An enduring element of Art Design Chicago are the many newly developed publications about the city’s rich art and design history developed as part of the initiative. These range from expansive surveys to intimate studies of single moments in the city’s art history, and from institutional histories to exhibition catalogues. Each publication adds to understanding of American art history and offers a foundation for future research.
Below are a few highlights. View the complete list on the Art Design Chicago Publications page.
Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now
University of Chicago Press
A cornerstone of Art Design Chicago, Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now is the first historical survey of Chicago’s spirited art scene. Opening in the wake of the 1871 fire, the publication covers the history and development of art in Chicago from the mid-19th through the early 21st century.
Each of the book’s first six chapters covers specific decades in Chicago’s artistic culture and is written by an art historian with demonstrated expertise in Chicago or American art. The final chapter, comprised of interviews and conversations with contemporary artists, curators, and others, brings the story up to the present by offering a look at the city’s vibrant art scene and addressing ongoing debates about what it means to be a Chicago artist today.
Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now is co-edited by art historian Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino.
Chicago by the Book: 101 Publications That Shaped the City and Its Image
The Caxton Club of Chicago
Chicago by the Book profiles 101 landmark publications about Chicago from the past 170 years that have helped define the city and its image. Each title is the focus of an illustrated essay by a leading scholar, writer, or bibliophile. This beautifully-illustrated survey of 101 publications, spanning the years 1844–2015, illuminates themes, events, and people crucial to the identity of a great and distinctive American city.
Chicago by the Book: 101 Publications That Have Shaped Chicago and Its Image was developed by The Caxton Club of Chicago, an organization devoted to fostering an appreciation of the book arts, especially in Chicago and the Midwest.
Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America
Robert Bruegmann, Editor
Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America is the most ambitious survey of Art Deco buildings and objects for any American city. It explores and celebrates Chicago’s pivotal role in the development of modern American design, featuring iconic Art Deco designs with insightful commentary from scholars, curators, and collectors; vintage illustrations and historic and newly commissioned photographs; and essays by distinguished scholars offering new interpretations of 20th century modernism and the Art Deco era.
Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America is a project of the Chicago Art Deco Society (CADS) and coincides with the exhibition Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America at the Chicago History Museum.
Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago
University of Illinois Press
Painting the Gospel offers an indispensable contribution to conversations about African American art, theology, politics, and identity in Chicago. Author Kymberly N. Pinder escorts readers on exploration of the many murals, stained glass, and sculptures dotting the city's African American churches and neighborhoods. Throughout, she reflects on the myriad ways private black identities assert public and political goals through this spiritual imagery.
The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago
Northwestern University Press
The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago is the first in-depth, illustrated history of this revolutionary Chicago monument. The publication chronicles how the Organization of Black American Culture—a collection of 14 designers, photographers, painters, and others, founded on the South Side of Chicago in 1967—designed and produced a mural by and for Chicago’s black South Side communities.
Receiving national critical acclaim when it was unveiled in 1967 on the facade of a building at 43rd Street and Langley Avenue, the mural’s seven themed sections showcased the portraits of such varied figures as Muddy Waters and W. E. B. Du Bois. The Wall became a platform for performances and political rallies, as well as a reflection of painful controversies among the artists and shifts in the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movements. The book gathers historic essays, poetry, and previously unpublished primary documents from the movement’s founders that provide a visual guide to the work’s creation and evolution.