Halim Time and Glass Museum
An avid collector of stained glass and timepieces outside of his career as a real estate investor, Cameel Halim unveiled his art collection to the public at the opening of the Halim Time and Glass Museum on September 26, 2017. Cameel Halim’s museum, which is located in Evanston, Illinois, has been profiled in New York Times articles in both 2016 and 2017.
The first article, published on July 7, 2016, focused on several of the stained-glass windows that were set to be displayed at the then yet-to-be-opened museum. The article specifically discussed the process of rescuing and restoring these windows, some of which were so dirty that they were completely obscured. Among the rescued pieces that now belong to the museum are those by John La Farge and George Washington Maher, as well as frequently overlooked designers such as Mary Tillinghast and Frederick Wilson.
In 2017, days after the museum opened, The New York Times published a second article. Titled A Collector’s Dream: Creating Your Own Museum as a Legacy, the article details the motivation for opening a private institution such as the Halim Time and Glass Museum. According to the newspaper, the inspiration for the Evanston museum was to provide a way to display a collection of art that took its founder three decades to develop. By sharing with the public the hundreds of pieces in this collection, Halim and the museum aim to provide a comprehensive overview of three centuries of timepieces and stained glass.
Men and Wristwatches
Since he began buying properties with his wife in 1974, Cameel Halim has become a respected real estate presence in Chicago, where he oversees the operations of CH Ventures, LLC. A watch and timepiece enthusiast, Cameel Halim has been collecting vintage and antique watches for decades, many of which are showcased in his Halim Time and Glass Museum in Evanston, Illinois.
Throughout much of history, wristwatches were specifically created for and worn by women. This tradition began in 1571, when England’s Queen Elizabeth I was gifted an “arm watch” by Robert Dudley. The watch design became known as a wristlet. It was small, delicate, and was worn by noblewomen. Men viewed such watches as inappropriate for their sex, and carried pocket watches instead. This preference would go on for centuries.
Everything changed, beginning with the wars of the 20th century. During the Boer War of 1899-1902 and World War I, pocket watches proved an inconvenience in the air, on the water, and in the trenches. Soldiers were given wrist watches, which were basically pocket watches attached to leather straps that wrapped around the wrist, to help them coordinate with military movements during attacks. These wristwatches became the watches of choice for service men in all wars in the early 20th century. When the guns fell silent, thousands of men returned home with wristwatches, turning them into an accepted everyday accessory.