December 01, 2015

Driehaus Museum Announces Public Programs for Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times Exhibition

CHICAGO, December 1, 2015

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum announces its schedule of public programs inspired by the special exhibition Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times, which will be on view February 9 through May 8, 2016.  To celebrate the exhibition coming to Chicago, and the final season of the popular television show Downton Abbey®, the Driehaus Museum is presenting a selection of special programs including a signature lecture with set designer Jude Farr, author events, movie nights, as well as a Downton Abbey series finale viewing party. Details can be found on The programming for Dressing Downton is as follows:

Mix & Mingle at the Movies: The General (February 27): Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The General is a classic Buster Keaton movie from 1926. It is a silent film story of love and adventure about Johnnie Gray falling in love with Annabelle Lee while working on the locomotive (named The General). Drama unfolds as Annabelle Lee is kidnapped and Johnnie must rescue her leading to several iconic scenes in cinematic history. Costumes highly encouraged.

Author Encounters: Carol Wallace (March 5): When Carol Wallace published the novel, To Marry an English Lord in 1989 she never imagined one day it would end up in the hands of Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes. Fellowes drew his inspiration from this book to begin creating the first character for the show, Cora Crawley (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Ms. Wallace recounts tales of formal courtships, lavish soirees, extravagant fashion and jewels, and scandalous affairs in the glamorous world of international high society.

Members-only: Downton Abbey Series Finale Viewing Party (March 6): The time has come for Downton Abbey to end and what better send off than a viewing party for our dedicated members of the Driehaus Museum and the show alike! Dress in period appropriate attire and clutch your tissues as we say goodbye to the beloved characters we have come to know so well.  This is a not-to-be-missed event for any Downton Abbey fan so become a Driehaus Museum member today.

Cole Porter Tribute (March 11): Celebrate the life of Cole Porter as Rose Colella and Paul Marinaro pay tribute to this incredible musical icon, who was sure to be a favorite of the young ladies of Downton Abbey. Join us for an evening of jazz with drinks and light hors d’oeuvres as you enjoy some of Porter’s most famous numbers, “Anything Goes”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, and others.

Author Encounters: Mary Morris (April 2): Mary Morris spins a wonderful story of Chicago in the 1920s, a musical period even enjoyed across the Atlantic in Britain, as seen on Downton Abbey which featured a Chicago jazz character and his band. In Ms. Morris’ The Jazz Palace, we follow the hijinks of Benny Lehrman as he pursues his passion to play jazz. The tale evolves into one of mobsters, music, and following your dreams in a wonderfully woven story.

Signature Lecture: Behind the Scenes with Set Designer Jude Farr (April 7): From setting the scenes of Downton Abbey to fashioning the award winning sets of The King’s Speech, Jude Farr has worked with some of the most iconic directors and actors of the past 30 years. Ms. Farr will take us through her day-to-day work process and divulge amusing bits of stories she’s experienced in her time working on the second season of Downton Abbey. Following the lecture there will be a Q&A with Ms. Farr and a cocktail reception.

Mix & Mingle at the Movies: Gosford Park (April 16): A traditional whodunit with hilarious wit is brought to the silver screen by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. In the 1930s, a film writer joins an elite family for dinner. As he is discussing his newest murder mystery story, a shocking murder happens right inside the home. Everyone is a suspect – servants, guests, and the wealthy residents alike. Costumes highly encouraged.

Author Encounters: Francine Segan (April 30): Join us in welcoming Francine Segan, culinary historian, chef, and author in a discussion on “The Art and Artifice of Dining”. Ms. Segan will elucidate the finer points of dinner etiquette, elaborate dishes, and elegant parties during the time period of Downton Abbey. You and your friends will most certainly be experts in hosting your own Edwardian-age dinner party after this encounter!

Tea Experiences (February 11 through May 6, 2016): The Driehaus Museum will be offering the opportunity to enjoy a traditional English tea before or after viewing the Dressing Downton exhibition. Escape and relax in our inviting garden-inspired setting. Your tea includes seasonal scones and cake breads, tea sandwiches and a variety of sweets catered exclusively by Parties & Special Events by Lettuce Entertain You® as well as a selection of two specialty teas locally sourced from Chicago’s own Rare Tea Cellars.

For more upcoming programs, including exhibition-related events and guided tours, please visit

About the exhibition Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times
Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times features more than 35 costumes from the beloved British drama series Downton Abbey, and were created by renowned London costume house Cosprop Ltd. The exhibition offers a fresh perspective on the show’s memorable characters, both upstairs and down, while chronicling the great changes taking place in Britain during the tumultuous early 20th century. The costumes will be presented in the lavish interiors of the Driehaus Museum, once the drawing rooms, living rooms, libraries, and bedrooms of the affluent Nickerson and Fisher families of Chicago.

About the Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of one of the few remaining examples of the palatial homes erected by the wealthy of America’s Gilded Age.  The lavish interiors are complemented by stunning examples of period furniture, decorative arts, stained glass, and period pieces selected from the Driehaus Collection. For more information about the Museum, visit

Members of the media may contact Lindsay Silk-Kremenak, Marketing Manager, for more information: 312-482-8933, ext. 39 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). High-resolution images are available at


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