September 05, 2012

Driehaus Museum Announces Lineup of Fall and Winter 2012 Programs

The Driehaus Museum announces the following programs for October through December 2012:

Jazzy and Mellow Cellos
Monday, October 1, 7:30 p.m.
Adult $35
Presented in partnership with the Rembrandt Chamber Players

Rembrandt Chamber Players opens its 2012-2013 concert season by celebrating timeless songs and future tales in chamber music. The evening will begin with a futuristic interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s unique Pulcinella Suite, which lends itself to alternate instrumentations more than any other of the composer’s works. Next, Eugene Friesen’s Low Fives for Viola and Two Cellos, composed for Rembrandt Chamber Players nearly 10 years ago, brings a unique, fun sound to the ensemble. The finale of this performance is a timeless audience favorite: Schubert’s String Quintet, which utilizes, uniquely, two cellos throughout.

To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit

Projects at a Scale between Architecture and Urban Design
With Scott Merrill, Principal, Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects
Thursday, October 4, 6 p.m.
ICAA Members $15; Public $25
Presented in partnership with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Chicago-Midwest Chapter

Hear architect Scott Merrill discuss his work and philosophies within the New Urbanism design movement. Mr. Merrill, recipient of the 2012 Seaside Award and 2004 Arthur Ross Award, has worked closely for 20 years with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and other master planners associated with the founding of the Congress for New Urbanism. Recently, Merrill and his firm, Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects, have executed work within the master plans of these other firms—work that falls on a scale between architecture and urban design, incorporating qualities of both.

Mr. Merrill will utilize examples of work from the United Arab Emirates, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Florida, and Louisiana to illustrate the redevelopment of downtown areas, the expansion of cities into their greenbelts, the reclamation of brownfield sites, and the development of strip shopping centers. These case studies also will serve to illustrate what the difficulties are of maintaining humane scales for large buildings requiring low construction costs, how a Florida commercial vernacular might form streets and blocks, and how an emerging economy might develop a building tradition consistent with both modern construction and a rich historic building tradition.

A reception will follow the lecture. To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit

Special Culinary Demonstration
Steeped in Tradition: The Kings of Pastry
6:30–8:30 p.m.
Museum Members $50; Public $60 (per session)

Discover the time-honored art of French pastry in the Driehaus Museum’s fin de siècle ballroom. Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of the renowned French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College, presents three sessions featuring traditional French desserts.

Inspired by the 2009 documentary film Kings of Pastry, which offered unprecedented behind-the-scenes access into the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition, the Olympics of French pastry, each session of this program features demonstrations, tastings, and an introduction by the film’s producer and food historian, Flora Lazar. Participants also receive a complimentary Kings of Pastry DVD and printed recipes for re-creating in their own kitchens afterward.

Thursday, October 11: The Art of the Cream Puff. Chef Pfeiffer demonstrates how to create the perfect cream puff, one of the most familiar recipes in classical French pastry.

Thursday, November 1: The Luscious World of Caramel. Pastry enthusiasts are invited to discover the luscious world of caramel with Chef Pfeiffer as he shares a special raspberry-enhanced recipe that was featured in the film.

Thursday, November 29: Sugar Showpieces. Learn how to sculpt a showpiece from sugar, an artistic medium chefs have used for centuries. Chef Pfeiffer helps participants master these techniques to impress guests at home.

Tickets are sold separately and include Driehaus Museum general admission. Space is limited; purchase early!

The 2012 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series
Cranes, Dragons and Geishas: Metalwork of the Aesthetic Movement
With Anna Tobin D’Ambrosio, Director and Chief Curator,
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute          
Wednesday, October 17 & Thursday, October 18, 6 p.m.

Join Anna Tobin D’Ambrosio, director and chief curator of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art in Utica, New York, as she explores the phenomenal popularity of innovative brass and mixed-metal furniture and accessories that became ubiquitous in fashionable 1880s American interiors. Learn how art brass forms lent decorative touches to grand chandeliers, elaborate tables, upholstered furniture, and door hardware and how each form was ornamented with motifs, ranging from exotic flourishes drawn from Moorish and Persian designs to cranes, dragons, and geishas. 

This lecture is part of the Driehaus Museum’s 2012 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series, a program which serves to situate the Nickerson Mansion within the context of social artistic developments of the period and against the wider background of America’s Gilded Age.

Museum doors open at 5 p.m. for any attendees who would like to explore the Museum and its collections. As space is limited, reservations are required.

Special Event
2nd Annual Murder Mystery at the Marble Palace
Friday, October 26 & Saturday, October 27, 7:30 p.m.
Single $75; Pair $135

This Halloween, back by popular demand, the Driehaus Museum presents a familiar cast of characters, but with a whole new twist and murder to solve!

It is the fall of 1899 and the Nickersons are leaving for a voyage to the Far East. Before departing, however, the famous songstress Shelby Lynn Watkins has taken them up on a previous invitation to stay at their home, the Marble Palace. Not wanting to take back a sincere, honest offer, the Nickersons agree that she should stay at the mansion despite their absence, leaving her in the capable hands of Mr. Finch, their trusted butler. To make her feel welcome, Finch will oversee a soiree reception in Ms. Watkins’s honor. As part of the Nickersons’ socialite circle, you may decide to accept this lovely seasonal invitation. But be forewarned—murder may be served, and everyone and anyone is a suspect! This Gilded-Age whodunit won’t leave you clueless.  You’ll be in suspense up and until the late night’s last adieu.

Guests will actively explore all four floors of the mansion. Period costumes are welcome, but not required. Includes light, late-evening fare and drinks, along with a to-die-for dessert bar. Tickets are limited; purchase early!

A Tribute to Miles Davis
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 6 p.m.
Adult $35
Presented in partnership with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra Organization

The Chicago Jazz Orchestra presents a talented trio of performers—Art Davis on trumpet and flugelhorn, Pete Benson on piano, and Dennis Carroll on bass—paying tribute to one of the greatest innovators of jazz, Miles Davis. The trio will focus on the music that Davis created in the mid- to late-1950s, when his music was synonymous with “cool” and his recordings of American Songbook standards regularly topped the jazz charts.

Doors open at 6 p.m.; the performance commences at 6:30 p.m. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.

Holiday – Special Family Event
Sounds of the Season
Saturday, November 17, 2 p.m.–4 p.m.
Free Outdoor Event

The tradition continues!  As you make your way to Michigan Avenue to shop or attend this year’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival parade, don’t forget to stop by the Museum once again this year to hear the sweet seasonal sounds of period-dressed carolers on the mansion’s front porch. Everyone, of course, is invited to make merry and sing along.

Holiday – Performance
A Mark Twain Christmas
Dramatic Readings Performed by Richard Henzel
Saturday, December 1, 3 p.m. & 5 p.m.
Museum Members $20; Public $30

Celebrate the season with one of America’s most beloved storytellers, Mark Twain. A Mark Twain Christmas showcases some of Twain’s best holiday material, including “The Ice Storm,” “A Letter from Santa Claus,” and the perennial paean to practical jokes, “Jim Wolfe and the Cats.” Set in the Gilded Age splendor of the Nickerson Mansion, which houses a collection of the era’s fine and decorative arts, the evening also will include Mark Twain’s educational, but facetious, “Instructions In Art,” illustrated with original works created by Twain himself. By the conclusion of these ‘instructions,’ there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

This is a family-friendly event. As space is limited, advance ticket purchase is recommended.

Holiday – Special Family Event
Magic at the Mansion
Saturday, December 8 & 15, 3 p.m.
Sunday, December 9 & 16, 3 p.m.
Adult $12; Youth (8-12 years) $8

Experience the true magic of the holiday season with sleight-of-hand master magician Sean Masterson! Through entertaining stories and audience participation, Masterson’s theatrical magic show transports guests back to an earlier Gilded Age holiday. In 2011, audiences were thrilled with the performance. This year, a game of three-card switcheroo, levitation, and an apparition all contribute to the fun.
This 45-minute performance is suitable for children eight years and older. Tickets include general admission to the Museum. As space is limited, advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.

Holiday – Concert
Home for the Holidays: An Evening of Cabaret
Thursday, December 13, 6 p.m.
Museum Members $35; Public $45
Enjoy one of cabaret’s most in-demand duos, Beckie Menzie and Tom Michael, right after they appear at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City!  In this performance, Menzie and Michael take you on a playful and heartfelt romp through the holidays with songs such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” “Grateful,” “Hanukkah in Santa Monica,” and many more. Critics call their shows “a divine intervention of musical genius,” “a joyous intoxicating hour of music,” and “downright thrilling.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. with complimentary drinks and light fare; the performance begins at 6:30 p.m. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.

The Driehaus Museum also provides a range of themed guided tours to enhance guests’ enjoyment of the Museum, its collections, and historic context.

Highlights of the Museum Tour
Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Sunday, 1:30 and 3 p.m.
$5 with Museum admission

Guests are immersed in the rich history of the Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion and its meticulous five-year restoration through this introductory tour, which also showcases the Driehaus Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts.

Reservations are not required for the Highlights of the Museum Tour.

Mansions and Millionaires: The McCormickville Walking Tour
First and third Saturdays of each month through November 17, 1 p.m.
Walking Tour $20; Tour with Museum admission $30

Spend an afternoon exploring the rich and varied history of Chicago’s River North district, a neighborhood formerly known as McCormickville.

Magnificent mansions once lined the streets surrounding the Driehaus Museum. With intriguing anecdotes, visits to surviving buildings, and historical photographs, Chicago historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach illuminates the lives of the industrial businessmen, entangled families, notable public figures, and artists that once populated the area.

Rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes. Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Twilight Tour
First and third Tuesdays of each month beginning October 18, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets $15

When dusk arrives early and the seasons change, it’s time for the popular seasonal Twilight Tour to return to the Driehaus Museum! The mansion glows with warm lamplight as a Museum guide shares stories about how the Nickerson family lived and socialized during the evening hours. Twilight Tours include anecdotes about life during the Gilded Age—long before the arrival of television and computers—and a behind-the-scenes visit to Mr. Nickerson’s Billiards Room on the lower level.

Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Tickets to all programs, excluding the daily Highlights of the Museum Tour, can be purchased via the Museum’s website, Advance reservations to free programs may also be made online. Please call 312 482 8933, ext. 21 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

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