Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Current Exhibition

Beauty's Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America

September 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America looks at the popular revival of formal portraiture in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time the established elite and the newly wealthy of the Gilded Age sought to commemorate their social status and personal affluence by commissioning the most sought-after and well-known artists of their time to paint elaborate portraits of themselves and their families. The exhibition features nearly sixty artworks, including oil paintings, miniatures, and bronzes with works by artists such as Gilbert Stuart, Rembrandt Peale, John Singer Sargent, Eastman Johnson, and William Adolphe Bouguereau. Beauty’s Legacy features portraits of members of socially prominent families such as Washington, Bonaparte, Livingston, Vanderbilt, and Astor, names that left a lasting impression on the cultural and financial legacies of our nation.

Image: George Peter Alexander Healy, (American, 1813 - 1894), Jeannette Ovington (1863-1926), 1887, Oil on canvas, 20 3/8 × 26 3/4 in. Gift of the Estate of Ina Love Thursby, through Walter M. Brown.

This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.

Current Exhibition

Gilded Chicago: Portraits of an Era

September 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Gilded Chicago: Portraits of an Era explores how the resurgence of portraiture manifested itself in Chicago during the Gilded Age. The exhibition includes ten paintings of prominent Chicago citizens that were commissioned during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with familiar last names such as McCormick, Field, Pullman, and Nickerson. The portraits hang in the Gallery on the Museum’s first floor, the same room where the Nickerson family originally displayed their art collection which was donated to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1900.

Image: William Merritt Chase, (American, 1849 - 1916), Myra Reynolds, late 19th century, Oil on canvas, 45 1/2 × 33 1/2 in. The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago; University Transfer [Friends and former residents of Foster Hall]. Photograph © 2018 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago.

This exhibition has been organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Current Exhibition

Treasures from the White City: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893

September 8, 2018 - August 11, 2019

Treasures from the White City: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 includes objects drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as the collection of Richard H. Driehaus and features original works and memorabilia designed for and exhibited at the fair. Pieces by Louis Comfort Tiffany created for his magnificent World’s Fair chapel, substantial silver selections designed by both Gorham Manufacturing Company and Tiffany & Company, and artifacts from the exposition such as tickets, maps and programs will be featured in the exhibition presented in celebration of the fair’s 125th anniversary.

Image: Tiffany And Gorham Exhibits-Manufactures Building from Official Views Of The World’s Columbian Exposition, by C. D. Arnold and H. D. Higinbotham, 1893.

This exhibition has been organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Upcoming Exhibition

A Tale of Today: Yinka Shonibare MBE

March 2, 2019 - September 29, 2019

The inaugural exhibition in the Driehaus Museum’s new contemporary art series focuses on Yinka Shonibare MBE, an artist who draws on history, politics, and fashion influences to explore and critique our understanding of the past. This will be Shonibare’s first museum survey exhibition in Chicago and features four bodies of work, from his early series of photographs to his most recent sculptures and installation pieces. All of the British-Nigerian artist’s work reflects the intersection of his English and African heritage. While at first he seems to be celebrating the eras his artwork depicts, upon closer inspection it is clear he is rejecting the attitudes and trappings of those past periods in history.

A Tale of Today,
the Driehaus Museum’s new contemporary art series, will provide opportunities for audiences to see the history of the Gilded Age through different lenses, and explore the social, class, racial and economic issues that make that history relevant to society now.

Image: Yinka Shonibare MBE (British/Nigerian, b. 1962) Diary of a Victorian Dandy: 19.00 hours, 1998. Series of five chromogenic photographs. 48 x 72 inches. From the Collection of Amy and John Phelan. Image © Yinka Shonibare MBE, courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York.

This exhibition is organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is underwritten in part by Eugene and Jean Stark and Gary Metzner.