Museum Studies Program Partners with Ellwood House

Accepting the first check of $9,000 from Charles McCormick, board member of the DeKalb Community Foundation, is Brian Reis, Director of Ellwood House Museum. In attendance are NIU students Clinton Cargile, Philip Krepel, and Alison Balcanoff, along with Peter Van Ael, Chair, Museum Studies Program, Northern Illinois University

Over the next three years, a site orientation exhibit will be fabricated inside the Ellwood House Visitor Center. The exhibit will aid visitors in understanding the impact of the Ellwood family upon DeKalb, and it will be designed to share the architecture and history that makes the Ellwood House site so attractive, including the newly obtained Ellwood-Nehring House.

According to Brian Reis, the museum’s director, “We will provide a window in which to view the historic mansion and other buildings, begin a public tour, and explore the Ellwood properties. The exhibit will be made accessible for all, and will be fabricated following the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines for exhibit design.” 

Major funding for the exhibit comes from the DeKalb County Community Foundation's Community Needs grant. The exhibit will be the result of a group initiative led by Ellwood House staff and former Ellwood House Museum Director Jerry Brauer and includes collaborators from the NIU Museum Studies program, directed by Peter Van Ael. The gallery will open with a public reception in May of 2015. 

The Ellwood House Museum is located at 509 North First Street in DeKalb. Call the Ellwood House office at (815) 756-4609 or see the museum’s website at for more information.   The nonprofit Ellwood House Association operates the Ellwood House Museum in conjunction with the DeKalb Park District.    

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