April 7, 2018–August 10, 2019

About the Exhibition

Southern black migrants brought the blues to Chicago, where the music helped them forge connections and transform an unfamiliar, often inhospitable city into a new home. The music was also transformed—electrified and amplified to compete with urban noise. The photography of Raeburn Flerlage captures the streets, clubs, homes, and studios where a community of musicians defined the Chicago blues sound.  Immerse yourself in the Chicago scene of the 1960s through Flerlage’s images, and experience the blues by playing guitar, designing an album cover, writing lyrics, and singing karaoke.

Artist Spotlights

Howlin Wolf, Little Brother Montgomery, 

Little Walter, Magic Sam, Big Joe Williams, 

Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor & Muddy Waters

Upcoming Programming

Civic Talk: Chicago Blues

April 18 | 6:30PM

Delve into the stories behind Amplified with its curator Joy L. Bivins and legendary blues musician Billy Branch.

Blues Bus 


July 14 | 1:00PM

Explore Bronzeville & the South Side to discover how  the Delta blues came to Chicago during the Great Migration and evolved into its own distinct sound.

Let us help you plan.

Special discounted group rates are available. 

Call 312-799-2162 or email [email protected] for more information. 

Bringing a group?

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Access the Collection

This collection is now accessible to the public through the Museum’s Research Center, which holds the Museum’s archives, manuscripts, prints and photographs and more. A curated collection of more than 1,000 of Raeburn Flerlage’s photography is available online at Chicago History Museum Images.

Experience Amplified in the city

Explore some of the locations of the Chicago blues scene of the 1960s with this VAMONDE adventure, based on the Chicago History Museum exhibition, AMPLIFIED: Chicago Blues.




Members also receive complimentary admission to our exclusive members-only exhibition preview event!

Exhibition Sponsors

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