Past Exhibits

If you would like more information on one of these topics and an online exhibit has not been published, feel free to contact us.

1988-1989 – The Early Years of Winnetka: The First 50 Years 1835-1885
Focused on several topics, including: Winnetka’s Indian (Native American) Heritage, Winnetka’s early pioneers/settlers, the Charles Peck family, the Garland family, and the Marshall Fields’s department store in Chicago circa 1885.

1989-1990 – Winnetka Architecture: Where Past is Present

1990 – Set with Jet

1991 – Schooled in Winnetka
Displayed photos and artifacts from  schools located in Winnetka, including Greeley, Sacred Heart, Crow Island, Winnetka Public Nursery School, Hubbard Woods School, Washburne, Cove School, Hadley School for the Blind,  Horace Mann, New Trier, North Shore Country Day, Skokie, Columbia School, and Academy Hall. Included “the Old Schoolhouse Meets Progressive Education” teaching program.

1991 – Winnetka in Wartime
An exhibit that highlighted the experiences of Winnetka residents during the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm.

1992 – The End of the Century: Winnetka in the 1890s, The Lloyds, Legacies, and “Little Egypt”
Focused on the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 held in Chicago. It also featured Winnetka family history and portraits, a Victorian Pantry display, a Victorian parlor display, as well as fashions from the era.

1993-1994 – Behind the Scenes: The Infrastructure of a Village
This exhibit examined the history of various departments within the Village of Winnetka and explored some of the reasons that Winnetka has been viewed as a model community over the years. The exhibit was divided into four sections and a central gallery area. These four sections included: Fire and Police, Water and Electric, Village Hall, and Public Works.

1994-1996 – Wild Winnetka
An exhibit about Winnetka’s woodlands, wetlands, prairie, and trees.

1996 – Tracks Through Time: Railroads in Winnetka
This exhibit explored the history of the railroads in Winnetka, specifically the contributions of the railroad lines commonly known as the North Shore line and the Chicago & North Western.

1998-2000 – Setting Up Shop: 100 Years of Winnetka Business (1850-1950)
An exhibit that explored the history of various businesses in Winnetka, including changes in the types of businesses that served the village and changes in the ways business was conducted over the years.

2004 – Winnetka Park District
An exhibit about the history of Winnetka’s parks.

2005-2006 – A Preview of the Past
The exhibit was divided into three time periods: 1850s and 1860s, 1880s and 1890s, and 1950s and 1960s. Each time period contained information and artifacts connected to seven areas: Village Governance, 411 Linden St., Business, Railroad, Events, Education, and Fashion.

2006 – The Village Green: Where Winnetka Celebrates and Remembers
The Village Green has been part of Winnetka since 1869. This exhibit explored the history of the Village Green  and many of the traditions and events that have taken place there.

2007-2008 – Once Upon a Time: Growing Up in Winnetka
An exhibit that was organized as a series of “scrapbooks” that provided glimpses of childhood and adolescent life in Winnetka from 1860 to 2007/2008. The exhibit included photographs, documents, clothing, and artifacts that were symbolic of Winnetka history as experienced by children.

2008-2009 – I Do, I Do
This exhibit highlighted 144 years of local wedding fashion. Many bridal fashions and several garments worn by grooms were displayed, as were wedding accessories.

2009 – Creating Community: A History of Winnetka (currently on display in the permanent exhibit gallery)
This exhibit explores Winnetka’s history and emphasized the village’s strong sense of community identity.  The exhibit was divided into four eras:  the Indian Trail to Post Road (Pre-1850), Early Winnetka (1850-1900), Evolution of the Village (1900-1950), and the Post-War Era (1950-2009).

2009 – Palette of Our Past: Artists in Winnetka
An exhibit that examined the history and artworks of several artists with ties to Winnetka including: Herman Menzel, Herman Peterson, Anita Willets-Burnham, Carol-Lou Burnham, Adam Emory, Ivan Albright, Charles Haag, Nancy Hahn, and Fairfield Porter.

2010 – Serving On All Fronts: Winnetka and World War II
An exhibit that told the story of World War II and specifically, the wartime experiences of several Winnetka veterans.

2012 – Loosen Your Corset, Roll Up Your Sleeves: Progressive Era Winnetka 1890-1920 – Link to the online exhibit
This exhibit examined the transformation of Winnetka from a sleepy rural village into a forward-looking, modern suburb. It focused on the Winnetka Community House as a settlement house, local government, women’s suffrage, Progressive politics, Progressive education, and miscellaneous reforms and reformers.

2015 – Fused by Fire: Mr. Heinig’s relics from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 
In combination with Fire Prevention Week October 4-10, 2015, this mini-exhibit showcased Frank Heinig’s collection of everyday objects that fused together in the intense flames of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

2016-2017 – Silhouette: An Intimate History of Undergarments
This annual exhibit offered a peek at the changing styles of women’s undergarments from 1860 through 1960.

2017-2019 — Winnetka Goes to War: 1917-1918
Winnetka Goes to War told the stories of Winnetkans, soldiers and citizens alike, living through a time of dramatic change brought on by World War I.