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Geneva History Museum closes temporarily for grant projects

Museum projects include upgrade to archives, storage system

GENEVA – The Geneva History Museum will remain closed through the summer to complete several projects, officials announced in a news release.

The museum was awarded a $162,628 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to redesign the archives and collections storage rooms.

This project was originally planned for the winter months of 2021, however with summer events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, museum officials decided to complete the project now.

High-density mobile shelving storage systems will be installed to improve the care, storage and environmental conditions for the collections and provide 46% more storage space, the release stated.

During closure, staff will also install a Story Booth thanks to a Kane County Riverboat Grant that provided improved technology.

The booth will be available in the Main Gallery to video record visitors who want to share their Geneva stories.

The recordings will be saved on a hard drive, stored in the archives, and some may be used in exhibitions or programs.

Other projects that will continue during closure is the painting of a mural that will be the backdrop of the 18th century Crèche by Geneva artist, Dennis Gramlich, the release stated.

The mural depicts Naples, Italy, where the Crèche was made, with buildings, street vendors, and mountains along the Bay of Naples.

The community can watch Gramlich paint the mural through the windows on South Third Street from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Several Crèche figures have had their clothing repaired or replaced. Thanks to Museum Educator Heidi Howlett for providing her seamstress skills and to Paula Jaeger Pikowitz for her donation of silk from Cowtan & Tout.

Original trim was used along with the new fabric to keep the clothing as authentic as possible.

The Geneva History Museum has a goal to reopen in the fall with a celebration including behind-the-scenes tours of the new storage areas, opening the Story Booth, unveiling the Crèche mural and new clothing.

The museum received additional funding for the storage redesign project with $22,500 from The Dunham Fund, $20,542 from the Kane County Riverboat Fund, and donated supplies from Uline.

The Story Booth was funded by individual donors and fundraisers over the past five years, the release stated.

The Geneva History Museum is a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve and share Geneva’s story while inspiring and educating the community.

For more information or to receive updates about this project or other museum activities, please visit or email

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