984 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL | (773) 384-3352 | Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays, 11AM-4PM

Our history


The Polish Museum of America is the “crown jewel” of the Polish American community. Established in 1935, it has preserved and exhibited the history and culture of the Polish American community and our ancestral homeland – Poland. Its all-inclusive exhibits are both educational and entertaining. Its Library and extensive Archives have rendered invaluable services to historians, researchers, students and genealogists.

Polish Museum of America opening in 1937. (Photo by Władysław Różański)

The Polish Museum of America, one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the United States, offers visitors a range of exhibits, resources and activities related to Polish history, culture and heritage, as well as Polish American history. Tour guides are available to assist visitors and provide additional information.

In the Museum, you will find on permanent display:
Paintings and sculptures by 18th, 19th and 20th century Polish and Polish American artists
Polish coins, medals, books and photographs
Objects from the Polish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair
Examples Polish Folk traditions including: szopkas (nativity scenes) and Polish Christmas and Easter traditions, wycinanki – traditional Polish paper-cutting art, authentic regional Polish folk dress, and folk woodwork, needlework, and leatherwork
Polish military uniforms and memorabilia from various wars and eras, including World War I, World War II, the American Civil War and the American Revolution
Winged Hussar armor
Exhibits on famous Poles: Pope John Paul II, General Casimir Pulaski, General Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Shakespearean actress Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska)
An exhibit entitled The Paderewski Room: a room dedicated to the life and historical achievements of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, pianist, composer and statesman.
Collections of objects from the first permanent Polish settlement in the United States in Panna Maria, Texas (1854), including the original Stations of the Cross from Panna Maria Roman Catholic Church

Special temporary exhibits, which change periodically, are also on view.