Terra Foundation-supported Events

Exhibition: Todros Geller: Strange Worlds

Todros Geller: Strange Worlds focuses on the multifaceted oeuvre of Todros Geller (1889–1949), an influential Chicago artist and central figure in the history of modern American Jewish art. Born in Ukraine, Geller immigrated to Chicago in 1918, which remained his home until his death. An active proponent of the concept of Jewish art, he served as a mentor to numerous Chicago Jewish artists and as a prominent educator, first as a teacher at the Jewish People’s Institute and Jane Addams Hull House, then as supervisor of art for the College of Jewish Studies (later Spertus Institute) and acting director of The Jewish Museum in Chicago. In both work and life, Geller reflected the prevailing social, political, and artistic concerns of his time, while remaining intimately entwined with Chicago’s evolving Jewish community and its efforts to establish, maintain, and promote Jewish identity.

This exhibition draws from the unique holdings from the Spertus Institute’s collection to survey the broad scope of Geller’s creative endeavors. In addition to a broad range of paintings, prints, and works on paper, the collection includes an extensive archive of Geller’s personal materials, encompassing preparatory sketches, letters, books, postcards, periodicals, news articles, photographs, posters, book illustrations, and bookplates. Todros Geller: Strange Worlds draws on these unique resources—the majority on view for the first time—to examine the public and private concerns that animated Geller’s work throughout his career.

This exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

For more information, please visit: https://www.spertus.edu/exhibitions/strange-worlds