This webpage celebrates the 2022 USA Tree at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Due to the COVID restrictions in 2020, that year's Tree was only open to the public for 6 days.
The Tree included a new set of 50 hand-made wooden states, and hand-made sequin balls.
To see photos of those, and all the other ornaments, click the year-links below.

Because it was on display for such a short time, the 2021 Tree was a duplicate of the 2020 Tree.
The Museum was open for the entire season, but they only allowed half the usual number of
patrons into the building at any one time.  There is no separate webpage on this site for 2021.

This year, the 2022 Tree includes many of the same ornaments, with the addition of a new set of
State Birds, Flowers, and Trees.  Those were all made by Kathy Cunningham, and are shown below.


[This item is from the website of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago]

This year, 2022, we celebrate the 80th anniversary of a beloved Chicago tradition, which began in 1942 with a single tree, newly decorated every day for 12 days to represent the countries fighting alongside America during World War II.

Today, Christmas Around the World features more than 50 trees highlighting a variety of countries and cultures, offering insight into the holiday customs celebrated by families around the world.  These trees and displays are decorated by volunteers from around the Chicagoland area to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. The centerpiece surrounded by this dazzling display is the four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree in the Museum's Rotunda.  You can also explore Holidays of Light, a celebration of global holidays throughout the year that honor light and enlightenment.

It's the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof.

About the USA Tree

As noted in the item above, Christmas Around the World began in 1942.  Amazingly, there was no USA Tree until after the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, on 9/11/2001.

For a few years thereafter, members of the Museum staff simply decorated a tree with red, white, and blue ornaments.  One staffer took a particular interest, and was asked to take charge of the tree.  She asked a few of her friends to help, one of whom was professional artist Kathy Cunningham.

When the staffer moved out of state, Kathy took over the responsibilities, and soon the group was named Friends of the USA Tree.  Each year, Kathy made many of the ornaments, and solicited others to create their own items.  Many of these people, as well as others, gathered to hang the decorations on the tree.  To date, there have been about 175 people invited to become involved in the project.

To see the progress, as well as close-up photos of all the ornaments, click the links for each of the years.  The webpages have been prepared by Bruce Duffie.

2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020

Three views of the just-finished 2022 tree.

First a view from the left side, then a view from the back,
and finally a view from the right side.

After that comes a photo of the tree a few days later,
when it had taken its place among other trees which
celebrate various countries from around the world.




USA Tree

For the 2022 USA Tree, the 50 wooden states have returned,
as well as sequin balls, crochet snowflakes, and crystal icicles.
There are also several special individual hand-made items.

New this year are ornaments which, as always, were made especially
for the exhibit.  Each is 6 inches high, and depicts the official bird,
flower, and tree of each state.  Note that a few birds (such as the
cardinal) appear in more than one state!

Below are photos showing the process involved in their creation.
Then, each one appears as part of a small group, along with
information about the specific state bird, flower, and tree.

From Sketch to Ornament  --  The Process of Creation

1.  First sketch on paper

2.  Copper plate destination
blue tape

3.  Blue tape is added to the copper plate

4.  Sketch is cut out and applied to the blue tape


5.  Ornament on copper is carefully sawed out


6.  The paper is removed, and the ornament is prepared
to receive enamel coating


7.  Ornament now has enamel

8.  Ornament outlines are fully sketched with black overglaze enamel

IL front

9.  Front of ornament has been completed with vibrant colors

IL back

10.  Identification details have been put on the back of the ornament

Next are the ornaments from all 50 states,
Washington D.C., and the 4 Territories.

The states are presented in random order and grouping,
with the 4 Territories placed together at the end.

Each picture shows the colorful front side,
then its descriptive back directly underneath.

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This year's group...  (left to right)   Jill Heinking, Erin Ailworth, Alexander Schroers, Tanaka Rawls,
Cherie Lockett, Carla Miller, Kathy Cunningham, Larinda DiGioia, Meg O'Hara, Johanna DiGioia