Swedish American Museum

Swedish American Museum, Chicago: Hours, Address, Swedish American Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Swedish American Museum
4.5
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Swedish American Museum Association (SAMAC) is committed to being a unifying force in the promotion of Swedish-American heritage and ethnic pride. SAMAC's primary purpose is to develop and maintain a permanent museum center that houses, collects, preserves and interprets its Swedish American collection and culture via exhibits and programs. The Museum Center provides for cultural and educational activities for its publics, including Scandinavian organizations and businesses, museum members, the Andersonville community and individuals young and old.
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4.5
58 reviews
Excellent
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adrianna24sings
Traverse City, MI403 contributions
Apr 2020
Andersonville is a delightful neighborhood in north Chicago with a strong Swedish heritage. I've been to Chicago many a times but never to this specific neighborhood. While checking out the cafes, shops, and restaurants I learned of the Swedish American Museum. They were due to close within 30 minutes and the warm hearted woman in the gift shop told me she wouldn't charge me admission since there was so little time left to explore the museum. There was so much to see and all of it was very interesting. The exhibits really reflect Sweden, past, present, and future and I observed some beautiful items inside the museum. What a treat to spend time here and meet some great staff members. Don't miss out on this unique museum and be certain to spend extra time in the gift shop. There are lots of Swedish treasures inside. I especially like the Swedish food.
Written March 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,431 contributions
Oct 2020
One of the great advantages of living in Chicago is the access to many museums and cultural centers devoted to the history and heritage of minorities and ethnic groups which afford the opportunity to learn how other peoples live and lived. One such museum is the Swedish American Museum, which is devoted to Swedish American topics and the Swedish immigration to the United States. Located at 5211 North Clark Street in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, it was founded in 1976 and moved to its current location in 1987. It is said there are more Swedes in Andersonville than anywhere outside of Stockholm. The museum, which was dedicated by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden himself, is a three-story building with 24,000 square feet of exhibit space. The collection of 12,000 objects includes items and artifacts that contribute to the narrative about Swedish immigration, Swedish communities in North America and Swedish and Swedish American culture. Artifacts include archival material, photographs, textiles, domestic items, decorative and fine art. The gallery spaces feature special art exhibits, "The Dream of America" exhibit, the Brank Children's Museum of Immigration, a geneology center and a museum store. One of the most unique and interesting exhibits is the Swedish Dads, a photo exhibit by Swedish photographer Johan Barman that portrays the relatively small percentage of Swedish fathers who choose to stay at home with their children for art least six months. Another up-to-the-minute exhibit reports that during the recent Covid 19 pandemic, museum officials have discovered that many residents of the Swedish American community have found leisure time to do family research at SAM's geneology center.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JulieinChicago
3 contributions
Dec 2019
I visited the museum with my family for a holiday celebration and had an odd experience. An older lady started pretty much yelling at the guests. She seemed out of control. It turns out she was the head of the museum and just went off the deep end when some kids started playing. It was extremely uncomfortable. We did out best to cover her behavior so the kids would not be scared. It seems like a place to avoid.
Written September 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jason E
DeKalb, IL29 contributions
Oct 2019 • Couples
It is a small museum packed with both sides of the history. The first floor is a gift shop and the reminders of the old pre-world war 2 puppet theater. Very cool. The second floor is the heritage and genealogy center. Mega cool. Didn’t go to the third floor. But that is the children’s museum. Sounds cool. Be sure to look at their website for free days for entry. But it doesn’t cost much to begin with. And yes some of the museum involves the results of the Great Chicago Fire. Highly friendly staff. And please leave donations as that is how museums like this survive.
Written October 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NANCANVA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA265 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
This museum is small, but incredibly interesting if you enjoy exploring the immigrant experience in a large city. Swedish immigrants (including my own) settled in the Clark Street area of Chicago. Many of the artifacts are similar to those my family has. The museum is very inexpensive ($4.00 adults) and is worth an hour or two. They also have a wonderful gift shop filled with items from Sweden, about Sweden, etc. Most of the staff is of Scandanavian heritage, too, so Swedish is spoken. If you have Scandanavian relatives you can relate to what they offer. The entire North Clark Street area still has a few businesses that are Swedish bases (restaurants, bakery). Great safe area with a terrific friendly vibe.
Written June 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bLiselotte
Palatine, IL599 contributions
May 2019 • Solo
I visited during a small event so the visit was free. The museum portion is on the second floor. It encompasses the immigration path, and some background on famous Chicago Swedes. The first floor has an exhibit space/meeting room and the gift shop. I spent a pleasant hour here. A plus is its in a great neighborhood of restaurants.
Written June 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,431 contributions
Apr 2019
Kurt Mathisson, a Swedish immigrant who was one of the leaders of the Andersonville community, founded the Swedish American Museum in Chicago in 1976 to preserve Chicago's Swedish-American heritage. Its mission is to interpret the immigrant experience for children and adults and promote an appreciation of contemporary Swedish-American culture through its arts and educational programs and its permanent collection of approximately 12,000 objects. In 1987, the museum was moved to its current location at 5211 North Clark Street in the Andersonville neighborhood, the "Little Sweden" of Chicago and one of the most concentrated areas Swedish heritage in the United States. The museum is housed in a 24,000-square-foot, three-story building. It features two gallery spaces with special art exhibits, "The Dream of America" exhibit, the Brunt Children's Museum of Immigration, a genealogy center and a museum store. "The Dream of America: Swedish Immigration to Chicago" is the main exhibit. Located on the second floor, it explores the struggles and triumphs of the Swedish immigrant experience. Visitors meet many characters within the exhibit, including Stinsa Olofsdotter, who is helping her son prepare for his journey to America in 1868, and Karl Nelson, whose family arrives in New York City in 1893. Special exhibits are Photography by Ludvig Peres and Pull of the Sea, the dramatic paintings of Leon Lundmark.
Written April 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kirsten c
8 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
okay, so this museum is very well done and interesting, but the piece de resistance is the top floor kids' history play area. it's GREAT! my 3-year-old loved it, and i was super impressed. the second floor history area was very pretty, very dense with information both individual and by groups. i can't believe I've lived in Chicago for so long and not gone!
Written August 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diane P
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States571 contributions
Aug 2018 • Family
Living on a shoestring budget, we were delighted to learn that this museum was Free on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. We marked our calendar and went. It's a sweet little museum that actually contains a lot of history and treasure for it's size. Even my teens enjoyed the children's floor, and we all learned a lot. The first floor has a special exhibit featuring an artist from Sweden. Worth the price of admission, yet grateful today was free!
Written August 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mbv9415
Omaha, NE757 contributions
May 2018 • Family
Very nice museum related to the history and culture of the area/region. Well laid out, plenty of room for the displays and dioramas. The staff was friendly. Didn't seem to know much about the other Swedish enclaves in the Midwest, though. Parking is a nightmare, typical for Chicago.
The gift shop was well done, and had a lot of items for sale.
Written July 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Swedish American Museum

Swedish American Museum is open:
  • Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sat - Sun 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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