A Night at Mister Kelly's

Relive a night on the town in the mid-twentieth century

Ella Fitzgerald at Mister Kelly's

Mister Kelly's was one of the hotspots of Chicago nightlife in the 1950s through the mid-1970s. Located on Rush Street in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood, the club was a welcoming venue where people could be entertained by top-shelf jazz and comedy talent and see rising stars who later gained international fame. Names like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Mort Sahl, Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, and Richard Pryor regularly graced the marquee of Mister Kelly's. And club founders and brothers George and Oscar Marienthal thought of everything to ensure a quality experience for their patrons. This exhibition draws on the Mister Kelly's Collection at the Newberry to re-create the excitement of a night at Mister Kelly’s.

View a video tour of the exhibition.

A Night at Mister Kelly’s is supported by the Rosaline G. Cohn Endowment for Exhibitions and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation. The Newberry also thanks David Marienthal for his gift of the Mister Kelly’s Collection.


Alison Hinderliter, Lloyd Lewis Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Selector for Modern Music, Newberry Library

Schedule of Guided Exhibition Tours

Exhibition Hours

Tuesday – Thursday
10am – 7pm

Friday and Saturday
10am – 5pm

Admission for Newberry exhibitions is free. No advance registration required.

More about the Space

The Trienens galleries include an introductory gallery and a larger primary gallery. Exhibitions mounted there typically include 40-70 items from the Newberry's vast collections. Exhibitions in the Trienens galleries allow visitors to explore compelling themes and historical content in depth. Examples of past exhibitions include: Pop-Ups Through the Ages and Viva La Libertad. Click here to view a photo of the galleries.