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Between the World Wars: Jewish and African American Art in Chicago

Between the World Wars: Jewish and African American Art in Chicago

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

$18 | $10 for Spertus members | $8 for students and Spertus alumni

Purchase tickets here > 

In conjunction with the exhibition Todros Geller: Strange Worlds, hear arts advocate John Corbett, Art Institute of Chicago Curator Sarah Kelly Oehler, and historian/curator Susan Weininger as they explore work of Jewish and African American artists in Chicago between the world wars.

Dr. John CorbettDr. John Corbett is an award-winning journalist, musician, music producer, and educator. Former Artistic Director of Berlin’s Jazz festival, he teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and co-owns Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery. 

Faheem MajeedFaheem Majeed is an artist, educator, curator, and community facilitator. A resident of Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, he often looks to the makeup of his neighborhood as an entry point into larger questions around civic-mindedness, community activism, and institutional critique. 

Dr. Sarah Kelly OehlerDr. Sarah Kelly Oehler is the Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she recently curated Charles White: A Retrospective, about one of the preeminent artists of Chicago's Black Renaissance in the 1930s and 1940s.

Dr. Susan WeiningerSusan Weininger is Professor Emerita of Art History at Roosevelt University. She has curated exhibitions and written extensively on Chicago artists including Gertrude Abercrombie, Ivan Albright, Tunis Ponsen, Francis Chapin, Romolo Roberti, Paul Kelpe — as well as modernist Chicago art in general.

Todros Geller: Strange Worlds draws primarily from Spertus Institute’s collection — which includes extensive holdings of Geller’s paintings, prints, and works on paper as well as preparatory sketches, letters, books, postcards, articles, photographs, posters, and illustrations — to present the broad scope of Geller’s creative endeavors. More than 30 works in a range of mediums will be on view, the majority for the first time, along with a selection of unique archival materials to allow viewers to explore the public and private concerns that animated Geller’s work. Born in Ukraine in 1889, Geller immigrated to Chicago in 1918. He was inspired by the complex blending of old world traditions and modern culture that characterized Chicago — what he termed the collision of “strange worlds.” A prominent educator, he worked at the Jewish People’s Institute and Jane Addams Hull House, then as supervisor of art for the College of Jewish Studies (the precursor to Spertus Institute).

Geller believed that art was a powerful agent for social change, a way to enact tikkun olam, repair of the world. His work directly addressed the social, political, and artistic concerns of his time, many of which still challenge us today.

Todros Geller: Strange Worlds is curated by Ionit Behar, Spertus Institute Curator of Collections, and Susan Weininger, Roosevelt University Professor Emerita of Art History.

Todros Geller: Strange Worlds
is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy. Art Design Chicago is an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Todros Geller: Strange Worlds is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Exhibitions at Spertus Institute are also made possible through the generous support of the Harry and Sadie Lasky and Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundations.

Image at left

Todros Geller, Untitled (Two Men), 1927, oil on canvas, 17 x 20 in., Bernard Friedman collection.


Opening Reception
September 6, 2018 | 5:30-8:00 pm
Free. Reservations appreciated > 

Gallery Talk
November 4, 2018 | 3:00-4:00 pm

Exhibition Curators Ionit Behar
and Susan Weininger
Free. Reservations appreciated >

Between the World Wars: Jewish and African American Art in Chicago
November 20, 2018 | 6:00-7:30 pm
Exhibition Curator Susan Weininger, arts advocate John Corbett, artist Fareem Majeed, and Art Institute of Chicago Curator Sarah Kelly Oehler
$8-$18. Purchase tickets online >

Segregation and Integration in Chicago Art
December 13, 2018 | 6:00-7:30 pm
Historian Dr. Deborah Dash Moore and journalist Maudlyne Ihejirika
$8-$18. Purchase tickets online >