Since retiring from a career in the travel industry spanning more than 25 years, Uta Staley has continued to travel recreationally throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. When she is not abroad, Uta Staley calls Chicago her home and supports several local educational organizations, including the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Established more than 40 years ago, the Chicago Botanic Garden has flourished into one of the largest living museums and conservation science centers in the world, encompassing more than 385 acres across 9 islands. The Butterflies & Blooms exhibit is among one of its most successful displays, showcasing more than 30 unique and endangered butterfly species from throughout the world since 2012. Situated in a mesh enclosure spanning more than 2,800 square feet, more than 600 flowering plants provide nectar to various species. During peak seasons, visitors can see up to 500 butterflies in a single visit. Staff maintain a pupa emergence room where visitors can see the various stages of chrysalis development, which is critical for repopulating the collection of butterflies, which normally live only two to four weeks. To learn more about Chicago Botanic Garden hours and admission fees, visit chicagobotanic.org/butterflies.
Uta Staley contributes to a number of organizations that preserve and promote the arts and sciences. Within her home city of Chicago, she serves as a supporting member of the Art Institute of Chicago, a nonprofit devoted to collecting, preserving, and interpreting quality works of art from around the world.
Established as a museum and school of fine art in the late 1870s, the Art Institute of Chicago moved into a permanent home in 1893. Still headquartered in part of that original building, the Art Institute has since added a research library and gone through several major expansions to gallery and administrative spaces.
The Art Institute of Chicago’s first-ever collection consisted largely of plaster casts. Today, the museum holds more than 260,000 works of art representing the last 5,000-plus years of human artistic expression. The Art Institute is widely known for its collections of American paintings and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including 30 paintings by founder of the French Impressionism movement Claude Monet. The Art Institute also maintains expansive galleries on African-American art and on American, European, and Asian furniture and architectural styles from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
The Newberry has served as Chicago’s largest independent research library since its establishment in 1887. Today, it contains a treasure trove of historical media, from early 16th-century manuscripts to a plethora of modern-day publications. It continues to receive new materials for its collections on a regular basis.
With collections made up of documents, manuscripts, maps, books, music, and other media, The Newberry has accumulated a fantastic assemblage of materials related to the great history and culture of this country. In addition to its large supply of historical materials, The Newberry has a fine collection of digital resources.
Visitors hoping to visit the reading rooms are required to apply for a Reader’s Card in person, and they must be 16 or older. There is no fee, but you will need a picture ID, proof of your current home address, and a short description of your research interests.
As an independent institution, The Newberry relies on the generosity of others for the upkeep of its collections. To make a donation, visit Go.Newberry.org/Donate. All donations are tax deductible.
Uta Staley is a private investor and philanthropist working in the travel industry. She has long been a sponsor of notable institutions including The Newberry, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Adler Planetarium.