Featured Chicago Programs

The Terra Foundation is committed to serving Chicago audiences through American art exhibitions and programs. Below are links to public programs and special programs for educators in Chicago. This page will feature recent and upcoming exhibition and program highlights. The exhibitions and programs listed below are funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. More information is available at our Chicago events page.

Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art
The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929-1940
January 17, 2014 through June 22, 2014

The Left Front examines the question “What are an artist’s responsibilities to society?” through the John Reed Club, an organization that argued that artists shouldn’t be aesthetes aloof from social and political struggles. The exhibition examines how Chicago’s industrial legacy, ethnic diversity, history of labor unrest, and progressive institutions like Hull House influenced local John Reed Club artist-members, including Morris Topchevsky and Carl Hoeckner. Read more about the exhibit here.

The Art Institute of Chicago
Lectures on American Art: Innovation and Scholarship

Cotton Picking, American Art, and Thomas Hart Benton,”
Austen Barron Bailly, Peabody Essex Museum
April 24, 2014, 6 pm

The Museum of Contemporary Photography
“Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning”
Film Screening, Conversation, Reception and Book signing with filmmaker Dyanna Taylor and writer and scholar Elizabeth Partridge. 
Monday, June 2, 2014

Film Screening and Conversation, 6 pm
Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave., Second Floor

Reception and Book signing, 7 pm
Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S Michigan Ave.
Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust Lecture Series
Frank Lloyd Wright: Origins and Influences

Vienna 1910: A Survey of the City’s Architecture and Design Scene during Frank Lloyd Wright’s Visit,”
Christian Witt-Dorring, Independent Curator and Neue Galerie (NY) Consulting Curator
July 17, 2014, 6pm
Pritzker Auditorium (Monroe Building), 104 S. Michigan Ave.

Traditional Japanese Art as a Means Toward Organic Architecture,”
Kevin Nute, Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon
August 7, 2014, 6pm
Pritzker Auditorium (Monroe Building), 104 S. Michigan Ave.
Frank Lloyd Wright and the Origins of the House as a Work of Art
Dr. Wendy Hitchmough, Curator, the Charleston Trust
September 11, 2014 , 6pm   
Pritzker Auditorium (Monroe Building), 104 S. Michigan Ave.

View videos of previous Terra Foundation-supported programs from this series here.

“Artbeat” on Chicago

Since 2007, with support from the Terra Foundation, Chicago PBS affiliate WTTW11 has created a series of informative segments on American art. “Artbeat,” which airs on the network’s award-winning weeknight news show Chicago Tonight, offers a fascinating look at the city’s art history, covering prominent artists, collections, exhibitions, and historically significant spaces in Chicago.

Topics range from outsider artist Henry Darger and photographers and friends Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind to Tiffany decoration at the Chicago Cultural Center and Progressive-era murals in Chicago schools. Recent “Artbeat” segments focused on the Elmhurst Art Museum, the exhibition Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North at the Newberry Library, and Tiffany Art at the Driehaus Museum.

Visit the Chicago Tonight website to view other “Artbeat” segments here

Terra Foundation Lectures on American Art at the Chicago Humanities Festival 

Since 2005, the Terra Foundation has awarded several multi-year grants to the Chicago Humanities Festival to support a public lecture on the history of American art and visual culture at the organization’s annual two-week celebration. The Terra Foundation Lecture on American Art exposes Chicagoans to leading scholars and thinkers in the field.  Learn more about past lectures here.