Cuneo Hosts a Handful of Holiday Festivities at the Estate Starting November 23
CHICAGO, October 29, 2012 — Once again, Loyola University Chicago’s Cuneo Mansion and Gardens opens its doors to the community this holiday season with fun, art, theatre, and Santa Claus. In addition to the estate’s annual Holiday Light Show, which begins November 23, Cuneo will present a performance of the classic The Velveteen Rabbit, an exhibition of crèches from around the world, and host its second annual Open House with Santa on December 14.
The always popular Holiday Light Show at Cuneo returns from November 23 through December 31, inviting the community to take a drive-through tour of the estate’s 97 acres decorated in brightly lit holiday figures. The show runs from 6–10 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Visitors can enhance their experience by tuning into the local radio station 107.1 FM for a dual music and visual experience.
Cuneo will also host a staged adaption of the family classic The Velveteen Rabbit. This Kirk Players’ rendition of the beloved children’s book by Margery Williams is filled with enchantment, song, and audience participation. The Velveteen Rabbit will premiere at Cuneo on December 1, with performances scheduled throughout the month of December.
On December 14, from 6:30–9 p.m., the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens invites the local community to its second annual Open House with Santa. Visitors are welcome to enjoy self-guided tours of the mansion, a craft station and coloring contest for children, a homemade wreath contest, a visit with Santa Claus and his elves in the Great Hall, a raffle drawing, cookies and hot chocolate, beer/wine for purchase, and more.
“We are so pleased to share another holiday season with the public,” said Kevin Ginty, general manager at Cuneo Mansion and Gardens. “It is one of our favorite times of the year, and we are thrilled to host the Open House with Santa for a second year. It brings such joy!”
Adding to the holiday spirit this year will be 15 unique crèches from around the world, which will be displayed throughout the Cuneo Mansion from November 1 through December 31, 2012. These crèches are on loan from the Loyola University Museum of Art’s (LUMA) annual holiday exhibition, Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan. The full exhibition will be shown at LUMA, located at 820 N. Michigan Avenue on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus, from November 20, 2012 through January 13, 2013. Visit LUC.edu/luma for more information.
For more information on these events, please visit LUC.edu/cuneo.
Construction on the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens began in 1908 and stopped during the first World War. It was completed in 1918 as the home of Samuel Insull, the creator of Commonwealth Edison and a leading businessman of the 1920s, and designed by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall in the Italianate style. Its gardens and landscaping were designed by world-renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. In 1937, John Cuneo Sr. bought the home. He and his wife, Julia, had two children, John Jr. and Consuela, whom they raised on the estate. John Sr. owned and operated Hawthorn Mellody Farms Dairy, the National Tea Company, and the Cuneo Press. The mansion, which opened to the public as the Cuneo Museum and Gardens in 1991, now called Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, houses the Cuneo family collection of fine antiques, paintings by world-famous artists, tapestries, sculptures, silver, and porcelain. In December 2009, the Cuneo Foundation, the family foundation of John Cuneo Jr. and his wife, Herta, donated the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens and its nearly 100 surrounding acres, an extensive collection of art and furnishings, and an in-kind distribution of funds to Loyola University Chicago, establishing the estate under Loyola’s ownership.
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation's largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,000 students. Nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 10 schools and colleges, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, and Graduate School. Consistently ranked a top national university by U.S.News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, "like" us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago.