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    Chicago AthenaeumChicago Athenaeum Schaumburg, Illinois
    The Chicago Athenaeum was started in 1988 as the country's only independent museum of architecture and design, and is dedicated to the art of design in all areas of discipline, industrial and product design, architecture, urban planning and graphics. Their new International Sculpture Park occupies 20 acres of land in the city, and introduces a cultural resource that includes international and American sculpture works that have been strictly picked to fit the natural environment of the lovely park. Since they opened, the museum has continued to build a magnificent collection of important examples of industrial design by the world's most prominent architects and designers from the 20th and 21st centuries. One of the more significant include those objects that have been made in Chicago from 1900 to 1960, when the city had become the center of design and manufacturing in the nation, with a collection that includes; the Industrial Design exhibit that houses numerous pioneering examples of modern technology from televisions, radios and cameras to graphics, business equipment and home appliances. Another is the Early Women in Design: Anne Swainson and Ellen Manderfield with a marvelous collection of photographs, drawings and product designs from two significant early American industrial designers that worked in the city from 1930 to 1960. Ann, who was born in Sweden, founded the Montgomery Ward Bureau of Design in Chicago in 1930 that would become the first corporate industrial design department in modern history. One of her most famous employees was Ellen Manderfield who would have a brilliant career in house wares until the 1980s. Another outstanding exhibit is the History of Modern Graphic Design that contains original examples of early modern graphic design from 1930 to 1960 that includes logo types, posters, advertising, corporate logos, typography, handbooks, print and promotional materials, books and brochures.

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    Alder Planetarium and Astronomy MuseumAdler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum Schaumburg, Illinois
    The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Schaumburg, Illinois was the first planetarium constructed in the western hemisphere, and is now the oldest in existence, founded and constructed in 1930 by the philanthropist, Max Adler, with the help of the first director of the planetarium, Philip Fox. It sits on Northerly Island that is part of Chicago's Museum Campus along with the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum of Natural History and made a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The structure houses three full theaters, since the museum opened, visitors have been able to see representations of the night's sky in the historic Sky Theater planetarium, which the outer protective dome is visible from the outside of the structure. The Zeiss Planetarium projector is actually capable of accurately reproducing the movements of every part of the night's sky, and in 1999, it would expand its display space, that included adding the Definiti Space theater, which is a completely digital fulldome video environment that is powered by a DigitalSky 2 software program. On the exterior of the building, there are numerous sculptures, with one that was created by Henry Moore and is a sundial sculpture that is called Man Enters the Cosmos, the next is a neoclassical sculpture of astronomer, Nicholas Copernicus and a copy of the famous 19th century work that is located in front of Warsaw's Staszic Palace by sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.

April 18, 2011