Chicago History Museum receives $1m

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The Chicago History Museum is pleased to announce that funding has been secured for a new American history wing scheduled to open in fall of 2009. The Tawani Foundation has committed $1 million to support this essential addition showcasing the Chicago History Museum's American history collection.

The new 5,270 square foot wing will be located on the first floor of the Museum adjacent to the visitor center. The wing will feature the story of America from the founders and leaders of this country to the unknowns who immigrated to America to build a new life. The Naphtali Ben Jacov Pritzker American History Wing will be named after the Pritzker family patriarch, an immigrant from Russia who arrived in Chicago in 1881. The wing will open with the story of the immigrant‚s journey and search for freedom, which defines the theme of the permanent exhibition. "America is a place of opportunity for many immigrants including my great-grandfather who arrived at the age of 10 and taught himself English by reading the Chicago Tribune before eventually opening his own law practice in 1902," stated Tawani Foundation Founder and President, COL (IL) James N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Ret.).

The new permanent exhibition will focus on the people, experiences, and places that built this country. Guests will explore American history through personal discovery, narratives and in-depth stories, highlighting multiple perspectives which will appeal to diverse audiences by making meaningful connections and encouraging people to ask questions and explore their own stories. Important documents of American history will be a key feature of the new installation. „The documents of freedom, from our collection, are important documents from our past that are a crucial part of the story our Museum tells,‰ stated Gary T. Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum. "We are grateful to the Tawani Foundation for this generous gift that allows us to showcase this rich collection relating to the founding of our country and beyond. It will be of tremendous educational value to the people of Chicago and the visitors of our Museum."

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