Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago

#39 of 48 in Museums in Chicago
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture (Lithuanian: Balzeko lietuvių kultūros muziejus) is located at 6500 S. Pulaski Rd. in Chicago's West Lawn neighborhood, not far from Chicago Midway International Airport. Founded in 1966, the Balzekas Museum is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Lithuanian culture and is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the subjects of Lithuania, the Lithuanian language, history, culture and politics, and to the Lithuanian-American experience. The museum hosts events, programs, and workshops, such as traditional Lithuanian Užgavėnės (Mardi-Gras) mask making, vėlykaičiai or margučiai Easter egg decorating, and straw Christmas ornament making. The museum is a popular destination for tourists and schools, seeking to learn about Lithuanian history, culture, and immigration. Promoting the study and appreciation of America's diverse ethnic cultural heritage and seeking to foster greater understanding among all people, the museum works cooperatively with numerous ethnic groups; cultural, arts and educational organizations; museums; fraternal orders; religious entities; and governmental institutions. The Balzekas Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was founded by Lithuanian-American businessman Stanley Balzekas, Jr., who continues to serve as the president of the museum. Chicago's Lithuanian community has more Lithuanians and people of Lithuanian descent than anywhere in the world outside of Lithuania itself.

The museum's bulletin, called the Lithuanian Museum Review, is published quarterly.
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Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
13 reviews
  • Overall they had a small museum that was chock full of artifacts and history. Signage was basic yet informative. Interesting coin, bead, amber and other artifacts. Old books and newspapers, holocaust....  more »
  • I visited this museum in Feb. 2019. I took public transportation to get there and back to the hostel I was staying. It is a lovely museum and has interesting artifacts and photos of life in Chicago...  more »
  • A unique look into the fascinating history and culture of Lithuania. The bottom floor is filled with artifacts documenting the history and culture. The upper floor is a more contemporary account of the lives of Lithuanian, and other Baltic state, immigrants and the effects of World Wars one and two. Well worth your time if you are at all interested in the history of the region, American immigration or the World Wars.
  • This museum rocks!!! So much interesting and valuable information on Lithuania before and during the 2 great world wars Staff was extremely helpful and nice even got to meet the guy who started it all!! Very nice guy! Totally recommend this place to anyone!!!
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