11/18/2017 to 1/7/2018

Holiday Thorne Rooms

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago 60603
(312) 443-3600

The beloved decorating tradition is back, with several of the Thorne Rooms once again getting their seasonal trimmings. Among the most elaborate is the English Drawing Room of the Victorian Period, the only room with a Christmas tree. Now a ubiquitous feature of the season, the Christmas tree, or tannenbaum, was only brought to England from Germany in 1840 with the marriage of Prince Albert to Queen Victoria. The Thorne Room tree and accoutrements are based on a famous engraving of the royal couple and their children surrounding a trimmed and toy-bedecked tree, an image that would forever popularize this holiday fixture. Other ornamented rooms include:

  • The English Great Hall of the Tudor period with a wassailing bowl, yule log, and an essential part of the costuming for that period’s singing and dancing revelers—a mummer’s mask
  • The Virginia Entrance Hall with mistletoe, wreath, and garland
  • The French Provincial Bedroom with shoes, orsabots, lined up before the fireplace, a crèche, and puzzle
  • The modern-era California Hallway with an Otto Natzler mid-century menorah and box with a dreidel
  • The New Orleans, New Mexico, and the Pennsylvania Dutch (German) rooms filled with regional treats of the season
  • The 1930s French Library with a tiny taste of Art Deco holiday glamour
  • The traditional Chinese interior filled with shadow puppets and instruments that would have been used to celebrate the Chinese New Year as well as other festive occasions

Time: During regular hours

Cost: Included with admission

Ages: All ages


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