The Great Migration in Art and Visual Culture

Programs for Teachers
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Thursday, March 14, 2013 to Friday, March 15, 2013

9 am to 3 pm

Full, Wait List Available

Towner Fellows Lounge

Kenneth Warren, University of Chicago

Robert Bone, who launched the study of the what he termed the Chicago Renaissance in a 1986 article, “Richard Wright and the Chicago Renaissance” argued that in the decades from 1930 through 1950 Chicago writers and artists had produced a cultural reawakening rivaling the better known and much-chronicled Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.These artists, a group that includes Margaret Borroughs, Charles Davis, Archibald J. Motley Jr., and Gordon Parks, may not have coalesced into a single school, but together they provide a composite portrait of the life, triumphs, and trials of Chicago’s black population during the period of migration, a social phenomenon that shaped US history during the first half of the 20th century. These works together with the works of the many African American writers who wrote and published in Chicago including most prominently, Richard Wright, will provide the focus of the two-day seminar. In particular, we will consider Richard Wright’s and Edwin Rosskam’s 12 Million Black Voices and Wayne F. Miller’s Chicago’s Southside, 1946 – 1948, as well as examine works by Archibald J. Motley, Jr. and those in Jacob Lawrence’s “The Migration Series.”

As part of the seminar, participants will tour the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition, They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1900–1950.

This seminar is sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Cost and registration information: 

Note: This seminar will include a third session in late June 2013 (specific date to be determined per CPS schedule). Participants must attend all three sessions. 

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