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Current Exhibits

Wilmette Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Through December 2021
Lower Level

This exhibit highlights some of Wilmette's most accomplished residents, women who rose to prominence in their chosen fields.  On display are iconic garments from their professions, from firefighter's gear to a 1990s "power suit," reflecting the varieties of traditionally male-dominated occupations in which local women have excelled. The garments are accompanied by stories about each woman.

Wilmette in Photographs: 1850-1950

Through November 18, 2021
Main Gallery

This exhibit explores a century of photographs of Wilmette people and places.  Antique cameras, glass photographic plates, tintypes, stereo cards, and other unusual artifacts from the Museum’s collection join dozens of rarely seen photos to illustrate how developments in camera technology, and the emergence of fads like the “real photo postcard” craze, resulted in a treasure trove of images that have forever captured the look of everyday life in one small Midwestern town. 

Local Legends

Extended through 2021
Lower Level

This corridor exhibit on the Museum's lower level features a selection of celebrities who have called Wilmette their home.  Pictures and stories illuminate the local lives of such accomplished hometown favorites as Bobbi Brown, Jens Jensen, Bill Murray and many others. 

Wilmette Stories

Ongoing
First Floor

The Gross Point Village Hall’s former fire station bay features stories that help to illuminate the special character of our community and its people.

Historic Gross Point Jail

Ongoing
Lower Level

The Gross Point Village Hall had it all: clerk's office, fire department, and police department—including four jail cells. Thanks to this restoration you can find out how it felt to be locked up in one of the gloomy old basement cells. (Kids of all ages love this exhibit!)

In the adjoining cell, Early Policing in Wilmette and Gross Point features antique equipment like handcuffs and a billy club.

From Settlement to Suburb

Ongoing
First Floor

On the first floor is this exhibit about the people who settled Gross Point and Wilmette in the 19th century.

Among the rare artifacts on display are the medicine bag (complete with vials!) of the Village's first doctor, Byron Stolp, the surveyor's compass used to lay out Wilmette's first streets, and a phrase-book that Gross Point's German immigrants used to help them make their way across America.

Native Americans on the North Shore

Ongoing
First Floor

Before 19th century treaties forced them to move, there were Native American communities in the Wilmette area for more than 10,000 years. On display are examples of their finely crafted stone tools and ceramic objects, including the haunting "effigy head," one of the oldest and most famous artifacts in our collection.

Don't miss a chance to see locally made objects that are thousands of years old!