Arrive Curious. Leave Inspired.
Special Exhibition Gallery
Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross
March 9–September 8
Considered one of the greatest artists in the field of comic books, Alex Ross has created some of the most iconic images known to fans today. For nearly 30 years, he has revitalized classic superheroes into works of fine art by illustrating characters including Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Storm from the X-Men, the Avengers, Black Panther and many more. Come explore the Marvel Universe that Ross has helped bring to life in the first exhibition of his original artwork in the Chicago area. Presenting Sponsor, Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves.
View related programs and events
Upcoming Special Exhibits:
September 2019–January 2020: A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico
This exhibition was developed by the Field Museum in collaboration with Mars, Incorporated.
September 2020–January 2021: Ansel Adams and Richard Wasserman: From the Mountains to the Prairies
Permanent Exhibitions & Gift Shop
Prehistoric Lake County
The history of Earth’s life is an incredible story that began some 4 billion years ago with life’s origin in primordial seas. Since that time, an untold number of forms have evolved and fallen to extinction. The only records of their existence are the remains—or fossils—they left behind. Entombed within the rocks beneath our feet are clues to this ancient world and the history of our own region.
See the Dunn Museum’s oldest artifact, a fossil rock estimated to be 420 million years old
Learn more about the dinosaurs that lived in Lake County, and get up close and personal with our very own Dryptosaurus
Help excavate an ice age dig site
The First People
The story of Native Americans in Lake County stretches back 12,000 years and continues today. Over this long period, the indigenous inhabitants adapted, innovated, persevered and survived through change and adversity. Today, people from various tribal nations call this area home and they continue to sustain their cultures, languages and traditions.
Explore a full-scale reproduction of a wigwam, built with guidance from local Native American tribe members on authenticity
Learn about the lifeways of Native Americans in Lake County through the Museum’s remarkable collection of artifacts
Meet Native Americans who continue to call Lake County home
An American Frontier
Settlers—both American and immigrant—began to arrive in Lake County in the early 1830s. They found a region rich in available, cheap land. The black soil, clear water, and abundant forests of oak and hickory supplied the resources needed to build homes and communities. Many of these early settlers would later go off to fight in the American Civil War, the majority of which fought in the 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Hear the individual stories of Lake County's early settlers
Discover Lake County’s role in the abolitionist movement and Underground Railroad
Visit a reproduction of a one-room schoolhouse and learn why they were so important to early Lake County communities
Navigate historic maps to see Lake County settlement over time
Learn the stories of life on the homefront when nearly 2,000 men from Lake County enlisted to fight in the Civil War
See an authentic Gatling gun and artifacts from the Civil War era
Innovations and Preservation
In the decades following the Civil War, the rapid expansion of railroads and highways brought a boom in industry, agriculture and population, and the rise of the preservation movement. People came to Lake County to live and raise families, and to work and play, and many were inspired to preserve its rich historic and natural heritage.
Have a picnic in an old lotus boat, a favorite legacy piece brought over from the former Lake County Discovery Museum
Learn about the early motion picture industry in Waukegan and see the first practical 35mm motion picture machine
Try your hand at developing Lake County at our interactive play table
Under a canopy of leaves and surrounded by a beautiful mural of a woodland, visitors will hear firsthand from Lake County Forest Preserve employees in the video, Excellence is in our Nature. Learn about the important work being done to preserve and restore land, contribute to the scientific community, provide recreation opportunities, and educate the next generation on caring for open space in Lake County.
The Dunn Museum Gift Shop offers a selection of items inspired by the history and culture of Lake County, including books, posters, notecards, photos, jewelry, apparel and other custom products. Items created by local artisans are also featured in the shop.