Window dressing The newly opened Smith Museum of...


June 25, 2000|By Tricia Bishop

Window dressing

The newly opened Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows in Chicago offers a colorful look at a little-known aspect of the city's history. Said to be the first of its kind in the nation, the museum is dedicated solely to stained glass and includes works by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Most of the pieces on display are home-grown, commissioned during the renovation that followed the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

"The massive rebuilding created a great demand for stained glass art," says Rolf Achilles, the museum's curator. "At one time there were 50 studios in the Chicago area."

The artisans in those studios turned Chicago into a stained glass empire, with thousands of colored panes reflecting light throughout the city. Now, about 150 of those windows, both secular and religious, have been brought together.

There are contemporary works as well, including subjects such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Michael Jordan. There is even a window created from soda bottles.

For more information, call Chicago's Navy Pier, where the museum is located (800-595-7437). The pier complex has parks, restaurants, museums and amusement park rides. To request a brochure from the stained glass museum, call 312-595-5024.


The popular Kutztown Pennsylvania-German Festival in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country opens July 1 with more than 1,000 handmade quilts on display, lively folk music, juried handicrafts and homemade foods.

Craft artistry that has its roots in 17th- and 18th-century Dutch life sets the tone for the nine-day festival, which has been held every year since 1950. Look for demonstrations on candle dipping, spinning and weaving and sheep shearing, along with seminars about herbal healing and folk medicine.

For information and directions, call 888-674-6136, or go to

Leaving behind a secure house

It's much easier to relax on vacation when you know things are secure on the home front. When you're away from home, says Tony DeMarco of the Burglary Prevention Council, "the key is to create an illusion of everyday activity."

Here's what the council recommends:

* Ask police to periodically check your property.

* Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or ask a friend to pick them up.

* Don't forget to lock your doors -- garages and windows, too.

* Use timers to light the house at night.

* Transfer valuables to a safe deposit box.

* Arrange to have yard work continue.

* Keep some blinds and shades open to maintain the usual appearance.

* Do not leave a message on your voice mail saying you're away.

* Ask a friend to check on your home daily, inside and out.

Safe and smart in Europe

"The Travel Adviser" is designed to make a European trip simple. The guide lists basic information, including hot-line numbers for major credit cards, hotels and airlines, along with instructions for operating telephones in various countries. It also offers tips for staying out of trouble. For example, check with your destination's American Embassy before snapping photos of certain events (such as civil unrest) and certain people (such as police). In some countries, that could get you arrested.

The book -- $12 includes shipping and handling -- can be ordered by calling 888-268-0155. --Tricia Bishop

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