Home » News » Extensive exhibit on the life and achievements of immigrant Albert Appleton runs September 18 – November 29, 2015 in Chicago’s Swedish American Museum

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Extensive exhibit on the life and achievements of immigrant Albert Appleton runs September 18 – November 29, 2015 in Chicago’s Swedish American Museum


September 14, 2015

“Appleton: Portrait of a Swedish Chicago Legacy,” an exhibit that will open Friday, September 18, 2015, in the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640, is a tribute to a pioneer whose family has continued his appreciation of the arts. The exhibit may be seen through November 29.

An opening celebration, at which some family members may attend, is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 24, in the Museum’s first-floor gallery. Related programs on Friday, September 25, are Start with Art at 9 a.m. and a Family Night at 4 p.m.

Albert Ivar Appleton – born in March 1872 in Onsala Halland to Carl Johann Appelbom and Paulina Justina Christianson – immigrated with his parents to Chicago in 1885. Then age 13, Albert took a job as a tool-and-die machinist.

In 1893, he became assistant superintendent of the Chicago Fuse Manufacturing Company, and in 1899 held a similar job with an affiliated company in Massachusetts. In 1903, Albert founded the Appleton Electric Company – at that time a new industry – with two employees. The product line expanded gradually from fuses to conduits, to fittings and outlet boxes. In a major step forward, Appleton started a Lighting Division in 1947 by acquiring the Goodrich Electric Company. Among the historic buildings the division has illuminated are Chicago’s Water Tower, the Merchandise Mart and the Board of Trade. A member of the Swedish Club of Chicago and the Chicago Athletic Association, Albert served as a director of the Inland Electric Company and the Beach Theatre Company.

He had married Lillian C. Wihk in 1910, and they settled in Evanston. Born there were two Appleton sons, John Albert and Arthur Ivar, and a daughter, Edith-Marie. Family members collected art objects and furniture for their home. Some of the pieces will be showcased in the Museum exhibit.
When Albert Ivar died in 1951, Arthur Ivar took over the family business and was its president from 1957 until it was sold in 1982 to Emerson Electric. Arthur and Edith-Marie, both enthusiastic supporters of the arts, were cofounders of the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida. They donated it to Florida State University in 1990. The Edith-Marie Appleton Foundation is a benefactor of the Swedish American Museum and Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Edith-Marie’s son, Albert Ivar Goodman, heads the foundation and is a trustee of the Museum. He provided funds for construction of the Museum’s artistic Edith-Marie Appleton Staircase that leads to the second-floor immigration exhibits.

Future schedule of Museum events:
Sunday, September 20, 10 a.m.: Bullerbyn, a Swedish language play group for children of ages 6 months to 5 years until 11 a.m., and Svenska Skolan for adults until 12:45 p.m.
Thursday, September 24, 1 p.m.: A walking tour of Andersonville begins at the Museum.
Thursday, September 24, 6 to 8 p.m.: Opening celebration for the new exhibit, “Appleton – Portrait of a Swedish Chicago Legacy.”
Friday, September 25, 9 a.m.-12 noon: Start with Art program related to the Appleton exhibit.
Friday, September 25, 4 p.m.: Family Night activities related to the Appleton exhibit.
Saturday, September 26, 10 a.m. to 12 noon: Swedish American Genealogy Society program, “Today’s Immigration in Sweden,” with Kris Nicholson.
Saturday, September 26: Free admission to the Museum as participation in the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live program.
Wednesday, September 30, 7 p.m.: “Andrew and Elsa Peterson – The True Pioneers,” narrated songtexts and melodies about Swedish emigrants who inspired Vilhelm Moberg’s historical novels.
Thursday, October 1, 1 and 7 p.m.: Free viewings of a Swedish film.
Sundays, October 4 and 18, 10 a.m.: Bullerbyn, a Swedish language play group for children of ages 6 months to 5 years until 11 a.m., and Svenska Skolan for adults until 12:45 p.m.
Sunday, October 4, 12 noon: Herring Breakfast, including meatballs and potato sausage, catered by Tre Kronor Restaurant; entertainment included.
Monday, October 5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Kanelbullens Dag, featuring Swedish cinnamon rolls and coffee.
Friday through Sunday, October 9-11: Andersonville Arts Weekend, with free Museum admission.
Saturday, October 10, 9 a.m.: Showing of movie about Astrid Lindgren’s “Pippi Longstocking,” dubbed in English.
Saturday, October 10, 6 p.m.: “From Silberschloss to Hollywood,” a dinner and performance by Swedish pianist-conductor-comedian-author Magnus Mårtensson in a stop on his United States tour, “Extra Legroom for my Piano, Please.”

MUSEUM HOURS
The Museum building, exhibits and store: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The store is open Fridays until 6 p.m.)
The Children’s Museum: Monday through Thursday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit http://www.samac.org or call 773-728-8111.

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