Upcoming Exhibits

Spring-Summer Quarters 2023

Dog Fight: The Animal Experimentation Debate in 20th-Century Chicago
May 8 through September 1, 2023

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, researchers at the University of Chicago and neighboring institutions joined together to form the Illinois Society for Medical Research (ISMR), establishing a united front against increasingly vocal antivivisection protests. Activist groups, led by the popular socialite Irene Castle McLaughlin, known for her role in reviving interest in modern dance, advanced legislation at the city and state level to ban the use of pound dogs for research and teaching with, many scientists believed, the ultimate goal of ending animal experimentation completely. In response, the ISMR assembled a broad coalition of university and business leaders, church and women’s groups, and kennel clubs in order to defeat the proposals, achieving victory with what became known as the “Arvey Ordinance” (named for Jacob M. Arvey), which allowed universities to access unclaimed pound dogs. The Arvey Ordinance formed a template for similar struggles across the United States, making Chicago a symbol in decades-long debates about the ethics and practice of animal experimentation. The exhibit will feature material from multiple periods of contest, including the early years, post-WWII compromises, and later debates, showing how the debates about animal experimentation were also ideological contests about how Chicago’s major universities should fit within the economy and power structure of an expanding metropolis.

Autumn Quarter 2023

Capturing the Stars: The Untold History of Women at Yerkes Observatory
September 18 through December 15, 2023

Capturing the Stars illuminates the history of women at Yerkes Observatory and demonstrates how their labor contributed to the advancement of the science of astronomy. Visitors will learn how and why women came to Yerkes, about their scientific work, and their lives after Yerkes. In so doing, this exhibit introduces visitors to the history of astronomy and women’s history in early twentieth century America while also emphasizing the importance of Yerkes Observatory within a broader, global scientific community.

Capturing the Stars tells the stories of these women and their work in two major ways. First, by focusing on the lived experiences of individuals, this exhibit enables visitors to understand what it was like to be a woman working in astronomy during the early 20th century. Second, by homing in on the roles of women in the scientific practices of the Observatory it shifts the narrative beyond the work of female calculators to embrace the full range of women’s labor – including observing, photographing, calculating, measuring, analyzing, and publishing. This exhibit also highlights the unique position of women at Yerkes where, in contrast to the better-known histories of the Harvard College and Royal Greenwich Observatories, women contributed in every stage of scientific research.

Winter Quarter 2024

It was not until 1842 that the word "dinosaur" officially appeared in print, in a British Association for the Advancement of Science report written by Richard Owen. One hundred and eight years later, dinosaurs and prehistoric life have become vivid parts of our imagination. How did this transformation of taxonomic Victorian paleontology enter into part of our everyday vocabulary and experience? In large part, books, magazines, and other media brought ancient creatures to life, integrating them into diverse visual experiences. This exhibit explains this transformation of paleontological nomenclature into digestible and imaginative stories that captured the imaginations of generations of individuals. A rich variety of publications -- monographs, journal articles, popular books, comics, magazines -- will be supplemented with original art, posters, photographs, and occasionally, even fossils to explain the transformation of dinosaurs and prehistoric life from Linnean taxonomy to everyday figures, appearing in editorial cartoons, advertisements, corporate logos, clothing, and many other places.

Spring Quarter 2024

Scav Hunt
Quirky, impossible, and simply fun, Scav Hunt has set UChicago students on weekend-long searches for eclectic lists of miscellany since 1987. Bordering on the absurd, Scav has set world records, been the focus of many road trips, and prompted countless teams of students to band together in search of zany must-haves from each year's scavenger hunt list. This exhibit will look at Scav's origins, traditions, and search lists that have turned this annual springtime event into a beloved campus tradition.

Fall Quarter 2024

Korean International Students at UChicago
Prior to the prevalence of commercial flights, studying abroad to the United States was uncommon. Unlike today, international study was not an opportunity available to many students. For the very few students who managed to make their way across continents, understanding the cultural and social interactions between two different countries posed a huge challenge.

UChicago has long made efforts to enable the intellectual growth of individuals from different parts of the world, and in the early 1920s, UChicago welcomed its first Korean international students—Kwang Sup Yum (Divinity) and Sae Woon Chang (Mathematics). Since then, the Korean international student population at the university has steadily grown, with an increasing number of those students advancing upon graduation into academic careers in many fields.

The educational philosophy of the late CHEY Jong-hyon presents an exemplary model of how Korean international students were able to find their place within the University and thrive. CHEY, former chairman of the SK Group and a UChicago alumnus, believed in the importance of cultivating talented youth and sponsored the studies of over fifty UChicago students and more than 1,000 students aspiring to earn PhD degrees in institutions across the US.

This exhibit will explore the history of Korean international students at the University, the growth of these students from the completion of their programs of study to intellectuals around the world, and the research they have contributed to their respective fields. Additionally, the exhibit will highlight how CHEY Jong-hyon’s educational philosophy has helped produce such scholars across five decades, his influence as a businessman and philanthropist, and look at the impact of the Korean Foundation for Advanced Studies (KFAS).