Begins March 11
UNION – The McHenry County Historical Society & Museum’s 33rd annual Sampler Lecture Series kicks off March 11 with a look at the iconic 1893 World’s Fair and ends with another Chicago institution: Marshall Field and Company.
• 7 p.m., Monday, March 11 – The Vanishing City: Excavating the World’s Fair. Rebecca Graff, assistant professor of anthropology and chair of the American studies at Lake Forest College, divulges what is hiding beneath the future Obama Presidential Center site in Chicago. Jackson Park at one time housed the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. After the fair, parts of buildings simply were tossed into a ditch and buried – only to be unearthed by Graff and her team years later. While the ephemeral “White City” lasted for just six months before its structures were destroyed or disappeared, it’s impact on society is undeniable.
• 3 p.m., Monday, March 25 – Adventures with Audubon. Learn about celebrated naturalist and wildlife artist John James Aububon, as portrayed by Brian Fox Ellis of Bishop Hill, Ill. Hear about his adventures as he strives to become the first person to draw every bird in North America. Audubon will enchant you with stories of his travels and travails in the wildest places on the planet – drawn from Audubon’s own journals, essays, and letters to his friends and colleagues. This program was developed with a grant from the USFWS as part of their celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
• 7 p.m. Monday, April 8 – A Peek into the American Indian Way of Life Through Their History and Oral Traditions. This presentation by Freeport’s Kim Sigafus invites the audience to enter the world of the American Indian. Discover what it once was to be Native, and what it means to be Native now. An Ojibwa, Sigafus will be dressed in her traditional Native regalia, and will present on Native culture through oral traditions, language, and history. She will discuss Native encampment life and will drum and sing an Ojibwa lullaby. A traditional recipe hand out will be available, and there will be a Q&A at the end of the presentation.
• 3 p.m. Thursday, April 25 – Marshall Field’s and Chicago. McHenry County College history instructor Sarah Sullivan explores the events and personalities that made Marshall Field and Co. Chicago’s store and its founder a titan of retail. Field introduced the one-price system, bought and sold for cash, and permitted exchange of goods. He was a trailblazer in the addition of restaurants, personal shoppers, home delivery, a department dedicated to interior decorating, and the creation of a bargain basement to retail. Significant Chicago events connected with Marshall Field include the Chicago Fire, the Eastland Disaster, and the 1892 World’s Fair. A patron of the arts, Field was instrumental in the creation of the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry and the Chicago Historical Society (Chicago History Museum).
All programs are at the Society museum, 6422 Main St. in Union. Series tickets are $35, $30 for Society members. A $10 donation is requested for individual programs. The Audubon and Native American programs are made possible through a grant from Illinois Humanities.
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