Post Eagle Newspaper


Jun 12, 2024

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Time Now


Illinois Governor Attends
PMA Traveling Exhibition:
Polish Past In Chicago

Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, spoke at a recent exhibition hosted by the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. The traveling exhibition of Chicago’s Polish Past (Traveling Exhibition: Polish Past In Chicago 1850-1941) was held from May 15-19 at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601. The exhibition was drawn from photographic archives of the Polish Museum of America. Poles first began to settle in Chicago in the 1850s, but it was not until the 1880s that their arrival assumed the character of a mass migration. From that time until the 1930s, the number of Polish immigrants rapidly increased. They were drawn to industrial areas and Chicago, with work opportunities in its many factories, steel mills, slaughterhouses, and meatpacking plants, quickly became America’s most Polish city. The exhibition focused on the early history of Polish immigrants in the neighborhood known as Chicago’s Polish Downtown. It featured photographs of the first settlers and their families, houses, businesses, organizations, parishes, and various forms of cultural and patriotic endeavors. These highlights, drawn from the extensive Polish Museum of America Photography Collection, illuminate the rich history of Poland’s emigrés in the “city of big shoulders.” For more information contact Julita Siegel, Exhibit Curator 773-384-3352 x 2107 or email:
(This traveling exhibition is available for rental). Funded in part with a grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Pictured from left to right: Ewa Koch, President of Polish Teachers Alliance; Ewa Kot, Director – General of PMA; Ryszard Owisiany, President of PMA; Governor Bruce Rauner, Piotr Janicki, Consul General; Julita Siegel, Photography Collection Curator – PMA and Joseph Drobot, Chairman of the Board – PMA.

Photo by: Teresa J. Potasiak