Modern Art & Design

Elisabeth and William M. Landes Gallery

Above: Installation view of the Smart's gallery of Modern Art and Design, showing works by Richard Hunt, Robert Motherwell, and John Chamberlain.

Top: Frank Lloyd Wright, Dining Table and Six Side Chairs, 1907–1910, Designed for the Frederick C. Robie Residence, Chicago. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, University Transfer, 1967.73-79.

The modern gallery features European and American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts dating from the 1880s to the early 1960s.

Highlights of the 2015–2016 installation include masterpieces like Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House furniture as well as newly acquired paintings by Paul Delvaux, Robert Motherwell, and Kenneth Noland on view for the first time. 

These and other works demonstrate the varied ways artists and designers of the period responded to a world transformed by industrialization, city population growth, and shifting social structures and political ideologies that spawned both mechanized warfare and new forms of urban leisure.

Artists devised innovative styles and subject matter to embody such experiences, including images of the city and its entertainments, the unconscious mind and charged inner feelings, and the formal and material properties of art itself.


Collection rotations

A small area of the gallery is dedicated to thematic displays of prints and drawings. These installations rotate every four months to protect the works from damage caused by long-term exposure to light.


Expressionist, New Objectivity, and Constructivist Prints, 1905–1925: Recent Acquisitions 
September 12, 2015–January 10, 2016
Prints by the Austrian, German, and Hungarian masters Max Beckmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Alfred Kubin, László Moholy-Nagy, Emil Nolde, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.


Monster Roster: Prints 
February 11–June 12, 2016
The concurrent Monster Roster exhibition is primarily concerned with painting and sculpture. But many of the artists associated with the movement also experimented with printmaking. This presentation of works from the Smart Museum’s collection highlights exemplary prints by Robert Barnes, Leon Golub, June Leaf, Seymour Rosofsky, Evelyn Statsinger, and H. C. Westermann.