November 29, 2011

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum Launches New Initiatives

Since opening its doors in 2008, the Driehaus Museum has been committed to its mission of sustaining and celebrating the design of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This year has seen unprecedented growth in Museum activities, including increased programming and visitor attendance.

Hours and Guided Tours
The Driehaus Museum is now open expanded hours. The new hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Guided tours are now available twice daily. The Highlights of the Museum Tour—an introductory tour of the Museum that includes highlights from the Driehaus Private Collection, a comprehensive history of the Nickerson Mansion, architectural features and a visit to the servants’ quarters—commences at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays.

“Making the Museum accessible for individual visitors as well as private group tours is a priority as we open up and reach out to the community,” says Museum director Lise Dubé-Scherr. “Our new, regular public hours and guided tour schedule give people the opportunity to visit when it’s most convenient for them. Visitors can choose to self-guide or take a highlight tour led by our expert guides.”

The Museum continues to offer evening Twilight Tours at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. While advance reservations are not necessary for daily Highlights of the Museum tours, they are highly recommended for Twilight Tours. For more information, visit or call 312-482-8933, ext. 21.

Holiday Programs
To engage new audiences, while giving returning visitors a new experience of the Museum, several holiday programs have been scheduled for the 2011 season:

Holiday Bazaar: An Evening of Cabaret with Hilary Feldman is a one-of-a-kind evening concert featuring cabaret singer Hilary Feldman. Beckie Menzie will accompany Ms. Feldman on piano for a program consisting of both traditional and less-known holiday songs. The event will take place in the Museum’s mahogany-paneled Ballroom on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include complimentary cocktails and light fare.

The Driehaus Museum will also be debuting new family-friendly programs beginning this holiday season with Magic at the Mansion, a performance by master magician Sean Masterson. Masterson, using the 19th century Nickerson Mansion as his historical setting, weaves storytelling into a theatrical show that features sleight-of-hand and audience participation.  The four performances will take place Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children. The ticket price includes Museum general admission.

The Museum’s marble halls have also been “decked” in holiday decorations, including elegant poinsettias and three tastefully adorned trees, which will remain on display until Jan. 8, 2012.

More information about upcoming programs can be found at Space is limited. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Tickets may be ordered online or by calling 312-482-8933, ext. 21.

The Museum has also launched a new membership program. The program deepens relationships, creates a community of passionate art and history enthusiasts and provides members with a special opportunity to participate in furthering the Museum’s mission.

“Our membership program has something for everyone, including special levels for people who live outside of Chicago and a level for Future Preservationists to encourage our young visitors to deepen their knowledge and understanding of historic preservation and design,” says Dubé-Scherr. “Our members not only receive a host of wonderful benefits, but they also help support the ongoing preservation of the Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion.”

Examples of membership benefits may include: Guest passes to share with friends, reciprocal benefits through the Chicago Architecture Foundation, North American Reciprocal Museum Program and Glessner House Museum, invitations to exclusive members-only events and Museum shop and program discounts.

Further details of membership levels and fees can be found on the Join section of the Museum’s new website, Memberships may be purchased online, by calling 312-482-8933, ext. 21, or in the Museum Admissions Office.

New Website
The Museum recently expanded and redesigned its website, adding new and blending current content in a highly visual, intuitive format. Key features include:

A new design—simple, intuitive and visually engaging—to enhance the online experience for users

  • Expanded Plan an Event section for event rentals, featuring images of event spaces, information about preferred vendors and special packages
  • Easy-to-use Programs calendar and categories such as Family, Concerts and Performances to make attending a program at the Museum simple
  • Online transactions system for ticket and membership purchases
  • Museum blog
  • Information about the Richard H. Driehaus Stained Glass Gallery at Navy Pier
  • New Join section with details about and capacity to purchase a Museum membership

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