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Past Exhibits

Past Exhibits

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.

Voices & Visions™

In a series of 18 striking images, the words of Jewish luminaries from Maimonides to Susan Sontag were interpreted by renowned artists and designers including Milton Glaser, Carin Goldberg, Seymour Chwast, and Chicago's Art Paul.

Shalom Chicago

Presented in collaboration with Spertus Institute, Shalom Chicago is an exhibit at the Chicago History Museum about the city’s Jewish community.

Tales, Myths, and Nightmares

In Tales, Myths, and Nightmares, Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern introduced a cast of characters he called “irreducible,” like the spare style and primary colors he uses to set his scenes. His paintings personify fragile survivors who represent the struggle and strength of the Jewish experience.

Hassidic Courts

As a photojournalist for the Reuters news agency, Gil Cohen-Magen was assigned in 2001 to take pictures of Jewish new year’s customs in Mea Shearim, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jerusalem and a longtime enclave for the Haredi or ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Uncovered & Rediscovered

Uncovered & Rediscovered was an evolving exhibit that explored the Chicago Jewish experience. The exhibit unfolded over time in a series of intimate chapters (each on display for 3 to 6 months in the ground floor vestibule of the Spertus building).

What Does It Say to You?

What Does It Say to You? borrowed its title from a classic museum scene in Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam. This exhibit was conceived to deepen the conversation between Spertus and its audiences by soliciting responses to its content.

A Force for Change

A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund was the first exhibit to explore the legacy of the Julius Rosenwald Fund created by the Chicago businessman and philanthropist to foster black leadership through the arts, literature, and scholarship.

Twisted Into Recognition

Twisted Into Recognition: Clichés of Jews and Others explored the ways images and objects that depict stereotypes are seen, perceived, and classified.