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A Guide to Chicago’s Murals

Chicago is a city known for its fabulous architecture and public sculpture by artists such as Picasso and Calder, but anyone who has seen the gorgeous lunettes in the Auditorium Theater or the South Side’s Wall of Respect, which inaugurated the city’s contemporary mural movement, knows that Chicago has an equally rich tradition of mural painting. Through these murals, the history of Chicago and the nation is writ in churches and lobbies, on viaducts and school walls. Mary Gray’s A Guide to Chicago’s Murals is the first definitive handbook to the treasures that can be found all over the city.

With full-color illustrations of nearly two hundred Chicago murals and accompanying entries that describe their history—who commissioned them and why, how artists collaborated with architects, the subjects of the murals and their contexts—A Guide to Chicago’s Murals serves both a general and a specific audience. Divided into easy-to-read geographical sections with useful maps for walking tours, it is the perfect companion for tourists or Chicagoans interested in coming to know better this aspect of the city’s history. Gray also provides crucial information on lesser-known artists and on murals that have been destroyed over the years, filling a gap in the visual record of the city’s development.

Gray also includes biographies of more than 150 artists and a glossary of key terms, making A Guide to Chicago’s Murals essential reading for mural viewing. From post offices to libraries, fieldhouses to banks, and private clubs to street corners, Mary Gray chronicles the amazing works of artists who have sought to make public declarations in this most social of art forms.

"A major lacuna in the history of art in Chicago has been filled, with the thoroughness of the research proportionate to the richness of the material revealed."—From the Foreword by Franz Schulze

"Gray’s book . . . can function as a guidebook, as the murals are conveniently arranged according to the quadrants of the city. But the book is also beautiful to look at and indespensable as art history and Chicago history as well. . . . This book is a wonderful guide to Chicago’s rich and unique mural tradition."—Elizabeth Alexander, Chicago Tribune Books

"If you love art and history, this is a book you’ll truly enjoy."—Al Paulson, Utne Reader

View images from the book.


520 pages | 204 color plates, 35 halftones | 5-3/4 x 7-1/2 | © 2001

Architecture: American Architecture

Art: American Art

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Central Area
Near South and Near West Sides
South Side
North Side
Suburbs and Outlying Areas
But Not Forgotten
Addendum
Appendix 1: Other Missing Murals
Appendix 2: Public Schools with Extant Murals
Biographies of Artists
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Awards

ForeWord Magazine: ForeWord Magazine Book Awards
Shortlist

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