Photography and Film Programming this Season

Woodard’s Studio, Chorus Line, c. 1920. Black and white print. 35 x 28cm (13 25/32 x 11 1/32”). Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 

Art Design Chicago has an ever-growing roster of events and exhibitions about Chicago’s artistic history as seen through the lenses of local photographers and filmmakers, both historically and contemporary.

View a full slate of upcoming programs here, and select highlights below.


“Say It with Pictures” Then and Now: Chicago’s African American Photographers

Featuring: Deborah Willis, photography historian

October 12, 6–7 p.m.

Ferguson Hall, Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Free and open to the public

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) hosts art historian Amy Mooney in conversation with the esteemed photography scholar Deborah Willis. The discussion will focus on the forgotten works of African American commercial photographers working in Chicago from the 1890s through the 1930s, with Mooney and Willis conversing on the ways photographs transformed the visual representation of black America, within the public realm of popular culture and the private space of the family album.

The conversation is followed by a reception at the MoCP and an opportunity to view exhibitions including The Many Hats of Ralph Arnold: Art, Identity, & Politics and Echoes: Reframing Collage.



Still from "The Cry of Jazz" courtesy of

Film Screening: The Cry of Jazz and Chicago Blues

Featuring: Ayana Contreras

October 20, 7–9 p.m.

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 East 60th Street, Chicago

Presented by South Side Projections as part of their fall 2018 series Chicago’s Black Arts Movement in Film, this event showcases two iconic films about the intersections of music, the visual arts, race, and politics in Chicago. The Cry of Jazz (1959, newly restored 35mm print) is the only film by Chicago-based composer Edward Bland. It interrogates the intertwined histories of jazz and the Black experience in the United States, setting his story against the backdrop of an interracial gathering of jazz fans in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Harley Cokeliss’s Chicago Blues (1972) similarly also ties the history of American music to the American race relations by touring South Side clubs, housing projects, and sites of the Black Power movement.

Ayana Contreras, host of “Reclaimed Soul” on Vocalo 91.1FM, introduces the program.

This program is presented in collaboration with the Smart Museum of Art, the Film Studies Center, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and in conjunction with the Logan Center Bluesfest and the Art Design Chicago symposium Unfinished Business! The South Side and Chicago Art.


Hattula Moholy-Nagy with a photograph of her father and Walter Gropius. Image from The New Bauhaus courtesy of Opendox. Photographer: Petter Ringbom.

The New Bauhaus: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

October 25, 6–7 p.m.

The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 East Ontario Street, Chicago

Join us for a look at the production process and research for the forthcoming 2019 documentary feature The New Bauhaus, exploring the lasting legacy of the influential Chicago design school and its founder, László Moholy-Nagy. Presented in collaboration with The Arts Club of Chicago, the program includes a screening of exclusive footage from the film project and a conversation about the school’s significance in Chicago and beyond, especially as it relates to women in design. Cooper Hewitt Senior Curator Ellen Lupton moderates a panel featuring the film’s director Alysa Nahmias, Moholy’s daughter Hattula Moholy-Nagy, and art historian Maggie Taft.


Film still provided courtesy South Side Projections.

Film Screening: The Mural Movement and the Black Arts Movement

Featuring: Muralist Arlene Turner Crawford

November 10, 6:30–9 p.m.

South Side Community Art Center, 3831 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Presented by South Side Projections as part of their fall 2018 series Chicago’s Black Arts Movement in Film, the concluding program focuses on the intersections between Chicago’s mural movement of the 1970s and the Black Arts Movement. Featuring short films by painter Don McIlvaine that emphasize his West Side murals, the Kartemquin film Viva La Causa, documenting a mural Ray Patlán created with neighborhood children in Pilsen, and footage from the archives of the DuSable Museum of African American History documenting muralists at work on the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s “Murals to the People” exhibition. The screening includes footage of William Walker’s Wall of Love. This event is presented in partnership with the South Side Community Art Center.

To view all upcoming film and photography-related Art Design Chicago programs, click here.



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