National Hellenic Museum

National Hellenic Museum The National Hellenic Museum is the premier institution for sharing the Greek story from ancient times to the modern Greek American experience.
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The National Hellenic Museum is the premier institution for sharing the Greek story; a story that laid the foundation for Western civilization, contributed to the building of America, and continues to innovate today.

Mission: The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) portrays and celebrates Greek heritage and the Hellenic legacy. With a rich depository of over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum highlights Greek-American contributions to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family stories though cultural expression, oral history and experiential education. Our mission is to provide lifelong learning for the whole community through classes, exhibitions and programs aim that spark inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives. Located in Chicago’s Greektown, come hear our stories, learn about our shared past, and gather with others to make new memories.

05/05/2020
Memories from Chicago’s 1967 Greek Independence Day Parade Video

There couldn't be a Greek Independence Day Parade in Chicago this year, but never fear- NHM's Collection Manager Jeremy Bucher has scoured our collection to bring us these memories of Chicago's 1967 Greek Independence Day Parade. Enjoy!

://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhUrYNaacKI

There couldn't be a Greek Independence Day Parade in Chicago this year, but never fear! NHM's Collection Manager Jeremy Bucher as scoured our collection to b...

04/30/2020
Greek Wines Around the World

Resident Scholar Dr. Katherine Kelaidis (who is not only a historian, but a sommelier too!) will take us on the journey of Greek wine around the world as we explore the ancient Greek origins of your favorite Italian, French, and Californian wines.

And after the video, why not treat yourself? You can go to our partners at Wines for Humanity at www.winesforhumanity.com/justins and a percentage of every purchase helps support the National Hellenic Museum when you enter the code NH15 at check out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8lP9MpIHUs

Join NHM's Resident Scholar Dr. Katherine Kelaidis as she talks about how Greek wine has shaped the great wine cultures of today. After the video, why not tr...

FROM THE COLLECTION – This photograph shows Andrew Fasseas (second from the right) and a group of men dedicating the Hip...
04/27/2020

FROM THE COLLECTION – This photograph shows Andrew Fasseas (second from the right) and a group of men dedicating the Hippocrates statue that Fasseas donated to the University of Illinois Medical Center in 1972. Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, lived during Greece’s Classical Period and inspired the ethical code known as the Hippocratic Oath. The statue was moved to its current location in 1980 and can be visited on the University of Illinois Medical Center campus and serves as a reminder of the influence Greek Americans have had on Chicago.

Explore our collection on line here: https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Gallery/480/row_id/4476

FROM THE COLLECTION – This photograph shows Captain Mike Billiris with a basket of freshly-harvested sea sponges on a do...
04/24/2020

FROM THE COLLECTION – This photograph shows Captain Mike Billiris with a basket of freshly-harvested sea sponges on a dock in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Greek immigrants brought the practice of harvesting sea sponges with them to Florida and it became profitable for them and their families. In Greece, sea sponge diving centered around the island of Kalymnos, where it was mostly done by free divers without diving equipment other than a harpoon. Divers such as Billiris made use of more sophisticated diving gear, such as the diving suit we see here, to reap the bounty of the sea in Florida.

NHM Collections. 2003.26.1.1. Courtesy of Daisy Farmakis.

Happy St. George’s Day from the National Hellenic Museum! While we don’t have the chance to notice every saint’s feast d...
04/23/2020

Happy St. George’s Day from the National Hellenic Museum! While we don’t have the chance to notice every saint’s feast day, St. George’s Day is worth a mention. You see, today is not only the day on which we commemorate one of Christianity’s most important saints, St. George’s Day also provides an excellent example of Hellenism in action.

Hellenism, broadly, refers to the ways in which Greek culture has been shared throughout the whole world.

According to legend, St. George was a Greek officer in the Roman army who was martyred in the pre-Constantine persecution of Christians. His story became famous throughout the world and he is an important figure not just in many Christian denominations, but also in some Islamic ones.

St. George’s Day is subsequently celebrated around the world. While officially April 23rd, the date of St. George’s martyerdom, the holiday is sometimes delayed until the first Monday after Easter, if April 23rd falls during the period of Holy Week or Great Lent.

St. George’s Day is a day important enough that it has worked its way into the legends of other important people.

Can you tell us what playwright and poet was said to have been both born and died today? (NO GOOGLING!)

While you guess, Χρονια πολλα to all the Georges and Georgias!

April is National Poetry Month.  To celebrate we would like to share the following Poem by George Gordon Byron, Lord Byr...
04/21/2020

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate we would like to share the following Poem by George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron, who was a champion of Greek Independence:

GEORGE GORDON BYRON, LORD BYRON
The Isles of Greece
THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero’s harp, the lover’s lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse:
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires’ ‘Islands of the Blest’.

The mountains look on Marathon—
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream’d that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians’ grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow
Which looks o’er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations;—all were his!
He counted them at break of day—
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now—
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

’Tis something in the dearth of fame,
Though link’d among a fetter’d race,
To feel at least a patriot’s shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush—for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o’er days more blest?
Must we but blush?—Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae!

What, silent still? and silent all?
Ah! no;—the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent’s fall,
And answer, ‘Let one living head,
But one, arise,—we come, we come!’
’Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vain—in vain: strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio’s vine:
Hark! rising to the ignoble call—
How answers each bold Bacchanal!

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave—
Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon’s song divine:
He served—but served Polycrates—
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom’s best and bravest friend;
That tyrant was Miltiades!
O that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli’s rock, and Parga’s shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks—
They have a king who buys and sells;
In native swords and native ranks
The only hope of courage dwells:
But Turkish force and Latin fraud
Would break your shield, however broad.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade—
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium’s marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne’er be mine—
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

From the Collections – This photograph takes us back to the 1930s. Here we see the Barbatsuly family celebrating Easter ...
04/17/2020

From the Collections – This photograph takes us back to the 1930s. Here we see the Barbatsuly family celebrating Easter and roasting a lamb at Brookside Farm in Plattekille, New York. As we look to how our traditions were celebrated in the past, we remember what is important in our lives. Though we are separated now, we share our faith and our culture and look forward to the day in the future when we can all gather once again and celebrate our heritage with each other.

NHM Collections. 2010.6.8. Courtesy of Peter Barbatsuly.

Today being the last day of Passover, we wanted to share this interesting find from our oral history collection.The Nati...
04/16/2020
National Hellenic Museum : Oral history : Oral History [OH1.013]

Today being the last day of Passover, we wanted to share this interesting find from our oral history collection.

The National Hellenic Museum is dedicated to conserving and celebrating the whole of the Hellenic legacy and the Greek American experience, including the legacy and experience of Greek Jews.

Greece’s Jewish community is the oldest Jewish community in Europe. And Greek Jews who came to America often preserved their unique Greek and Jewish identity.

Former United States Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is descended from Greek Jews on her mother’s side. In her oral history with the National Hellenic Museum, she describes her dual heritage saying, “I knew from the earliest times that we’re Greek Jews, there was never a question about that..the background is almost identical, it’s the food and family and great affection and tremendous solidarity. So, that is very much part of the Greek world that my family inherited.”

You can learn more about Congresswoman Berkley’s story and the experience of Greek Jews at the National Hellenic Museum’s Collections’ Portal at

https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/10

In this interview, Shelley Berkley discusses growing up both Greek American and Jewish in Las Vegas; higher education; public service; raising a family; and her Greek heritage.

Orthodox Holy Week has begun. This is a somber time for our community members that are of the Greek Orthodox faith. Much...
04/13/2020

Orthodox Holy Week has begun. This is a somber time for our community members that are of the Greek Orthodox faith. Much of what we normally do this week is based on being physically in our churches and with our families.

But we cannot do that this year. This lack of physical connection brings us pain. Certainly, for me, every important thing in my life has happened at my home parish-my parents' funerals, my wedding, the baptisms of my sons and the baptism of my goddaughter. Last Pascha my sons, then 8 and 11, made it through their first Anastasi service all the way until the end (including McDonalds at 2 am). They were especially excited that they kept their candles lit until the end. To be told that this year, there would be no Anastasi at their church, no candle, was hard for them. Both asked if we could still celebrate and the answer is of course yes.

My parish has done an amazing job of streaming all the various services online and others are doing theirs too (check out the GOARCH website or your own Metropolis for links to online options).

To support our local community partners efforts to keep members of the faith #separatebutunited, we at the National Hellenic Museum will spend this week doing what we do best-gathering and sharing your stories. We are asking you to #shownhmyourcandles on social media. Tag us in your pictures of Easter candles past, or Orthodox celebrations that have candles. We want to preserve those memories of our traditions, so many of which involve the lighting of a candle. I'll start: here are my sons last Easter at the end of the Anastasi Service that they stayed awake and engaged for the entire time. This is arguably my proudest parenting moment.

We want to hear from you. #shownhmyourcandles and let's make sure that the memories and traditions of the Greek Orthodox faith are a part of the stories of the National Hellenic Museum. And let's add a little light to the world too. We all could use it.

-Kristi Athas,
National Hellenic Museum

FROM THE COLLECTIONS – This photograph from 1954 shows James Pappas shaking hands with a seated Greek officer while cele...
04/08/2020

FROM THE COLLECTIONS – This photograph from 1954 shows James Pappas shaking hands with a seated Greek officer while celebrating Greek Orthodox Easter in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea following the Korean War (1950-1953). Though far from home and stuck between two opposing nations still at war, these soldiers continued to celebrate their traditions and practice their faith.

NHM Collections. 1998.43.1. Courtesy of James Pappas.

For more interesting finds, why not explore the NHM collections today!

https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/

04/03/2020

Jeremy and Katie were sad you couldn't join them, but here is there conversation about Collective Access, how you can explore the National Hellenic Museum's collections from home, and why digitization is connecting us to our history and each other in new and interesting ways.

During this difficult time, local restaurants and business need our support more than ever. These businesses are valued ...
03/19/2020
Authentic French pastries, desserts, and cakes: Vanille Patisseries

During this difficult time, local restaurants and business need our support more than ever. These businesses are valued members of our Kouzina community, and we ask that you consider supporting our friends at Cedar Palace, Roots Pizza, Taxim Restaurant & Vanille if you are able. All of these businesses are offering carry out and/or delivery options. More information below.

Cedar Palace, authentic Mediterranean cuisine in Lincoln Park offering carry out & delivery options

https://www.grubhub.com/restaurant/cedar-palace-655-w-armitage-ave-chicago/962262?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Chicago%2C%2BIL%2B%7C%2BChicago%2C%2BIL%2B%7C%2BRestaurants&utm_term=%2Bcedar%20%2Bpalace&efkwid=530703586267&gclid=CjwKCAjwsMzzBRACEiwAx4lLG3gyWAuUmygVbbt3BKsusOPnbS7Gt_s8mG365cCng_AUQP7akcrzUhoC3-sQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Taxim, Greek Cuisine with a focus on fresh ingredients in Wicker Park offering both carry out & delivery options

http://taximchicago.com/

Roots Pizzeria, Handmade pizza with 3 different locations offering both carry out & delivery options

http://www.rootspizza.com/

Vanille, a bakery offering Quarantine & Easter specials

http://www.vanillepatisserie.com/

French pastry shop offering Individual Pastries, Macarons, Stud Muffins, Grande Desserts, Viennoiserie, Decorated Sugar Cookies, Confections and Chocolates

03/18/2020

We at the National Hellenic Museum continue to follow the rapidly changing developments with COVID-19. When we announced our temporary closure last week our hope was that with our careful cleaning methods and limited programming we would be able to open to the public later this week.

With the number of cases still on the rise and our steadfast commitment to the safety of our guests and staff, we will continue to support the efforts of our state and local government and remain closed. All National Hellenic Museum programs, including in person Greek Language programming, remain suspended until further notice. Our staff are available via email and our online collections portal remains active.

We will continue to communicate with our community and will open to the public when it is safe to do so. Please take care of yourselves and each other.

03/12/2020

To all members of the NHM Community

While we have not received any notice of any type of COVID-19 exposure for any guests or staff, we respect the unique responsibility the National Hellenic Museum has as a public gathering space open to all. We continue our normal cleaning protocol and have added a scheduled deep cleaning out of an abundance of caution. We are closely monitoring local, state and federal developments and recommendations.

With recent developments, we have made the difficult, but we believe most socially responsible, decision to cancel our 03/28/2020 Greek Independence Day programming with our Greek Language Program students. Additionally, we will be adjusting our language programs, both at the adult and youth level, to a combination of distance based learning and possible extension of the academic year. Our staff are not participating in any large conferences or meetings and we are working with local schools to reschedule field trips and tours for later in the year.

Our dedicated efforts in recent years to fully digitize our collections and operations affords the majority of our staff the ability to work remotely. Museum staff are able to continue the work of collecting and preserving the Greek Story in America uninterrupted while adjusting operations to align with best practices in public health and partner with our community to stop the spread of COVID-19.

With the welfare of our guests and staff in mind, we will close to the public effective Friday, March 13, 2020 and reopen on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Our hope is that in choosing this course of action, we encourage people to take care of themselves and others, especially those that may have underlying medical conditions and for whom public spaces can be particularly challenging. We plan to keep up to date with all local and national developments and are fully prepared to adjust in whatever way best supports our visitors and staff.

We will keep you updated.

Address

333 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL
60661

CTA Blue Line to UIC/Halsted stop

General information

The National Hellenic Museum reserves the right to reject or remove (if possible) any content that is deemed in violation of our policy. National Hellenic Museum social media account content and comments containing any of the following forms of content shall not be allowed for posting and shall be subject to removal: 1. Comments unrelated to the purpose and topical scope of the page. 2. Defamatory, threatening or profane language. 3. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. 4. Sexual content or links to sexual content. 5. Solicitations of commerce. 6. Personally identifiable information, such as an address, phone number, social security number or other sensitive information. 7. Promotion or advertisement in favor of, or in opposition to a political campaign, ballot measure or candidate. 8. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity. 9. Distribution of copyrighted photographs, music, video, graphics or other content without the express permission of the copyright holder. Content that is deemed not suitable for posting by the National Hellenic Museum based on the criteria defined above, shall be removed, as technology allows, from the National Hellenic Museum’s social media account(s).

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 20:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(312) 655-1234

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Comments

It has come to my attention and I find it completely Tragic that your humble board of directors have not created a wing of Greek-American Painters and Sculptors as the list is long with so many local and US based Art Collectors, owners of Art Galleries / Art Dealers, Art Critics and Curators working and living in the USA. At least those Artists who no longer are with us. Yet these artists have cultural value let alone have achieved recognition in US museums and their creations have acquired sales figures in Auction houses across the globe.
Thank you to the National Hellenic Museum for offering SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Merrillville, IN a grant to visit the museum. We took a group of 58 parishioners of all ages to the Museum today and they accommodated us beautifully, offering tours for three different age groups, crafts for the kids, and above all, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff!
ACCADEMIA NAPOLETANA to save #Hellenic #Heritage and #Language in #Naples and in #Campania
JOIN Midwest Hellenic Dance Festival-Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago FOR THE BEST "PARADOSIAKO GLENDI" ON THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC!!! Featuring music from ALL areas of Greece, provided by Endasi Mousiki, with Dimitris Spatharakis! Cretans, Pontians, Messenians, Epirotans, Macedonians, Roumeliotans, all Islanders UNITE for an EPIC EVENING!!!! Click on the EventBrite link for tickets!!! Don't miss out on the Early Bird Pricing, ending September 25!!! ΕΛΑΤΕ ΝΑ ΓΛΝΤΗΣΟΥΜΕ ΜΑΖΙ!!!! 🇬🇷️❣️😍💃🕺
A very interesting development surrounding the Parthenon sculptures.