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The latest rendering of the Obama Presidential Center tower. (Courtesy of Obama Foundation)

A coalition of 16 Chicago museums and cultural institutions has weighed in on the ongoing battle over the Obama Presidential Center, coming down firmly on the side of the center versus those who would block its construction in historic Jackson Park.

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Mojina Jinuna Mote, holding a photo of herself taken in 1947. Mote’s story is part of a new exhibit on the Marshall Islands at the Field Museum. (Courtesy of the Field Museum)

A photo snapped by a Field Museum anthropologist in 1947 was labeled “schoolgirl” for 72 years. That student now has a name, and her story is part of a new exhibit about the Marshall Islands. 

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Installation view, Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now is on exhibition June 19 – Oct. 3, 2021. (Credit Nathan Keay /  MCA Chicago)

Artists who used to be on the comics page have now earned a place in museums. A new exhibition makes the case that Chicago has long been a magnet for creative cartooning. We visit “Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now” at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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The Nature Museum will reopen July 8. (Courtesy of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum / Facebook)

Though many Chicagoans found refuge in nature during the pandemic, the physical Nature Museum in Lincoln Park has been shuttered since spring 2020. 

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Mexican painter Carmen Chami's work is featured at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Courtesy NMMA)

When it reopens its doors July 1, the National Museum of Mexican Art will be kicking off operations with a major financial boost after it received an $8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

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Kehinde Wiley. “Barack Obama,” 2018. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

A portrait is a traditional way of commemorating a presidency. But the former president and first lady made a statement by choosing distinctive contemporary artists. This week, Chicago becomes the first city to host The Obama Portraits. Here’s a preview.

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(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

A return to pre-pandemic business as usual is not yet in the stars for the Chicago cultural institution, though some screenings and public observing events will make an in-person comeback beginning July 3.

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A portion of Frida Kahlo’s original works are returning to the Chicago area for the first time since the late ‘70s.  (WTTW News)

Some of Frida Kahlo’s original works are returning to the Chicago area for the first time since the late ‘70s.

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Design attributed to Agnes F. Northrop (American, 1857–1953), Tiffany Studios (American, 1902–32) Corona, New York. Hartwell Memorial Window (detail), 1917. (Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago)

It is a heavenly depiction of a beautiful place on earth. It’s also a fine work of art and one of the newest acquisitions at the Art Institute of Chicago. We explore an illuminating landscape made from light and glass.

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By the age of 23 he had fought in World War II, tangled with Gen. Patton, and won his first Pulitzer Prize. Cartoonist Bill Mauldin created artwork for magazines, books and newspapers from the 1940s into the ‘90s. We explore a new exhibition of his work.

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The Chicago History Museum (WTTW News)

After helming the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville for many years, the South Side native has returned to the city to lead the Chicago History Museum. Donald Lassere joins us to talk about expanding the museum’s mission to all of Chicago. 

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Researchers from the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts examine works in the National Museum of Mexican Art to learn more about their history, April 23, 2021. (Marc Vitali / WTTW News)

Scientists are exploring centuries-old paintings from colonial-era Mexico, searching for clues to find out more about the artwork. We visit the National Museum of Mexican Art for a meet-up of art and science.

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Bisa Butler. “Southside Sunday Morning,” 2018. Private collection. © Bisa Butler. (Photo by Margaret Fox)

History, music and photography are all stitched together in a show at the Art Institute of Chicago. We visit the pandemic-delayed exhibition “Bisa Butler: Portraits” to get the story behind these Technicolor textiles.

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A luna moth, featured in "Biomechanics," uses its bushy antennae to smell mates up to seven miles away. (Courtesy of Field Museum)

“Wild Color,” making its debut in October, will immerse visitors in all the colors of nature, while returning fan favorite “Biomechanics: The Machine Inside” will explore the engineering behind the bodies of humans and animals.

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Claude Monet. Landscape with Figures, Giverny, 1888. Private collection.

Chicago is home to more Claude Monet paintings than any city other than Paris. That’s because the works of the famous French impressionist made a strong impression on local collectors. We explore the show “Monet and Chicago.” 

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The Museum of Science and Industry's "Marvel" exhibit will feature costumes, props and artwork. (Courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry)

Is your Spidey sense tingling? The Museum of Science and Industry has announced it will reopen the first week in March with a new exhibit to greet guests: "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes."