“Art Deco Architecture and Design at the Museum of Science and Industry” by S.M. O’Connor

The next time you go to the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.), check out the small exhibit on gears inside the Green Stairs. It’s coupled with a larger exhibit that features model steam engines. These twin exhibits focus on two of the pillars of the Industrial Revolution. The metal gears will be of particular interest to people who appreciate Art Deco architecture and interior design, like the Art Moderne-style Pioneer Zephyr down in the Entry Hall.  If you like these exhibits, you may also appreciate the concept art in Imagining the Museum on the Lower Floor.  Throughout the building, you may notice flourishes architect Alfred Shaw (1895-1970) incorporated into the Art Moderne interior when he restored Charles B. Atwood‘s Beaux Arts façade.  Further, if you like these exhibits at the M.S.I., you may also like the temporary exhibit Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America over at the Chicago History Museum up in the Chicago Park District’s Lincoln Park on the North Side of Chicago.  Both institutions belong to the umbrella organization the Museums in the Park.

4Figure 1 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: The gleaming metal gears ion display n the Green Stairs should be of special interest to museum visitors who like Art Deco architecture and interior design.

5Figure 2 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: Museum guests can turn cranks to watch the gears move.

1Figure 3 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: They may not be made of gleaming metal, but these gears in twin display cases near the Green Stairs entrance to Allstate Court (which houses the physics exhibit Science Storms) on the Main Level also has visual interest.

4Figure 4 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: This mural behind the escalators and stairs in the Entry Hall is made of stainless steel and is in the Art Moderne style like the Pioneer Zephyr, which sits at the opposite end of the Entry Hall.  It was in the Applied Science exhibition sponsored by Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation.

3Figure 5 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: The engraved mural was in the Hall of Science at A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34).

 

      All Aboard the Silver Streak is the first-built of two subterranean exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry.  Its focus is the Pioneer Zephyr, also known as the Burlington Zephyr, a whole train that stands between the two wings of the M.S.I.’s underground garage, which is under the north lawn. The Entry Hall (formerly known as the Great Hall) connects the garage and exhibit to the rest of the Museum by way of escalators, stairs, and elevators. Named after the Greek god of the west wind, the Zephyr set a speed record on May 26, 1934, when it went from Denver to Chicago in thirteen hours and then went on display at Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34). The exhibit is devoted to the Zephyr, A Century of Progress, streamlining, and the benefits of stainless steel construction.


*temp*Figure 6 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This is the Pioneer Zephyr in the exhibit All Aboard the Silver Streak.

46443324_263805924246295_1773665912352669696_nFigure 7 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: This is the Pioneer Zephyr, decorated for Christmas Around the World, as seen on Thursday, November 15, 2018.

46493166_263806044246283_3880302961078829056_nFigure 8 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: The exhibit All Aboard the Silver Streak includes a display case devoted to artifacts and archival posters from Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress (1933-34).

46479847_263806107579610_7189927342590918656_nFigure 9 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: At the back of the All Aboard the Silver Streak exhibit hall is a display of artifacts that illustrate the influence the Pioneer Zephyr had on household products in terms of streamlining.

      Imagining the Museum is a temporary exhibit of concept art and dioramas that takes up two galleries that flank the Lower Court at the M.S.I.  Located on the Lower Level (ground floor), it helps celebrate the 85th anniversary of the M.S.I.’s first opening ceremony in 1933. The exhibit includes drawings by staff artist Percy Hale Lund (1897-1972). He also designed the bronze panels that represented the M.S.I.’s curatorial departments in the middle two of the six doors at the north entrance of the Central Pavilion, the old main entrance.

47442145_271220906838130_8735163752858517504_nFigure 10 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: This is a concept drawing of the Coal Mine headframe by staff artist Percy Hale Lund in Imagining the Museum.

Subway

Figure 14 Credit: Seán M. O’Connor Caption: This is a concept drawing E. Mowerton drew in 1932 of a scale model train set labeled “Subway – Surface and Elevated Transportation Exhibit” in the exhibit Imagining the Museum.  The model train set E. Mowerton draw was never built, but The Great Train Story, which opened in 2002, does include Chicago’s “L” and subway lines.

 

On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, the M.S.I. reverted to regular hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).  On the weekend of Saturday, November 17, 2018 and Sunday, November 18, 2018, the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The M.S.I. will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 22, 2018) and the First Day of Christmas (Tuesday, December 25, 2018).  Extended hours (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) will be in play again from Friday, November 23, 2018 to Sunday, November 25, 2018; Saturday, December 1, 2018 and Sunday, December 2, 2018; Saturday, December 8, 2018 and Sunday, December 9, 2018; Saturday, December 15, 2018 and Sunday, December 2016; Sunday, December 23, 2018; and Wednesday, December 26, 2018 through Sunday, December 30, 2018.  There will be longer hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 22, 2018.  On Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24, 2018) and New Year’s Eve (Monday, December 31, 2018), the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  On New Year’s Day (Tuesday, January 1, 2019), the M.S.I. will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  From Wednesday, January 2, 2019 through Friday, January 4, 2019, the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Regular hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) will resume on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  The Museum of Science and Industry regularly makes small adjustments to this schedule, so when planning a trip there, check this Webpage and the M.S.I.’s social media for updates.

EXTENDED HOURS AND EXCEPTIONS

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Closed Thanksgiving Day

(Thursday, November 22, 2018)

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, November 23, 2018

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 1, 2018

Sunday, December 2, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 15, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

 

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 23, 2018
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve

(Monday, December 24, 2018)

Closed Christmas Day

(Tuesday, December 25, 2018)

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sunday, December 30, 2018

9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve

(Monday, December 31, 2018)

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. New Year’s Day

(Tuesday, January 1, 2019)

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

 

Often stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.  The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The M.S.I. is open every day of the year with two exceptions: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  On most days, it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but during peak periods it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

 

 

 

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