Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Smart Museum - The Time is Now. Chicago Illinois

I am interrupting my visit to Hyde Park, NY, to share and excellent exhibit that happens to be in another Hyde Park – Chicago. The Amazing Ms. D and I arrived in Chicago with only a few hours to pass before our flight home. Looking for something to do, but not wanting to wade through the expanse of the Art Institute, we headed to a smaller museum – The Smart Museum, on the campus of the University of Chicago.

The Smart Museum was founded by the University of Chicago in 1967 with a gift from the Smart Family Foundation. Brothers David and Alfred Smart were the founders of several Chicago based magazines, including Esquire and Verve along with Coronet Film company. The museum now houses over 15,000 works.

What drew us to the Smart Museum was the exhibition The Time Is Now, a collection of artworks created on Chicago’s South Side during the 1960’s and 70’s. The South Side, where the University of Chicago is located, was the center of African American life in Chicago from the 1920’s through today. It was also home to a large number of students. As the political movements for Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Liberation and against the Viet Nam War grew, they inspired many artists in the area to create new works. At the same time several galleries open in the area that exhibited works by these artists, who were often shut of the more traditional galleries.

Neon Row by Jarrell Wadsworth

The Time Is Now presents several aspects of the art world on Chicago’s South Side at that time. There are pieces of “fine art,” paintings and sculptures, along with panels from murals that decorated the streets of the neighborhood. There are also political posters, and advertisements created for concerts, rallies and art shows. All together the show presents a look back at an era of political and artistic movements that has been largely forgotten.

Gyrations of American Gothic by Norman Parrish Jr.

Bound by Nathan Wright

Hyperspace Totem by Yaoundé Olu
 The Time is Now is open until Dec 31. If you are in the Chicago area go down to the South Side and see it.

Getting There:
From The Loop: Take the J14 bus towards Washington/Jefferson or the 2 bus towards Cottage Grove/60th street. They will leave you on the University of Chicago campus. 

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