Ordnance Operations: War Art at the Renaissance Society

Ralph Graham, Cover of War Art exhibition catalogue, 1942.
Courtesy of Institute of Design Collection, Box 3, Folder 84,
University of Illinois at Chicago Library, Special Collections.

Thu, Dec 3, 2015
(This event has already happened.)

Midway Studios, the Great Hall
929 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637

In 1942, the year following U.S. entry into World War II, the Renaissance Society hosted exhibitions of old master prints, new trends in American sculpture, and masterpieces of ancient China, as well as an exhibition of “War Art”—objects, manuals, charts, and plans designed in Chicago to further the war effort—curated by László Moholy-Nagy.

With an eye towards this exhibition, art historian Maggie Taft discusses how World War II transformed Chicago’s art scene, and how artists and curators imagined and articulated the relationship between art and war.

Maggie Taft received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on mid-20th century design in and between Europe and the United States. Making Danish Modern, her book project, examines the production, circulation, and use of Danish design at home and overseas. She is also co-editing and co-authoring Into the City: A History of Chicago Art and Design.