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Past Exhibits

Past Exhibits

Ben Shahn: If Not Now, When?

On display through August 27 in the Ground Level Arts Lab. This exhibition showcases 30 works from the Spertus Institute Collection by artist and activist Ben Shahn. Through his career, Shahn worked to expose injustice and inspire social change.

Windows: Treasures of the Spertus Collection

Windows: Treasures of the Spertus Collection is a semi-permanent display of items from Spertus Institute’s impressive collections. It can been seen inside the Ground Level Arts Lab.

Voices of Wisdom in the Ground Level Arts Lab

This Ground Level Arts Lab exhibit showcased new works created by Spertus Institute's inaugural cohort of the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab, which brought together 12 local artists for workshops, study, and critiques.

From Maxwell Street to Milwaukee Avenue

Howard Schwartz (shown below in his studio) is both an accomplished artist and an avid family historian. He combines the past and the present in mixed media portraits inspired by his family story, a story that, like that of many Chicago families, begins its American chapter...

A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York

Talented young Brooklyn-based cartoonist Liana Finck has brought these letters to life in her book, A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York. Spertus Institute is pleased to present a selection of her illustrations, sketches, and etchings.

Amy Reichert: Reinventing Judaica

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership was pleased to present this debut exhibit of work by local architect and designer Amy Reichert.

Scots Jews: Identity, Belonging and the Future

Award-winning documentary photographer Judah Passow spent a year photographing Scotland’s Jewish community, producing a portrait that captures the complexity and diversity of the Scottish Jewish life at the beginning of the 21st century.

Collecting Local

This exhibit featured a monumental abstract painting by a young refugee from Danzig who went on to become the doyenne of the Chicago art scene, a whimsical papercut ketubbah with some very unconventional imagery, pendant portraits of two of Chicago’s earliest Jewish settlers, among much more.

All Around the House

Spertus Institute was honored to present a pair of large-scale photographs by Jay Wolke. These images, from his landmark study of Chicago Jewry, offer vivid windows into age-old traditions reenacted in a uniquely American context.

Woof and Drash: Weaving the Jewish Experience

Berit Engen began weaving as a child in Norway, and now practices this ancient craft of entwining woof (horizontal threads) with warp (vertical threads) from her home in Oak Park, Illinois.