A Fall Museum Preview


To those who decry the merciless Chicago heat, the brisk cool isn’t the only thing you can look forward to this fall. From large scale expositions to smaller gallery exhibitions, CGN has made a comprehensive list of great art events to come. I recently completed an internship at Chicago Gallery News this spring, and with all the information that comes through the office, I selected just a few special exhibitions coming up in area museums that I am looking forward to and that I hope you will enjoy as well.

(Editor's note: an additional fall round-up of gallery opening highlights will be published by CGN in early September)


The Time is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago's South Side, 1960-1980 

September 13–December 30

Smart Museum of Art

During the 1960s and 70s, Chicago was shaped by art and ideas produced and circulated on its South Side. Defined by the city’s social, political, and geographic divides and by the energies of its multiple overlapping art scenes, it was a vibrant era of creative expression that produced a cultural legacy whose impact continues to unfold nationally and internationally.

The Time Is Now! examines this watershed cultural moment—brimming with change and conflict—and the figures who defined it. A companion book is being published with the DuSable Museum as well. 

Also, on Saturday, September 15 from 11am-6pm in various south side locations, an all-day festival of art, music, film, and food marks opening of The Time Is Now! and other Art Design Chicago projects across the South Side. 

Top image:  Carolyn Lawrence, Uphold Your Men, Unify Your Families (detail), 1971, Screenprint on wove paper. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of David Lusenhop in honor of the artist, 2013.7. © Carolyn Lawrence.


James Webb: Prayer

Museum Admission $20+

Sept. 7–Dec. 31

The Art Institute of Chicago

A project by South African visual artist and musician James Webb, this exhibit encompasses recordings of prayers from members of various faiths and spiritual affinites throughout the city of Chicago. The prayers are played on 12 speakers mounted onto a red carpet which visitors can walk up to and closely listen to the prayers being uttered. The work aims to showcase the humanity and solidarity that comes across in the vulnerable act of prayer. Webb’s Chicago version of Prayer is his first in North America, having remade this project ten times in various cities since his first in Cape Town, South Africa in 2000 following the end of apartheid.  


Hairy Who 1966-1969

Museum Admission from $20+

Sept. 27–Jan. 6, 2019

The Art Institute of Chicago 

In collaboration with Art Design Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago presents Hairy Who 1966-1969, a collective of work made by Chicago-based School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) graduates  Karl Wirsum, Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Suellen Rocca and Jim Nutt. Starting in the 1960s, the self-made group of artists showcased their vibrant, avant garde and graphic work, which commented on sexuality, gender and social norms, at the Hyde Park Art Center. The exhibition is presented on the 50th anniversary of their final Chicago show, featuring prints, drawings and paintings by the group.


The Many Hats of Ralph Arnold: Art, Identity, and Politics

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago

October 11–December 21

The Museum of Contemporary Photography presents The Many Hats of Ralph Arnold: Art, Identity, and Politics. This exhibition showcases the artwork of American artist and teacher Ralph Arnold, who created a body of collages as a response to popular ideas and media depictions regarding gender, race, sexuality during the 1960s and 70s that continues to remain relevant in Chicago’s art scene, even in 2018.


Quilt + Resist: Art, Politics, Storytelling

Woman Made Gallery

Nov 9-Dec 1

Free and open to the public. Opening reception on Friday, November 9.

This event showcases roughly 40 female-identifying quilters who aim to tell stories with a variety of methods -- whether it be abstract or pictoral.  Juried by artist and teacher Marcia Grubb and quilt maker, activist and psychologist Adelia Moore, the quilts exhibited aim to tell a variety of stories from different women artists, depicting how they view and interpret the world around them.  


Saints & Sinners Walking Tour: Chicago's Legacy of Virtue and Vice

Fridays through September

Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Tickets $30-$50. Ages 21+

During this walking tour, which takes place weekly this fall, not only will attendees explore Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, but they’ll learn all about Chicago’s prohibition history and the key players in the Temperance movement between 1848–1871. They will also view numerous historic landmarks and pubs and sip spirits from renowned pubs along the way.  


CGN's complete calendar of exhibitions and openings may be found here