Chicago History Museum Presents SIAM: The Queen and the White City Beginning Sept. 21

logoOn September 21, the Chicago History Museum presents SIAM: The Queen and the White City, an exhibition which celebrates the grand introduction of Siam (modern Thailand) on the world’s stage at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. SIAM: The Queen and the White City features artifacts from the fair, examples of Thai culture, and a visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the week of the opening.The exhibition opens September 21 and runs through March 2, 2014.

The exhibition honors Queen Savang Vadhana for her contributions in organizing her country’s displays for the fair’s Woman’s Building. Partnering with the Queen Savang Vadhana Foundation and the Royal Thai Government, the exhibition will commemorate the fair, when King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, authorized Queen Savang Vadhana,to be the National Ambassador and oversee the creation of an exhibition of Siamese arts and crafts in the Fair’s Woman’s Building.

“We are honored and elated to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Columbian Exposition with such a rich, culturally important story,” said Gary T. Johnson, President, Chicago History Museum. “The 1893 Fair was important to Chicago, but we often forget how much of an impact it made in bringing cultures together and making the world a smaller place. It is an honor to once again have Chicago as a venue of Thai cultural expression.”

The exhibition will include artifacts originally displayed at the fair, returning to Chicago for the first time in 120 years, highlighting the richness of the Thai culture. In addition, national treasures will also be on view. When entering the exhibition, visitors will be greeted by a reconstruction of the façade of the Siam display from the

Woman’s Building. Inside the exhibition will be artifacts and installations that represent activities and interests associated with Her Majesty Queen Savang Vadhana

One of the centerpieces of the exhibition will be a photo album presented by the Siamese royal family to Bertha Palmer, President of the fair’s Board of Lady Managers. The album’s embroidered cover of silk lotus flowers and gold and silver filaments was created by Queen Savang Vadhana and enclosed in a Siamese-designed silver frame and clasp crafted by Tiffany & Co.  The album is part of the Chicago History Museum collection and will be on view 120 years later.

The opening of SIAM: The Queen and the White City is highlighted with public events that welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The celebration begins with music and dance performances, joined byHer Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on Sunday, September 15. On Tuesday, September 17, there will be a live public demonstration of the Thai crafts of embroidery and floral garlands, and preparation of Thai dumplings and sweets.

SIAM: The Queen and the White City opens September 21 and runs through March 2, 2014. For more information about this exhibition and the other Chicago History Museum programs and exhibitions, please visit or call 312-642-4600.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street.  The Museum can be reached by CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 151, and 156. Parking is conveniently located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets (enter on Stockton Drive).  Admission to the Museum is $14 for Adults with audio tour, $12 for Seniors and Students with audio tour and free for Children 12 years and younger.