1. Lessons in Chicago historyThe museum promises a multimedia, interactive experience. As Carey Cranston, president and one of the curators, says, "It's not about books under glass."
The museum boasts a room dedicated to local literary lights, with recordings by Studs Terkel and Gwendolyn Brooks and a digital map of landmarks, including the birthplace of Ebony and Jet, the original public library network, and every bookstore within the city limits.
2. Audio tours by lit experts
In the American Voices exhibit, virtual docents, including NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan and Northwestern English professor Ivy Wilson, narrate the biographies and works of 100 emblematic writers, from Abraham Lincoln to James Baldwin.
3. Sensory immersion
Anchoring the museum are 100 wall-mounted boxes that pull out to reveal literary ephemera—items you can touch, hear, or smell.
4. Masterworks in progress
See the pillars of American lit deconstructed in Anatomy of a Masterwork, an exhibit that breaks down the creation and legacy of iconic titles like “Sonny’s Blues” and Huck Finn with digital renderings of early manuscripts, critical reviews, and close readings.
5. Rare treasures
One place you’ll find an absence of screens: the Writer’s Room Gallery, which features a rotating collection of relics. First up? Jack Kerouac’s 120-foot On the Road scroll.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Another Chicago Museum I Need to Visit
Next Tuesday, the American Writer's Museum will be opening on the 2nd floor of 180 N Michigan Ave. Chicago Magazine shares 5 cool things about it: