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"Uwe Ommer's Family Album of Planet Earth" Top 5 Page for this destination Chicago Favorite Tip by deecat

Chicago General: 445 reviews and 517 photos

  Family Album of Planet Earth Exhibit
by deecat

Favorite thing: When you enter Millinnium from the west off Michigan Avenue or from the north off Randolf Drive, you will see a multitude of huge photographs of families from all over the world. They are fascinating to see and read. Uwe Ommer from Germany photographed over 1200 families, & the ones on display in Millinnium Park were selected from that collection. This exhibition has toured the world and has received praise for the scope and "beauty of the photographs and their simple message of commonality."
Uwe Ommer spent 4 years making the largest kaleidoscope ever done. He used a focusing screen, a tube, a mirror, a lens. He put everything that goes to make a family: children, bare feet, men's hats, women's hairdos, moustches, domestic animals, weapons, a little polygamy, a hint of homosexuality, inter-marriage, children, traditions, loneliness, smiles, musical instruments & lots more including love to make this exhibition. His purpose was to show us how we are alike. He says that we need to "take a look at the details, the expressions, the tenderness & the tiredness, the worried & calm-eyed glances, hands calloused or nimble, hands ruined or well tended, the wrinkles, words unspoken, fleeting smiles..." It took him four years to do the project.
It takes a long time to see & read all these huge panels, but it's worth it for you, or at least I, rediscovered my own family through these families that he photographed.
Also, you may want to participate in this project by submitting your family story to He asks people to share with him details of your origins and how your family came to America. Each week new stories will be posted at the exhibition site & online.
It is free admission & runs from June 25, 2004 until September 26, 2004. It is located at Millennium Park, Wrigley Square.
You can purchase 1000 families--TheFamily Album of Planet Earthat the shop at the Cultural Center, located directly across the street from the exhibition.

Fondest memory: My fondest memory is reading about these incredible families and seeing bits and pieces of my ancestors. It's a very personal and rewarding experience.
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Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 24, 2004
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