There’s one spot in Chicago that is half gilded age mansion, half art museum, and that’s the Richard H. Driehaus museum also known as the Marble Palace. I paid this nifty spot a visit and was blown away.
MARBLE PALACE OUTFIT DETAILS:
Happy Monday everyone, and I hope you’re enjoying this lovely Memorial day weekend. I just learned that Chicago is the most highly visited city over Memorial Day weekend? I didn’t know until Dan told me, either! My besty Ashley is visiting me this weekend from Cleveland. We were roommates in college and in the same sorority and she’s seriously my soul sister!
The Driehaus Museum, Marble Palace
If you’re planning on coming to Chicago any time soon, the Driehaus Museum is a must-visit. If you love architecture, history, and Downtown Abbey, this museum is for you. The Marble Palace museum is a moment frozen in time, showcasing the design of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Think Titanic-era. The building itself used to be a mansion owned by the Nickersons, who were in banking at the time. After passing through various hands, the building evolved into the headquarters for the American College of Surgeons, and was finally bought by an American philanthropist named Richard H. Driehaus. Mr. Driehaus restored the mansion in five years, and eventually opened it to the public as a museum with many of the original furnishings!
Walking inside, you’ll be pleasantly greeted by lavish marble, solid wood doors, and priceless Tiffany lamps. Guided or audio tours are available, but Michelle and I chose to peruse and read the information placards at our leisure.
I must admit that most of our time spent at the Marble Palace museum was oogling over the gorgeous decor and furnishings. Each room made me think about the people who lived there and the purpose of each item in the room. Which leads me to fantasize about how simpler life might be if, for instance, we had a room that was solely designated for hanging out with the ladies (the drawing room), or sitting and smoking with some chaps. I thought about these people’s lives and their routines and how everything in the house, while lavish, had a specific meaning.
The home itself is a museum, as far as the immovable things go. My favorite room had to be the Moroccan room. It has these exquisite blue Moroccan tiles surrounding the most ornately carved fireplace I have ever seen!
The Art of Seating
But besides the home itself, the museum organizes art displays on the second floor. Currently and until August 12, 2018, there is an exhibit on the art of seating. You’ve got that right – chairs through the ages! We got to see examples of American-designed chairs crafted between 1810 and 2010. It was extremely cool to see how something we take for granted has evolved in terms of function, form, and trends.
I love art and function, especially because I am a fashion blogger! If someone creates something that is useful but beautiful, like a chair or a pair of shoes, then I am a huge fan. Some of the chairs looked like they were designed specifically for style, with a conscious disregard for any functionality. See the wooden swirly chair below. We do this in fashion, too! Since we’re doing a shoe comparison, the swirly chair reminds me of the McQueen armadillo heels that Lady Gaga used to wear. Absolute art, but probably not too comfortable.
The exhibit concluded with a room of chairs that you can sit your tush in and try out yourself! After looking at so many chairs, I was ready to sit in one!
We finished with a quick dip through the gift shop and a photo in front of this Instagrammable backdrop with my late 19th century friends Wallace and Poppy. I don’t know what their real names are/were but they sound fitting to me.
Overall, the Driehaus Museum is a wonderful experience that will make you feel more worldly in under 2 hours. The Marble Palace museum is located in the River North neighborhood, just a skip away from the Magnificent Mile and tons of restaurants and shopping. Every time I talk about the Driehaus Museum to a Chicagoan, their reaction is a beaming and positive one. I recommend visiting the museum when they open at 10 am (Tuesday-Sunday), then discussing the beauty over an Aperol Spritz at Eataly Chicago (a 3 minute walk) or on the patio at Quartino (a 2 minute walk).
Thank you to the Richard H. Driehaus museum for providing us complimentary tickets to visit your lovely museum! And thank you for supporting the brands that support Glass of Glam.
Photography by @MichelleCoxPhoto
On Mondays We Link Up
My favorite look from Last week’s linkup is Shannon from Upbeat Soles!
Shannon posts the most gorgeous bohemian styles that are super affordable. Her skirt is on sale if you’re dying to style it, too!