It will be the first institution dedicated to celebrating America’s literary luminaries.

By Amy McKeever
November 02, 2015

American literary luminaries are getting their first museum. The American Writers Museum announced last week that it will open in Chicago with exhibits celebrating some of the greats such as Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Margaret Mitchell, and Dr. Seuss. Ideal for Chicago’s many visitors, the museum will be located downtown just across from Millennium Park on North Michigan Avenue, in close proximity to a spate of stylish new hotels.

The American Writers Museum will be the country’s first museum dedicated to celebrating all American writers both past and present, akin to the well-respected Dublin Writers Museum. Through such a wide lens, the museum will be able to examine the full breadth of America’s literary tradition and celebrate the influence writers have had on shaping our cultural identity.

Of course, it’s not unusual to find museums dedicated to specific writers in their hometowns. Thomas Wolfe has a museum in Asheville, North Carolina; there’s a National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California; William Faulkner’s home is open for tours in Oxford, Mississippi; and you can see where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in Concord, Massachusetts. Through its affiliates program, the American Writers Museum will incorporate expertise from those museums as well.

Specific plans for museum exhibits are still in the works, but there are a few intriguing possibilities listed on the museum website. These rotating exhibits might include topics like banned books, villains in American literature, the immigrant experience, and writers on writers. The American Writers Museum aims to open in 2017, so expect these details to be shaded into the museum plans over the years to come.

Looking for more on things to do in Chicago? Read T+L’s Chicago Travel Guide.