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Segregation and Immigration in Chicago Art

Segregation and Immigration in Chicago Art

Thursday, December 13, 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 Dr. Deborah Dash Moore and Maudlyne Ihejirika discuss issues of segregation, immigration, and urban place inspired by the subjects in Todros Geller's work and the social activism in his life.

Deborah Dash MooreDr. Deborah Dash Moore is Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. A historian of American Jews, she has published an acclaimed trilogy examining the years from 1920 to 1960, including the experience of Jewish soldiers in World War II.

Maudlyne IhejirikaMaudlyne Ihejirika is an award-winning Chicago Sun-Times Urban Affairs Reporter/Columnist with 30 years of experience. She pens the Chicago Chronicles columns on "people and places that make Chicago tick.” She is the author of Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War, about her family's survival of the brutal Nigerian-Biafran War.

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, Industrial Scene, for WPA, 1938, watercolor, detail. Spertus Institute, Chicago.