, Photograph by Alexander Vertikoff, © The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 2014.

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum (40 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL., 60611, 312-482-8933, driehausmuseum.org) presents fascinating new lectures, tours, and more for the upcoming fall season. Steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of one of the few remaining examples of the palatial homes erected by the wealthy of America’s Gilded Age. The lavish interiors are complemented by stunning examples of period furniture, decorative arts, stained glass, and period pieces selected from the Driehaus Collection. The Fall 2016 Offerings are as follows:


Puck’s artists created colorful covers for every issue that depicted biting or whimsical commentary on current events. The March 26, 1902 issue features a humorous Easter scene by Louis M. Glackens (American, 1866-1933). Flagler Museum Archives.

Exhibition Lecture: With a Wink and a Nod: Puck Magazine and Humor in the Gilded Age (Thursday, September 8): Puck, a Gilded Age magazine published weekly from 1876 to 1918, helped transform American humor from tall tales to more urbane and literary humor through its bold cartoons. Join Ms. Trull, Assistant Curator at the Flagler Museum and lead curator of the exhibition, to learn more about the history of this groundbreaking magazine and its contributions to the advancement of American humor.

One-Day Travel Tour: The Historic Hegeler Carus Mansion (Saturdays, September 10 or 17): By popular demand, the Driehaus Museum’s next travel tour is heading back to LaSalle, Illinois to experience the magnificent Hegeler Carus mansion, the site of great historic accomplishments in industry, philosophy, publishing and religion. Tour includes lunch and an additional stop at the historic 1856 antebellum Reddick Mansion & Gardens.

Music’s Golden Moments: Jazz Trio Featuring Eric Schneider (Friday, September 16): Mr. Eric Schneider, joined by Jeremy Kahn and Spider Salof, celebrate the songwriters of Tin Pan Alley in this special concert. Mirroring social values and cultural concerns through their music, the trio will provide a reflection of golden American moments with gems like, “Anything Goes,” and “I’ll be Seeing You.”

Samuel M. Nickerson pictured with his grandson, ca. 1900. Photo courtesy of Roland C. Nickerson.

Samuel M. Nickerson pictured with his grandson, ca. 1900. Photo courtesy of Roland C. Nickerson.

Nickerson Lecture Series: Gilded Age Interiors: Herter Brothers and the William H. Vanderbilt House (Thursday, September 22): Join Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Curator of American and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as she chronicles the significant interiors designed by Herter Brothers for the William H. Vanderbilt mansion in New York City. Herter Brothers is one of three firms who designed the interiors of the Nickerson mansion.

European Mosaic: Presented by The Rembrandt Chamber Musicians (Monday, September 26): Celebrate the season with a journey into the expressive and melodic folk music of Eastern Europe. Brahms‘ monumental first piano quartet, with homage to Hungarian folk tunes, is a sweeping romantic work of symphonic proportions scaled for four virtuoso players. Guest soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg and harpist Marguerite Lynn Williams join Rembrandt to guide you along on a tuneful, emotional trek.


The Drawing Room (with view of Parlor). Photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich Blessing, 2008. (2)

Exhibition Lecture: Mark Twain’s Journalistic Joking (Thursday, October 6): This lecture by Dr. Greenhill, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, explores the creative possibilities offered by the comic press during the Gilded Age by focusing on the work of Mark Twain, more specifically “Italian without a Master,” which Twain wrote while in Italy in 1903 for publication in Harper’s Weekly.

Nickerson Lecture: Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age: George Schastey and the Nickerson Mansion (Thursday, October 13): This lecture by Moira Gallagher, Research Assistant at the Met, brings to light George A. Schastey‘s significant, yet little known cabinetmaking and decorating enterprise of the Gilded Age, along with Schastey’s career, clients, and role in outfitting the interiors of the Nickerson mansion.

Driehaus Museum.

The Dining Room. Photo by Alexander Vertikoff, 2011.

Book Club: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott (Saturday, October 15): Step into the perfumed parlors of Chicago’s Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history and a catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Dr. Amy Lippert takes you through a lively discussion of Ms. Abbott’s novel that explores the infamous Everleigh sisters, the Grandes Dames of Chicago‘s underworld, placing it within the context of Gilded Age Chicago‘s volatile socio-political and moral milieu.

Folk Tunes and Folk Tales: An Evening of Trios Performed by Fifth House Ensemble (Wednesday, October 19): Featuring renown composers Johannes Brahms, Aram Khachaturian, and Carl Reinecke, Fifth House Ensemble will explore how each composer masterfully blends enchanting folk tunes and folk tales into their unique sound worlds through the voices of brass, winds and strings.

3rd Annual Spooky Tour: Death, Disease and Bones: The Lincoln Park Walking Tour (Thursdays, October 20 and 27 and Saturday, October 22): Back by popular demand! Join historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach on a walking excursion through Lincoln Park and learn more about its macabre history as a vast, windswept burial site. The 90 minute tour will run rain or shine.

Driehaus Museum.

The Reception Room (viewed from Main Hall). Photo by Alexander Vertikoff, 2011.

Halloween Weekend: 6th Annual Murder Mystery: Shamrocks in Old Chicago (Friday, October 28 or Saturday, October 29): The Museum’s very popular Murder Mystery returns with a new tale to tell. Set during the wee years of the 20th century,Shamrocks in Old Chicago is filled with countless twists, turns, and shameless shenanigans—and features a cocktail reception, a seated four-course meal, and lively guest participation. Period attire highly encouraged.

Nickerson Lecture: William August Fiedler: Architecture and Interiors of the “Marble Palace” and Other Magnificent Gilded Age Mansions (Thursday, November 17): For the final installment of the Nickerson lectures, Art historian Rolf Achilles explores the characteristic architecture and interiors of several important Gilded Age mansions designed by W. August Fiedler, one of three designers responsible for the interiors of the Nickerson mansion.


The Main Hall. Photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich Blessing, 2008.

The Driehaus Museum also continues its special exhibition With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age, going on now through January 8, 2017. The exhibition features 74 rare original drawings created for Puck magazine, as well as published cartoons and over 20 vintage publications. This exhibition has been organized by the Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida, with special thanks to Jean S. and Frederic A. Scharf.

For more upcoming programs, including exhibition-related events and guided tours, please visit DriehausMuseum.org.