Chicago Is Getting a Pizza Museum

Hold the anchovies: This pop-up is a pizza-lover’s dream

Lou Monte's "Songs for Pizza Lovers," 1958. U.S. Pizza Museum
A box from Zuppardi's in West Haven, Connecticut. U.S. Pizza Museum
Matches from Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis, Minnesota. U.S. Pizza Museum
A pizza button by Chicago artist Jame Knight. U.S. Pizza Museum
A Pizza Hut placemat from the 1970s. U.S. Pizza Museum

Really good slices of pizza have one thing in common: They disappear almost immediately. So do the physical objects of the pizza trade. Things like pizza boxes and menus are typically made of cheap paper, and they usually end up in the trash. But the curator behind the U.S. Pizza Museum—an online museum dedicated to preserving all things pizza—thinks losing these items is as horrible as eating pizza with a fork and knife. Now, reports Chicagoist’s Anthony Todd, the museum will take physical form for the first time to show off its cheesiest items when it visits Chicago in pop-up form on Sunday. 

Appropriately, the museum’s physical exhibit will debut at the first annual Chicago Pizza Summit, a culinary festival devoted to all things pizza that features everything from “pizza-inspired cuisine” to a keynote speech by musician and so-called "patron of pizza," Andrew W.K. The entire second floor of the venue will glisten with pizza memorabilia, from menus to magnets, records to vintage ads and more, Todd writes.

Kendall Bruns, a Chicago artist who founded the museum in 2015, took inspiration from his own personal pizza obsession. He had collected pizza artifacts and created artwork around the food, and finally started thinking about creating a phsyical pizza museum, he writes on his website.

Chicago, of course, is a fitting place to debut a museum about pizza. The city is synonymous with deep-dish pies that show off its immigrant history and culinary chops. People on the hunt for more pizza memorabilia don’t have to stick to Chicago, though: Philadelphia has a museum of pizza culture, the National Museum of American History features songs like “Pizza Pie Boogie” and the National Zoo even has a pizza-shaped playground

Hungry to see the USPM? Keep your eyes peeled: Though the Pizza Summit sold out quickly, Kendall will be cooking up more pop-up exhibits in the future.

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