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Distributed for Terra Foundation for American Art

Chicago Modern, 1893-1945

Pursuit of the New

Chicago’s fine arts have long languished in the shadow of the city’s architectural riches, but their time has finally come, most prominently as the focus of the final major exhibition at Chicago’s Terra Museum of American Art. The attendant catalog of the Terra Museum’s fall 2004 exhibition, "Chicago Modern, 1893-1945: Pursuit of the New", is the first-ever survey by a major art museum of early American modernist works created by Chicago artists.

At the opening of the twentieth century, Chicago was regarded as the quintessential modern city that would provide fertile soil for a new national art. The debut of impressionism at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 bore early witness to this expectation as it marked the arrival of modern art in Chicago. In the midst of great local controversy, and echoing debates raging at the time in New York and Paris, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago incorporated modernism into its curriculum, a move that led Chicago-trained artists to experiment in and reinterpret the prominent art movements of their time. Here, for the first time, this work is showcased. This volume focuses on the rich body of artistic work produced during the city’s artistic “golden age,” the period from the 1893 Exposition through the end of World War II.

Noted art scholars contribute to the volume with essays that explore how Chicago painters created a unique niche in these transformative international art movements—from the impressionism of the 1800s to the social realism and surrealism of the 1930s and 1940s—and forged a regional consciousness through experimental means. This detailed and lavishly illustrated catalog examines the larger issues and concerns that shaped art in Chicago during this period, offering a new and valuable addition to regional American art scholarship and a fitting farewell for one of Chicago’s most beloved art museums.

Wendy Greenhouse
Elizabeth Kennedy
Daniel Schulman
Susan Weininger

176 pages | 80 color plates | 9-1/8 x 11-3/4 | © 2004

Art: American Art

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Table of Contents

Elizabeth Glassman
Lenders to the Exhibition
Elizabeth Kennedy
Wendy Greenhouse
Local Color: Impressionism Comes to Chicago
Wendy Greenhouse
"White City" and "Black Metropolis": African American Painters in Chicago, 1893-1945
Daniel Schulman
Completing the Soul of Chicago: From Urban Realism to Social Concern, 1915-1945
Susan S. Weininger
Fantasy in Chicago Painting: "Real ’Crazy,’ Real Personal, and Real Real"
Susan S. Weininger
Selected Bibliography
Photography Credits

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