Need somewhere to cool down during a hot day at the pier? Check out the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows for free during your next visit to Navy Pier! Located at the lower level terraces of Festival Hall, the museum opened in February of 2000 and is the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to stained glass windows!
A look into Chicago History
This permanent exhibit is open year round and is free to all Navy Pier visitors. Named after stained glass window collectors, E.B. and Maureen Smith, the museum has 150 stained glass windows on display featuring both secular and religious art. The windows are divided into four categories: Victorian, Prairie, Modern and Contemporary. Local, national, and international artists, including Louis Comfort Tiffany, John LaFarge, Ed Paschke and Roger Brown, designed all of the windows. From 1870 to the present, the windows represent an era of intense urban revision that featured the development, decline and revitalization of neighborhoods, the development of commercial and cultural institutions, the evolution of artistic styles and the response of various ethnic groups to these changes. The religious windows reveal the national and ethnic styles of Chicago’s European immigrants, while the residential windows display the history of architecture and decorative art styles.
The museum also displays unique contemporary pieces including stained glass portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Michael Jordan as well as several pieces of Tiffany stained glass dating as far back as 1890. The museum contains the largest public display of Tiffany windows in the world!
Where else can you experience a unique insight into Chicago’s cultural, ethnic and artistic history? Be sure to check out the Smith Museum next time you are at Navy Pier. Do not miss out on this experience and best of all, it is free!
For more information on the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, click here.
Admission and Operating Hours
The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is open daily during Pier operating hours.
Current Hours of Operation:
Sundays through Thursdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – Midnight