[UCP Books]: Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now

Levi Stahl: levi@uchicago.edu / (773) 702 0289 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Art in Chicago is the first book to follow the flow of Chicago art from the nineteenth century to the present, and it is revelatory. . . . Chicago art is vibrant, edgy, fantastical, and provocative, qualities vividly reflected in this vital, gorgeously produced, and enlightening history.”

Booklist, starred review


Featuring an original artwork by Kerry James Marshall and a new essay by Chris Ware!


Art in Chicago

A History from the Fire to Now

Edited by Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino



Publication date: October 5, 2018  
International publication date: October 30, 2018 $65.00/£49.00


It doesn’t get bigger than this: a true doorstop of a book that displays its ambition right there in its title—the history of art in Chicago from the earliest days to the present. Part of the Terra Foundation for American Art’s 2018 Art Design Chicago program, Art in Chicago will be the standard account of Chicago art for decades to come.


From Manierre Dawson, László Moholy-Nagy, and Ivan Albright to Chris Ware, Anne Wilson, and Theaster Gates, Art in Chicago offers a learned but accessible history of visual art in the city. From the temptingly blank canvas left by the Fire, we loop back to the 1850s and on through the 1860s, tracing the beginnings of the city’s institutional and professional art world and community. From there, we travel through the decades to the present. Familiar developments—such as the founding of the Art Institute, the Armory Show, and the arrival of the Bauhaus—are given a fresh look, while less well-known aspects of the story, like the contributions of African American artists dating back to the 1890s or the long history of activist art, finally get suitable recognition. The six chapters, each written by an expert on the period, brilliantly mix narrative and image, weaving in oral histories from artists and critics reflecting on their work in the city, and setting new movements and key works in historical context. The result is an unprecedentedly rich tapestry that reveals Chicago art in all its variety and vigor—and that will surprise and enlighten even the most dedicated fan of the city’s artistic heritage.


Maggie Taft is an art historian and the founding director of the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute, a community-based writing center for teenage girls. Robert Cozzolino is the Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.


Art in Chicago is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Funding for the project was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


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