Special Exhibits

Main Gallery

Encore! Encore!
The Puppets of Chicago’s Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera

Exhibit Opening, Friday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m.
Exhibit Closing, Sunday, Dec. 1, 4 p.m.

The puppets of Chicago’s famous Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera are back by popular demand! From 1941 to 1970, these puppets entertained audiences with operatic performances after a Swedish-themed dinner at the Kungsholm restaurant. Learn about the history of the theater and the experiences of the people behind its success and the visitors who kept coming back for more. Experience the Kungsholm legacy in person once more as dozens of new puppets from the collection return to center stage, alongside original set pieces, props, and related ephemera.



Exhibit Opens, Friday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m.
Exhibit Closes, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, 4 p.m.

One of the most remarkable examples of Scandinavian folk art is the painted picture indigenous to the Swedish peasant home. The commonly used name for these peasant paintings is bonader, and their provenance was to decorate the walls and ceilings of the homes at Christmas time and on feast days, thus adding a note of color and gaiety to the otherwise dark interiors.

Raoul Wallenberg Gallery

Documenting Swedish America: 
a Setterdahl Family Tradition

Exhibit opening, Saturday, July 6, 11 a.m.
Exhibit closes, Sunday, Sept. 29, 4 p.m.

Driven by a relentless passion to record as much history about Swedish-Americans as possible, Lennart Setterdahl (1928-1995) and his family have made prolific contributions to our understanding of Swedish America and Swedish immigration.

When Lennart Setterdahl (1928-1995) first moved to America, he had no idea it would be a permanent move. Soon after, his wife Lilly and their young sons joined him. What followed was a lifetime consumed by a relentless drive to document as much of Swedish America as possible, both its people and organizations, in a race against time as the early generations of Swedish immigrants and their children quickly aged. Lennart Setterdahl produced an oral history archive of about 3,000 stories accompanied by over 20,000 photographs in his spare time between microfilming the records of thousands of Swedish-American churches and social organizations. Lilly Setterdahl has since published over 20 books about Swedish immigrants, many of which draw on the oral histories Lennart produced.

Lost Houses of Lyndale Street
By Matt Bergstrom

Lost Houses of Lyndale Walking Tour, Friday, Oct. 4, 6 p.m.
Exhibit opens, Saturday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m.
Exhibit closes, Jan. 5, 2020, 4 p.m.

On Lyndale Street, between California and Kedzie, many families are selling their homes to developers building new condominiums. The original houses represented the hard-won rewards of home ownership for generations of working class immigrants who passed their property on to their children or sold to the next wave of immigrants. Lost Houses of Lyndale exhibits the pen-and-ink portraits of these missing houses and share the stories of people who lived in these homes over the past 130 years.

Sponsors of our Special Exhibits: