The legendary Charles Dickens and his beloved characters Ebenezer Scrooge, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim and scores of others have proliferated and endured in popular culture, inspiring film, art, TV and academia for nearly two centuries.
Institutions and organizations worldwide are commemorating this author and social critic by celebrating the bicentenary of Dickens' birthday throughout 2012.
Mixing classic artifacts and pop-culture references, the Lake County Discovery Museum's newest original exhibition, "Dickens: 200 Years of Celebrity", opening Sept. 29, introduces Dickens as the first international celebrity of the modern age.
Hundreds of objects and documents from the exclusive private collection of local Highland Park resident Michael A. Weinberg, together with a rare collection of first editions of his most famous works, tell the story of how Charles Dickens and his characters became enduring cultural icons.
The exhibit runs through Feb. 24 and is sponsored by the Daily Herald and the law firm of Novack and Macey LLP.
A variety of interactive and multimedia displays and personal effects take visitors through a chronological tour of the life, literature and legacy of Dickens.
View his personal traveling inkwell used on a trip to America and his home at Gad's Hill, take a ride in an early century carriage, and learn about the memorable characters, stories and themes of his famous tales through games, time period puzzles and Dickens' own personal Facebook page.
Celebrate the holidays with "A Dickens Christmas," a special extra exhibit opening Nov. 17 that encompasses the classic Dickens tale "A Christmas Carol." Stroll through a mid-1800s street to learn how Dickens influenced the look and feel of the holiday season, and view a private collection of vintage cards and calendars.
Call (847) 968-3400 or visit online at LCFPD.org/Dickens for more information about the exhibit or to download discount admission coupons.
Follow the Museum on Facebook and Twitter @LakeCoMuseum or visit LCFPD.org/Dickens for dates and times of special Dickens programs and events.
Born in 1812 to a life of impoverishment and disadvantage, Charles Dickens rose to become one of the most influential and popular authors of all time. During his lifetime, his novels and stories became known around the world and his personal life was the subject of such public speculation and rumor that he is known today as one of the first modern celebrities. His works include hundreds of short stories, plays and more than a dozen novels including "Oliver Twist", "A Christmas Carol" and "Great Expectations".
The Lake County Discovery Museum is on Route 176, just west of Fairfield Road and east of Wauconda in Lakewood Forest Preserve. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Admission is $6, $3 for seniors ages 55 and older and students ages 18 to 25, $2.50 for ages 4 to 17 and free for children 3 and younger. On Discount Tuesdays, admission is $3 and free for ages 17 and younger. Admission is always free for museum members.