South Side Stories: Rethinking Chicago Art, 1960–1980

September 13, 2018–December 30, 2018

Carolyn Lawrence, Uphold Your Men, Unify Your Families, 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.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Chicago was shaped by art and ideas produced and circulated on the South Side.

Yet the history of the period's creative and social ferment has often remained segregated by the city’s social, political, and geographic divides. This exhibition—organized by the Smart Museum in collaboration with the DuSable Museum of African American History and other cultural partners and presented concurrently with the DuSable’s exhibition South Side Stories: Holdings—takes a nuanced look at the cultural history of Chicago’s South Side during this momentous era of change and conflict, with a focus on artists of the Black Arts Movement.

Through nearly 100 objects, the show aims to upend dominant narratives of the period and to unearth rich stories by examining watershed cultural moments from the Hairy Who to the Wall of Respect, from the Civil Rights movement to the AfriCOBRA, from vivid protest posters to visionary outsider art, and from the Free University movement to the radical jazz of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

Art Design Chicago

This exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, a celebration of Chicago’s art and design legacy in 2018.