"Back Home: Polish Chicago". A unique exhibition at the Chicago History Museum!

On May 19, the exhibition “Back Home: Polish Chicago” was opened at the Chicago History Museum. It was prepared in cooperation with the Polish History Museum.

“Back Home: Polish Chicago” is the first exhibition to tell the fate of the Polish community in Chicago in such a comprehensive way, showing the fate of several generations of immigrants who, for a variety of reasons, were forced to seek a home outside their homeland, fighting a not-so-easy battle to preserve their identity. This was pointed out by director of the Chicago History Museum Donald Lassere, who performed the ceremonial opening of the exhibition.

Exhibition “Back Home: Polish Chicago”

The ceremony was also attended by Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago Paweł Zyzak, Director of the Polish History Museum Robert Kostro, Chief Historian of the Chicago History Museum Peter Alter, Professor Dominik Pacyg, renowned researcher of the Polish community in Chicago, patrons and co-creators of the exhibition and representatives of Polish institutions.

The exhibition “Back Home: Polish Chicago” presents the fate of the Polish community in Chicago. It tells the story of the immigrants’ journey to the city on Lake Michigan, how Poles built their daily lives here, and the phenomenon of deep ties with Poland and America.

The exhibition features more than 90 artifacts and documents, as well as more than 100 reproduced photographs. It shows also personal narratives, music and multimedia installations, as well as unique art installations by five Polish artists. It all aims to tell the story of Chicago’s vibrant Polish community from the mid-19th century to today.

Director of the Polish History Museum Robert Kostro

The exhibition’s fate will not end in Chicago. Next year it is also expected to appear in Poland. “Next year we will show the exhibition to the Polish public in Warsaw, at the new headquarters of the Polish History Museum. Thanks to this, we will not only introduce Poles to the history and life of the Polish American community, but also show Chicago as a unique city, with its magnificent architecture, rich history and culture, of which the legacy of American Poles is an important part,” said Robert Kostro, director of the Polish History Museum.

The exhibition is the result of a long-standing collaboration between the Chicago History Museum and the Polish History Museum, Polish Museum of America, and Loyola University Chicago Polish Studies program.

The authors of the exhibition concept are Prof. Joanna Wojdon, Prof. Dominik Pacyga, Peter Alter and Rebekah Coffman.

The exhibition is open to the public from May 20, 2023 to June 1, 2024 at the Chicago History Museum (1601 Nort Clark Street, Chicago).

More information: http://bitly.pl/llu52