Upcoming Programs

Arts and Crafts: The Antidote to Industrialization

There was no stopping the industrialization of the Western world in the late 19th century. But a group of artists and architects did what it could to counter-balance the loss of soul by harking back to the Middle Ages. Art critic John Ruskin, designer and printer William Morris, and painter Edward Burne Jones sought to bring back a medieval, individualistic approach to crafts like printing and furniture making, and to arts like painting and ceramics. Garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and young architect Edwin Lutyens combined their talents to produce environments that looked centuries old. This program explores the history of the Arts & Crafts movement in England and in the U.S. We’ll consider whether or not it was successful, and why are we still charmed by these creations more than 100 years later.

7 pm on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Des Plaines Public Library
http://www.dppl.org

One-Day Bus Tour: Rockford, Illinois

First, a visit to the newly-opened-for-tours Laurent House, a small Usonian gem by Frank Lloyd Wright and his only residence designed from scratch to accommodate accessibility needs. Lunch at Anderson Japanese Gardens followed by time to enjoy this exceptional place on your own. Barbara Geiger is the study tour leader, providing content and context as we ride to Rockford.

8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, September 26, 2015
Driehaus Museum
http://www.driehausmuseum.org/programs/view/rockford_travel_tour

Generating Change: Windmills in the Midwest

The Chicago Aermotor Company was the world’s largest windmill manufacturer in 1900. And water-pumping windmills were a big deal back then. They enabled westward expansion into areas where there was little groundwater—they actually changed the United States. Learn about the types of 19th century windmills and how the steel-bladed Aermotor revolutionized the industry. Meet the company’s founder, LaVerne Noyes, whose intention was to save farmers from hard labor, and who built his own stone mansion on Lake Shore Drive next to the Potter Palmer castle.

7 pm on Monday, October 12, 2015
Crete Public Library District
http://www.cretelibrary.org/

In Good Spirits: Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery

The place for Chicago’s Gilded Age movers and shakers to spend eternity, Graceland Cemetery is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city. Learn how this special burial ground came to be, how it relates to the city’s history, and discover the story of its founders and its principal designer, O.C. Simonds. One of the earliest sites to be planted with native Illinois flora and planned in a flowing, peaceful, naturalistic style, Graceland influenced the design of many other “prairie style” cemeteries, parks, and private landscapes.

7 pm on Wedensday, October 21, 2015
Des Plaines Public Library
http://www.dppl.org

In Good Spirits: Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery

The place for Chicago’s Gilded Age movers and shakers to spend eternity, Graceland Cemetery is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city. Learn how this special burial ground came to be, how it relates to the city’s history, and discover the story of its founders and its principal designer, O.C. Simonds. One of the earliest sites to be planted with native Illinois flora and planned in a flowing, peaceful, naturalistic style, Graceland influenced the design of many other “prairie style” cemeteries, parks, and private landscapes.

12:30 pm Lunch and Learn on Thursday, October 22, 2015
Vernon Area Public Library District
http://www.vapld.org

The Dawes House Grounds: From Victorian to Prairie

Charles Gates Dawes–whose career included serving as vice president of the United States, ambassador to the Court of St. James, and winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on WWI reparations–bought 225 Greenwood Street in Evanston in 1910. He hired prominent landscape-gardener O.C. Simonds to bring the grounds up to date. Find out how and why Simonds transformed the Dawes House from Victorian gardenesque to the more naturalistic and subtle Prairie style.

7 pm (reception at 6:30 pm) on Thursday, October 22, 2015
Evanston History Center
$10; reservations recommended
http://www.evanstonhistorycenter.org

RECENT PROGRAMS

Downton Abbey: Centuries in the Making: Evanston Woman’s Club, Evergreen Park Public Library, Chicago Rare Books, Kenilworth Clippers

The Landscapes of Jens Jensen for the Palatine Public Library

Graceland Cemetery walking tour for the Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society

Millennium Park walking tours for “Experiment in Architecture” groups, Illinois Institute of Technology