Culture

The Union League Club of Chicago not only supports cultural institutions, it has developed its own cultural significance. The Club supported the establishment of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, the Harold Washington Library and many other local cultural destinations.  Its commitment to culture is further evident through its art collection, its cuisine and its programming. One of Chicago's oldest and most important private collections, the Club's museum-quality art collection is the reason the Chicago Tribune named it “The Other Art Institute in Chicago.” After renovating the Rendezvous and Wigwam restaurants, updating menus and bringing in a sommelier, and the Wigwam being named a Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA), the Club can also claim some of the best food and dining experiences Chicago has to offer. The ULCC is more than just your personal club. It’s an experience. It’s a way of life.

  • Art Collection
  • Library & Archives
  • Philanthropy
  • Cultural Programming
  • Authors Programs

Art Collection


Collecting art has been a tradition at the Union League Club since 1886. Today, the art collection is a vital part of the Club's identity and a significant part of Chicago's art history. The art collection is one of the oldest and most important private collections of American art in the Midwest, and it has one of the best collections of Illinois art.

The majority of the art collection is on view throughout the Club. There are nearly 800 works in the Club's collection which represent more than 150 years of art making in America. The collection features a range of art movements, styles, and subjects, from traditional to contemporary art, and it includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs, and decorative arts.

Art Tours:

Group Tours led by Union League Club Docents are available by advance reservation.
Group Tours minimum charge: $250 for the first 25 guests. After 25, the cost is an additional $15 per person.

Cancellations must be made within 48 hours, or half of the fee will be assessed.
Please call or email the contacts below, should you wish to arrange a group tour for your outside group.

*The Union League Club Dress code is enforced for all tour groups (no denim, athletic gear or gym shoes).


312.435.5942   ArtDirector@ulcc.org

 

Library & Archives


As one of the Club's oldest established amenities, our Library prides itself on upholding a long tradition of individualized care.


This dynamic resource is staffed by a team of professional librarians who strive to meet patron needs and to keep the collections relevant. Materials are selected for the Library in response to member interests; all attempts are made to acquire the latest in popular literature and film. The Library offers a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, films, and television series for members and guests to check out. In addition to the variety of materials available to take home and enjoy, the Library offers magazine and newspaper subscriptions and a Business Information Center for use at the Club. Members and guests enjoy a unique, peaceful environment for escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while working at one of the tables, relaxing in a cozy chair, or enjoying a good book.

The Archives of the Club were established more recently to support the research for and publication of “Glory, Darkness, Light: a history of the Union League Club of Chicago,” the official Club history. The Club's archival collections contain thousands of historic photographs documenting not only the history of the Club, but also Chicago history. Those pursuing genealogical research may find the Club's member records of interest. Students, media outlets, and other cultural institutions often utilize the Club's Archives for history fair projects, working on degree programs, or for researching the Club's rich contribution to the history of Chicago and Illinois.
Honorary Members


2006
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR
2001ELIZABETH DOLE 
2000GEORGE H.W. BUSH 
1980GERALD R. FORD  
1977JOHN PAUL STEVENS 
1966EVERETT MCKINLEY DIRKSEN 
1952ROBERT A. TAFT
1948FRANKLYN BLISS SNYDER
1946GEN. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
           GEN. DOUGLAS MACARTHUR
1940GEORGE T. BUCKINGHAM
           WILLIAM P. SIDLEY
1928GEN. JOHN J. PERSHING
1927CHARLES G. DAWES
1926CALVIN COOLIDGE
1923 - HERBERT C. HOOVER 
           WOODROW WILSON  


1916
A. B. CUMMINS
1910WILLIAM J. CALHOUN 
1909WILLIAM H. TAFT
1907GROVER CLEVELAND 
1904THOMAS B. BRYAN 
1901THEODORE ROOSEVELT 
1892
W. C. P. BRECKENRIDGE
1897HENRY B. BROWN 
1889LEVI P. MORTON
1888 - GEN. GEORGE CROOK
1884 - LT. GEN. JOHN M. SCHOFIELD 
1881 - CHESTER A. ARTHUR 
1880 - THOMAS DRUMMOND 
           JAMES A. GARFIELD 
           ULYSSES S. GRANT  
           LT. GEN. PHILIP H. SHERIDAN 
1890 - MAJ. GEN. NELSON A. MILES



Historical Club Events
As early as 1893, Chicago gained recognition as a world-class city when it hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition. Club Members were instrumental in having Chicago named as the site of the exposition by the United States Congress. Since that time Club Members have played a role in establishing many of the city’s cultural organizations, including Orchestra Hall and the Field Museum. In the 1990s, the Club celebrated its role in the opening of the Harold Washington Library Center.

Did you know?
Did you know the Chicago Tribune once called the Union League Club of Chicago "The Other Art Institute of Chicago," because of the Club's impressive art collection?

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS

The Union League Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 12,500 Chicago children every year at seven Chicago sites, one detention center, and a 250-acre residential camp in Salem, Wisconsin.


LUMINARTS CULTURAL FOUNDATION

The Luminarts Cultural Foundation supports young Chicago artists, writers, and musicians by selecting 20 Luminarts Fellows annually. Luminarts Fellows receive recognition and financial support, and are cultivated by the Foundation as they continue their artistic practice to the betterment of Chicago's cultural landscape.

CHICAGO ENGINEERS' FOUNDATION

The Chicago Engineers' Foundation provides scholarships to college-bound engineering students to help launch their academic careers.

Cultural Programming


The Union League Club of Chicago offers a diverse menu of cultural opportunities and experiences. Whether you're interested in the arts, fine wine and dining or history, there are always programs that will enhance your cultural experience.

Art programs: Between the Art Committee and the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, the visual, musical and educational experiences are vast. The Art Committee presents monthly exhibitions of Chicago’s emerging and midcareer artists in the Club’s Third Floor Gallery (August through April). The Art Committee also presents/sponsors a lecture series that features artists and art professionals who engage members and the art community with the Club’s collection.

For More information on
Third Floor Gallery Exhibitions,
click here.
For more information on the Distinguished Artists Program,
click here.

The Luminarts Cultural Foundation provides members the opportunity to meet up-and-coming artists, view and hear their work and provide support so those artists can continue to grow in their fields. Throughout each year, Luminarts creates programs that feature artists such as its annual gala and visual arts competition. It also provides Fellows (individuals who the Foundation selects to receive recognition and financial support) to perform at many Club events.

Wine & Dine Programs: Monthly programming is created to offer a taste of other cultures. Our culinary team and sommelier take members on a journey every month where a different winery is featured and paired with the perfect hors d'ouevres or courses.

Library & Archives: Learn more about the history of Chicago and the Club's involvement in its growth at the Library & Archives Committee's Archive Events. The Committee brings in historians to discuss hidden treasures in the Club's Archives and members learn more about the Club's history as well as Chicago's. 

Authors Programs

Writers, Entertainers, athletes, presidents, politicians, scholars, chefs and humanitariansprofessionals in each of these fields has visited the Club to speak with members through our Authors Group Program.

Members have heard President George W. Bush share his 9-11 story. They've heard Phil Jackson share his opinion on Michael Jordan versus Kobe Bryant (let's be honest, there is no comparison). They've seen Martha Stewart prepare a healthy smoothie and Secretary Madeleine Albright describe her life in Czechoslovakia and in office.

Find out how you can become a member and meet more of these amazing individuals by contacting our Membership Department at:

membership@ulcc.org 312.692.2376

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