Kicking off the Art Speaks lecture series, a University of Chicago Graham School partnership with the Terra Foundation, David Travis presented “Taken By Design: Photography at Chicago’s Institute of Design” in which he documented how a European approach to educating artists shaped America’s attitude toward photography as a fine art. Held at the Chicago Cultural Center, the evening was introduced by Fred Beuttler, assistant dean of Liberal Arts at the Graham School, who gave an overview of the yearlong series.
As part of the Terra Foundation initiative Art Design Chicago, an ambitious celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of art and design, the Art Speaks series will continue with five more lectures throughout 2018, with two visual arts classes having also been developed at the Graham School in support of the initiative.
“The Graham School is very excited to be partnering with the Terra Foundation in offering these lectures and courses,” said Nikki Yagoda, assistant director of External Engagement at the Graham School. “Art Design Chicago is an important cultural event for the City of Chicago and the Graham School is pleased to be able to contribute in a way that reflects the intellectual traditions of the University of Chicago.”
Art Design Chicago offers an opportunity to examine the art and design movements that were born and nurtured in Chicago, as well as their relationship to other artistic developments throughout the United States and the world. From art displayed on museum walls to mass-produced consumer goods, Chicago’s singular creative contributions are showcased in this citywide partnership of museums, universities, galleries, and other cultural organizations.
Complementing the lecture series and exhibitions comprising Art Design Chicago are two courses developed by the Graham School’s Open-to-All Courses in the Liberal Arts team. Public Art in Chicago explores the history and continued importance of public art in Chicago through the examination of a selection of notable case studies from the late nineteenth century to the present, while Chicago Photography offers a lens on an array of photographic styles and subjects inspired by the city. Both courses begin on June 19.
In his lecture, Travis, who was the founding curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago—where he directed photography programs and acquisitions from 1972 until 2008, focused on the work of Lázsló Moholy-Nagy, Arthur Siegel, Harry Callahan, and Aaron Siskind and their instrumental contributions as early directors and shapers of what is now known as the Institute of Design. With exquisitely chosen slides to complement his lecture, he shared stories from the lives of these towering twentieth century Chicago photographers as well as their distinct visions for the Institute
Giving the next lecture in the Art Speaks series will be Rebecca Zorach, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University, who will present "The Time is Now! The Black Arts Movement, Activism, and Art for (and by) the People" on April 18 at Hull House. Focusing on artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s who put their artistic training in the service of political movements, Zorach’s talk will chronicle key artistic creations and events of the period while highlighting debates in which cultural workers grappled with differing positions on community and self-expression in their efforts to find the best way forward.
Subsequent lectures, offered throughout the year and taking place at venues across Chicago, including the Museum of Contemporary Art and Zhou B Art Center, will focus on Chicago’s relation to global art movements in the twentieth century as well as the impact Chicago’s immigrants have had on artistic practice in the city.
upcoming Art Speaks Lectures
The University of Chicago Graham School and the Terra Foundation partners for a free lecture series presented as part of Art Design Chicago, a yearlong celebration of the city’s art and design legacy. Click on the lecture titles below for more information and to RSVP.
Wednesday, April 18 at Noon | Hull House
Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m. | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Monday, July 9 at 6 p.m. | Zhou B Art Center
Wednesday, July 11 at 6 p.m. | TBD
Thursday, September 27 at 6 p.m. | TBD
In addition to the lectures happening throughout 2018, the Graham School has also developed three visual art classes in support of the Terra Foundation’s initiative. Click on the course titles below for more information and to register.
Tuesdays | June 19–August 14 | 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | $360
Tuesdays | June 19–August 7 | 6–8:30 p.m. | $360