American Writers Museum President Visits Library

Ernest Hemingway, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Walter Isaacson–the list goes on and on: American writers who entertain and enlighten, and are now celebrated in the American Writers Museum. The Museum opened in downtown Chicago in May, to rave reviews. This made the Thomas Ford Library Foundation think we should learn more and led to “A Conversation with Carey Cranston,” the Museum’s inaugural president, at the Library on November 12.

Leslie Karas, Chair of the Library Foundation, presented Carey Cranston with a gift of “Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks” by Annie Spence, a former Thomas Ford Memorial Library Adult Services Librarian.

President Cranston explained the Museum’s origins, and that one of the reasons Chicago was chosen over other contenders is because of its strong literary tradition. The Museum, located at 180 North Michigan Avenue, has galleries that honor writers of the past and two that feature changing exhibits of living authors. In addition to the eloquent giants we might expect, there are engaging surprises like Hendrik Meijer, of the food chain, and Chicago’s improv theater, Second City.

From left: Hugh Ingrasci, Carey Cranston, Liz Burns, Andy Gore. Hugh was one of Carey’s teachers at DePaul University; Liz is a Thomas Ford Library Foundation Director, and Andy is the Foundation’s Treasurer.

Dozens of guests attended the event in the Library Reading Room, and mingled with Cranston before and afterwards. Most came away saying that they are eager to visit the Museum. (Several photos from the event are on the Library’s Facebook page.) To get more information on the Museum and upcoming programs, visit