Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar | Newberry

Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar

From the Douglas McMurtrie Papers: Box 88, Folder 1714

Seminar sessions are held on Thursdays from 3–5 pm at the Newberry, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago has long been acknowledged for its contributions to architectural history but its seminal position in national and international conversations about design have long been under-explored. Building on its position as a national hub for railroad distribution, Chicago emerged in the twentieth century as a center of design with strong ties to the manufacturing, wholesale, retail, mail order, printing, and publishing industries that had long defined this midwestern city.

This seminar seeks to bring scholarly exposure to Chicago’s rich design legacy by focusing on the many ways that designers responded to the city’s shifting trends in manufacturing and corporate culture. The seminar will examine the important design personalities, institutions, and businesses that forged the city’s modern identity. The seminar focuses on the history of graphic, product, disability, and strategic design undertaken by artists and designers including Max Bill, Jay Doblin, Lilian Florsheim, and Georges Vantongerloo for institutions such as Container Corporation of America, IIT Institute of Design, and ICOGRADA.

The seminar is open to academics, graduate students, curators, artists, and the design community and will feature works-in-progress by scholars who address different aspects of Chicago design and commercial culture.

The Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar originated as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

The seminar’s 2019-2020 coordinators are Michael Golec, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Penelope Dean, UIC School of Architecture.

The Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Upcoming Seminars

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Ten Decades, Ten Under-Appreciated Chicago Designs
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Chicago Design 1946-1970: Place, People and Products
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Graphic Design: between Negation and Affirmation in Container Corporation’s Great Ideas Advertising Series, c. 1950-1980
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Walter Paepcke, IDCA, and the Challenge of Design in Post-War Corporate Culture
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Collecting Chicago Design: Who Should Do It, When, and Where
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Will Bradley’s Art of Art Direction
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Moholy-Nagy and the Materiality of Industry
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Bruce Rogers, Modern Design, and Chicago’s Caxton Club
Thursday, October 18, 2018
The Open Plan Office in the Windy City
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar
Exhibiting African American Design in Chicago