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Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago
This fascinating volume explores how research, craft, and technology are united in the Art Institute of Chicago’s mission to preserve its collection and further art-historical knowledge. Addressing the many challenges conservators face, the publication highlights their work on objects from throughout the museum, including books, furniture, electronic media, paintings, photographs, posters, sculpture, and textiles.

An introductory essay traces the development of the profession and its specific history at the Art Institute. Case studies written by the museum’s conservators and curators examine diverse works ranging from an ancient Egyptian statue of Osiris to Bruce Nauman’s video Clown Torture. The authors explore how they determine appropriate treatment, uncover an artist’s intentions and techniques, and employ pathbreaking new technologies.
Print publication date January 2006 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300113426
EISBN 9780300235807
Illustrations 159 Illus.
Print Status out of print
Elizabeth Catlett: In the Image of the People
Painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Elizabeth Catlett (b. 1915) played an influential role in America's African American and Mexico's revolutionary art communities in the mid-twentieth century. Catlett studied at the University of Iowa (where she briefly worked with Grant Wood), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Art Students League in New York before moving to Mexico in 1947.

Focusing on Catlett’s evocative Negro Woman series from 1946–47, this book reveals Catlett’s commitment to social and political issues. All of the fifteen linoleum prints are featured together address the harsh reality of black women’s labor; renowned historical heroines such as Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Phillis Wheatley; and the fears, struggles, and achievements of ordinary African American women. Other notable works by Catlett are also included, and an absorbing essay by distinguished scholar Melanie Anne Herzog analyzes the artist’s powerful work from a biographical perspective.
Print publication date February 2006 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300116120
EISBN 9780300235821
Illustrations 26 Illus.
Print Status in print
José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Broadside
José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913), one of Mexico’s most important graphic artists, influenced the generation who lived through and pictured the Mexican Revolution. His powerful and visually arresting newspaper illustrations and woodcut broadsides—whose subjects range from news to religion, from corridos (escapades of bandits and heroes) to calveras (skeletal figures associated with the Day of the Dead)—reflect indigenous folk-art traditions. In these graphically powerful penny handbills, Posada responded to the political and social issues of his day, addressed cultural ills, and spread moral ideas.

Focusing on the Art Institute of Chicago’s impressive and previously unpublished collection of prints by Posada, this book examines his work and places it in the larger context of Mexican printmaking in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With reproductions of Posada’s forceful and lively prints, as well as fascinating technical analyses of these works, the book is essential to anyone interested in the graphic arts of Latin America.

{The original print edition of this book was bilingual (English/Spanish), but the Spanish was not retained for the online version presented here.}
Author
Print publication date September 2006 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300121377
EISBN 9780300239843
Illustrations 35 Illus.
Print Status out of print
What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print
Established in Mexico City in 1937, the Taller de Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphic Art Workshop) sought to create prints, posters, and illustrated publications that were popular and affordable, accessible and politically topical, and above all formally compelling. Founded by the printmakers Luís Arenal, Leopoldo Méndez, and American-born Pablo O’Higgins, the TGP ultimately became the most influential and enduring leftist printmaking collective of its time.

The workshop was admired for its prolific and varied output and for its creation of some of the most memorable images in midcentury printmaking. Although its core membership was Mexican, the TGP welcomed foreign members and guest artists as diverse as Josef Albers and Elizabeth Catlett. The collective enjoyed international influence and renown and inspired the establishment of similar print collectives around the world. This publication features twenty-four works representing the finest linocuts and lithographs from the heyday of this important workshop. These arresting images are drawn from the significant holdings of TGP works in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

{The original print edition of this book was bilingual (English/Spanish), but the Spanish was not retained for the online version presented here.}
Print publication date August 2014 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300207781
EISBN 9780300235814
Illustrations 25 Illus.
Print Status in print
African Americans in Art: Selections from The Art Institute of Chicago
This special, expanded issue of Museum Studies focuses on the Art Institute of Chicago's growing collection of works by African Americans. Essays on the work of such influential artists as Archibald J. Motley, Jr., Marion Perkins, and Lorna Simpson are presented along with an article on the Art Institute’s striking daguerreotype of Abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass. In addition to these essays, a portfolio section features twenty-nine images, with informative, brief entries examining each work. This important publication presents an overview of the concerns surrounding race in art, celebrates the achievements of a number of gifted African American artists, and provides a broad, multifaceted view of American art and culture.
Author
Print publication date May 1999 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300114799
EISBN 9780300236859
Illustrations 95 Illus.
Print Status out of print
Window on the West: Chicago and the Art of the New Frontier 1890–1940
With the landmark World's Columbian Exposition, held in 1893, Chicago established its identity as a "Window on the West": an economic and cultural hub linking the traditions of the East with the resources of the West after the official "closure" of the frontier declared that year by Frederick Jackson Turner. During the period 1890–1940, Chicago experienced tremendous population growth, pioneered numerous technological advances, and contributed to the development of artistic modernism.

Chicago artists looked back at an imagined, idyllic past and romantic Indian heroes, and forward to an equally utopian future in which American culture would rediscover its soul through contact with "authentic" native peoples and artistic expressions. A number of important patrons supported these artists in their quest to depict the West and Southwest. Individuals as diverse as railway entrepreneur Edward E. Ayer; five-term mayor Carter H. Harrison, Jr.; real estate mogul and politician George F. Harding; and progressively inclined Art Institute director Daniel Catton Rich shared a desire for uniquely American art, fostered in Chicago and featuring motifs found tin the West and Southwest. The art they commissioned and collected took many forms: the broad array of media and styles presented here range from the naturalistic sculpture of Frederic Remington and Hermon Atkins MacNeil, through the colorful Taos paintings of Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins, to the modernist abstractions of Georgia O'Keeffe.

This publication provides a focused social and cultural history of the role played by Chicago artists and patrons in the evolution of a visual language for depicting the landscape and people of the American West. These works of art both reflected and influenced the nation's perspective on its land, people, and history.
Author
Print publication date January 2003 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780865591998
EISBN 9780300234329
Illustrations 170 illus.
Print Status out of print
The Art of the Edge: European Frames 1300–1900
This essential guide features individual entries of exceptional frames from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. An essay by Steven Starling charts the development and stylistic history of frames, referencing examples included in the catalogue. Additionally, Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset's foundational essay illuminates the large, broader conceptual issues associated with the subject. The book includes a glossary of terms and an extensive, interdisciplinary bibliography.
Print publication date January 1986 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780865590625
EISBN 9780300234008
Illustrations 112 illus.
Print Status out of print
The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes
Marking the Columbus quincentennial, this catalog of a traveling exhibition explores the common threads in fourteen pre-Columbian cultures, from the Olmec, Maya, and Aztec of Mexico and Guatemala through the Chavin culture (900–200 B.C.) of the Andes to the Moche, Chimu, and the Inca empire. The book contains essays from 26 scholars examining sacred geographies, myths, and ancient beliefs as they are transmitted through visual arts and architecture.
Author
Print publication date December 1998 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780865591042
EISBN 9780300226997
Illustrations 427
Print Status in print
Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest
In the flourishing ancient Indian communities of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico, master potters created ceramic arts that are considered among the most accomplished in the world. The symbolic imagery and distinctive local styles of the region are unmistakable—simple volumetric shapes covered with complex, interlocking geometrical designs that are sometimes combined with bold abstract animal, human, and composite figures. Within this shared tradition are clearly identifiable local styles and symbolic vocabularies, and this lavishly illustrated book focuses on one of them: the ceramic works of the Casas Grandes-Paquimé area of northwest Mexico and adjoining parts of New Mexico and Arizona, c. A.D. 1200–1400.

For the first time on a comprehensive scale, expert art historians and an artist-teacher discuss the complex imagery of approximately ninety Casas Grandes vessels with fifty pieces representing other major styles of the Greater Southwest. Superb examples show polychromatic designs of real and mythological animals, together with abstract human figures and remarkably varied geometries, demonstrating the imaginative complexity and exceptional achievement of the Casas Grandes potters. Certain motifs reflect affinities with distant Mesoamerica, yet the authors show that these forms were absorbed into a visual vocabulary that reflected the unique artistic and cosmological outlook of Casas Grandes, within the native Southwestern cultural tradition.
Print publication date October 2005 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300111484
EISBN 9780300227000
Illustrations 240
Print Status in print
Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South
Along the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers, the archaeological remains of earthen pyramids, plazas, large communities, and works of art and artifacts testify to Native American civilizations that thrived there between 3000 B.C. and A.D. 1500. This fascinating book presents exciting new information on the art and cultures of these ancient peoples and features hundreds of photographs of important artworks, artifacts, and ritual objects excavated from Amerindian archaeological sites.

Drawing on excavation findings and extensive research, the contributors to the book document a succession of distinct ancient populations in the pre-Columbian world of the American Midwest and Southeast. A team of interdisciplinary scholars examines the connections between archaeological remains of different regions and the themes, forms, and rituals that continue in specific tribes of today. The book also includes the personal reflections of contemporary Native Americans who discuss their perspectives on the significance of the fascinating and beautiful prehistoric artifacts as well as their own cultural practices today.
Print publication date October 2004 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300106015
EISBN 9780300225600
Illustrations 430
Print Status in print
Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light
American painter Winslow Homer (1836–1910) created some of the most breathtaking and influential watercolors in the history of the medium. This volume provides a comprehensive look at Homer’s technical and artistic practice as a watercolorist, and at the experiences that shaped his remarkable development. Focusing on 25 rarely seen watercolors from the Art Institute’s collection, along with 75 other related watercolors, gouaches, drawings, and paintings—including many of the artist’s characteristic subjects—the book proposes a new understanding of Homer’s techniques as they evolved over his career. Accessibly written essays consider each of the featured works in detail, examining the relationship between monochrome drawing and watercolor and the artist’s lifelong interest in new optical and color theories. In particular, they show how his sojourn in England—where he encountered leading British marine watercolorists and the dynamic avant-garde art scene—precipitated an abrupt change in technique and subject matter upon his return home. Conservators address the fragility of these watercolors, which are prone to fading due to light exposure, and demonstrate, through pioneering research on Homer’s pigments and computer-assisted imaging, how the works have changed over time. Several of Homer’s greatest watercolors are digitally “restored,” providing an exhilarating glimpse of the original impact of Homer’s groundbreaking color experiments.
Print publication date February 2008 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300119459
EISBN 9780300233629
Illustrations 286
Print Status in print
Ancient West Mexico: Art and Archaeology of the Unknown Past
This volume documents the splendid accomplishments of Ancient West Mexico, and brings together some of its finest examples of sculptural art, including representations of people, animals and plants, as well as vessels and models of houses, ceremonial centres, ball games and ritual scenes. All the extraordinary earthenware figures illustrated here have been recovered from burial sites and shaft tombs. They represent a wide range of subjects — warriors, chieftains, ladies, acrobats, shamans, musicians, ball players, festival couples and bound prisoners — in a variety of styles from about 200 BC to AD 800 — that compose the artistic canon of Ancient West Mexico, a region encompassing the modern states of Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit.
Author
Print publication date January 1998 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780500050927
EISBN 9780300222074
Illustrations 415
Print Status in print