Elmhurst Art Museum, located in Elmhurst, was founded in 1981 as the Elmhurst Fine Arts and Civic Center Foundation by a group of passionate teachers, artists, and organizers. The museum started by showcasing local contemporary artists, but began to expand as they witnessed the needs they could fill in our community. The goal, from inception to now to the distant future, is to make art accessible for everyone.
In 1992, they acquired the Mies van der Rohe McCormick House and had it moved to their new location in Wilder Park in 1994. They built a new, bigger, and better building around the McCormick House, which quickly became the heart of the museum. The McCormick House is an architectural feat unique to the Chicagoland area and one of only three family homes designed by van der Rohe that exist in the United States. One of their most treasured responsibilities is restoring the McCormick House back to its original glory.
Elmhurst Art Museum takes pride in their focus on education. Art is for everyone, no matter how young or old, no matter the circumstance. Their ‘Art is for Everyone’ program ensures that children from under-funded schools aren’t missing out on an appreciation for the arts. They offer schools free school buses, guided tours, workshops, and family memberships to over 1,000 school-aged children.
Art education shouldn’t start or stop with school. They also offer hands-on studio classes for ages two to…well, age doesn’t really matter. For children aged 5-12, they offer a summer camp focused on the arts and expressing individual creativity. For high schoolers, they have our Teen Art Council. This hardworking group of teens meets every week during the school year. They work closely with museum professionals to shape their creativity into changes enacted in their own community. Patrons of all ages can also take part in their seasonal collaborative community art piece.
The museum has the honor of hosting a gallery for the esteemed Elmhurst Artists’ Guild, founded in 1946. Meetings for the guild take place in the EAG gallery, as do the four yearly exhibits highlighting its honored members. The guild also uses its gallery to host invitational exhibitions and exhibits for individual local artists.
From a small foundation to a nationally lauded organization, they are still striving to spread their message: ‘Art is for everyone’. From classes to camps to exhibits and restorations, they’ve got something for everyone. Stop by today and see it for yourself!