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Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00am - 4:00pm

The Willi Scharpenberg Gallery hosts rotating artistic and historical exhibits year round. The Gallery was created to support the DANK Haus mission of preserving and promoting cultural heritage. We welcome submissions that attend to the German American or immigrant experience, cross-cultural projects, or other works/exhibitions that engage with cultural diversity. Artists interested in submitting a proposal for a gallery exhibition should carefully review the Exhibition Proposal Guidelines.  All exhibitions must adhere to the Scharpenberg Gallery Guidelines and Policies.

Current Exhibitions

"Once Upon a Stein...

  Bier Steins and the  Stories They Tell"

September 20 through December 28, 2019

Tues – Sat, 10:00am-4:00pm

You think you know a beer stein when you see one? They are more than just cups; "typisch deutsch" with their ornate lids and handles. Expand your idea of what makes a beer stein at our exhibit "Once Upon A Stein... Bier Steins and the Stories They Tell". The Opening Reception for the exhibition is Friday, September 20th located in our Scharpenberg Gallery. Bring a fellow beer lover to the Haus and examine highlights from the DANK Haus stein collection. Shown in all shapes and sizes, these cups are sure to spark conversations about health, gender, work, leisure, and more.

Upcoming Exhibitions 
  • "The Path to German Unification" January 7 – February 15, 2020
This exhibition explores the leadup to the reunification after the division following WWII and the Cold War. The exhibition was developed and created by the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Germany and Germany's Federal Foreign Office
  • "Living Memory" February 21 – April 17, 2020             
This exhibit will present stories from German-Americans around Chicago as well as material from the Eintracht German-language newspaper that was published from 1922 - 2017.

    Past Exhibitions 

    "Cultural Geography." 

    April to end of September 2019

    This exhibit focuses on the shifting geography of the Germanic space and how this relates to cultural identity. We present "Germany" (or Germanic lands, past and present) as represented by various maps over the years, mural paintings, woodcuts, and prints. The goal of the exhibit is for viewers to question how to define cultural communities in light of shifting borders and fluctuating national imagery. This exhibit is possible thanks to a loan from the German American Heritage Institute of two large painted murals from the Germania Club of Chicago. All other exhibit items are from the DANK Haus permanent collection. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

    Solo Exhibition - Beate Axmann

    Black Forest Peace Symphony (February 1st - March 1st)

    The DANK Haus welcomes German artist Beate Axmann for a month-long solo exhibit. Axmann offers up a large collection of figurative and abstract work that is rich in content as well as in artistic expression. She merges tradition, native culture, and cultural tropes to produce a modern exhibit presenting her own personal connection and perspective on the Black Forest region. The exhibit hearkens back to a time of open borders and "Wilkommenkultur" (welcoming culture) that met new refugees in Germany.

    The opening reception will take place Friday, February 1st at 6:30pm in the 4th floor Gallery. Admission is free and open to the public. Beverages will be available for purchase. 

    December 2018 through mid-January, 2019 "German Christmas Traditions"

    We present a few highlights from German Christmas traditions: straw ornaments, clothespin ornaments, German Christmas foods, along with a few cultural myths. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday - Friday, 1:00pm - 5:00pm. All photographs and display items are generous loans from members of the German-American community to help illustrate traditions from their own homes.

    October 14th, 2018 | Sunday, 1:00pm - 5:00pm

    Chicago Architektur - Photography & Art Exhibit

    Join us for the Closing Reception on Nov. 18th, 1:00 - 5:00pm! CLICK HERE to learn more.

    Artists :  Angie McMonigal | Mark Hersch | Stephanie McDairmant | Laura Engel | Kelly Anderson | Warren Perlstein

    Join us on Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 - 5:00pm for a reception celebrating Chicago architecture. Chicago-based photographers and artists will present works inspired by the city's many architectural oddities. This exhibit is presented in tandem with the Open House Chicago event sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Be sure to stop by the opening reception on Sunday. It is free and open to the public and drinks are available for purchase, so come and join us! 

    July 1st, 2018 - September 10th 

    "Glory of Germania"

    The DANK Haus is proud to host the Glory of Germania porcelain mosaic from the 1983 Chicago World's Fair in the 4th Floor Scharpenberg Art Gallery. This exbibit features 1,057 tiles that amount to 18 feet x 12 feet. It is open to the public Monday through Friday 1 - 5 PM. 

    There is a reception for the exhibit at the DANK Haus from 7 PM - 9 PM on August 24th. It cost $5 and advanced registration is required. Please register here.   

    Photo credit: Warren Perlstein

    March 10th, 2018 - April 1st
    "Everybody Dance! Seven Years of Chicago Powwows" Photography Exhibit

    February 10th, 2018 - March 10, 2018
    Culture Bridge/ Kulturbrücke 2018: Masterful Moxie - the Power of Art

    The DANK Haus is proud to host the annual Culture Bridge / Kulturbrücke once again in the 4th Floor Scharpenberg Art Gallery. This month-long international art exhibition features over 50 talented artists and photographers. These works are open to the public in the Scharpenberg Gallery Monday through Friday, 10:00am - 5:00pm for viewing and for purchase. Special weekend and extended evening hours will apply throughout the exhibition to  events. Stay tuned for updates on weekly Culture Bridge events including musical performances, theater, and dance. 

    The exhibition officially begins on Saturday, February 10th with an opening reception from 6:00pm-10:00pm. This event is free and open to the public.

    Exhibition curated by Marianna Buchwald and Laura Engel.

    Culture Bridge Events: Click here for the schedule of events from Feb. 10th through Mar. 10th.


    90th-Anniversary Exhibit

    November 4th, 2017 - January 12th, 2018

    In honor of our building's 90th anniversary, we delve deep into a history that is inextricably linked with the Lincoln Square community. 

    Our exhibition showcases the life and work of our building's architect, German-American Paul Gerhardt, Sr., through a display of blueprints, slideshow of Gerhardt designs, and biographic memorabilia provided by Gerhardt's descendants. The exhibit also considers the Independent Order of Odd Fellows/Three Links fraternity who commissioned the building in 1927 as a temple. Taking the Order's early involvement as a point of departure, the exhibit invites visitors on an unforgettable  stroll through DANK Haus history to the present day. 

    International Art Exhibit - Kulturbrücke 2017

    February 18 - March 18, 2017

    Kulturbrücke, a cultural bridge of poets, painters, dancers, and sculptors from both Germany and the United States. Curated by Alpha Bruton and Marianne Buchwald of International Art Group Chicago, the exhibit will feature a broad range of works with an intention to deepen cross-cultural ties. There will be a series of events that will entertain and stimulate thinking about how two cultures can create a dialog about what matters in the world of art.


    Chicago's Families - "Community as Family" 

    June 26 - September 26, 2015

    Join the Chicago Cultural Alliance for an unprecedented citywide exhibit that presents a mosaic of voices, memories, and experiences of Chicago's Families. Spanning 6 sites across Chicagoland, 18 members of the Alliance use stories, photos, objects and more to reveal the many ways we need and love family, however you define it.

    The meaning of family applies to more than just the nuclear one. This exhibit examines the families we create through shared interests and activities including social clubs, festivals and celebrations. Hear the firsthand experience the festivities in traditional and religious Haitian holidays, vividly expressed by Haitian artists.

    2014 and Earlier

    Freedom Forward, A City Divided | Kai Widenhöfer | May - June 2014

    Best of Show | Lincoln Square Art Walk - Block by Block | Oct - Dec 2014

    Best of Show | Lincoln Square Art Walk - Block by Block | Oct - Dec 2013

    Umlaut | Multi-media curated by Ines Meier | Oct 2011

    Passage | German artist DeDe Handon | May 2010

    Augenblick | PDML photography exhibit | April 2010

    Legacy Project | DANK Haus film history | Oct 2009 - April 2010

    Facing Walls

    Beauty in the Simple

    Germans in Mind

    Midsommer Nacht

    Hamburg: Port of Dreams

    On the Tip of Every Tongue

    Renate Summer

    DANK Haus
    German American Cultural Center
    4740 North Western Avenue 
    Chicago, IL 60625

    Connect with us

    Office: +1 (773) 561-9181
    Email: Dank@Dankhaus.com

    DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
    DANK Haus German American Cultural Center does not discriminate based on race, color, sexuality, national origin, sex, disability or age.
    ©2017 DANK Haus. All rights reserved.

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