Free things to do in Chicago this summer: Chicago Cultural Center / by Alejandro Mallado

Love for Sale: The Graphic Art of Valmor Products

Everybody wants love. And who doesn’t want to have good luck and success in life? Or to look their best? Quietly operating from Chicago’s South Side between the 1920s and 1980s, the Valmor Products Company offered all these things and more. Perfumes, hair pomades, incense, and a wide variety of other products came packaged in small bottles and tins with eye-catching labels affirming the mystical powers of the products within. Produced in small quantities and targeted to minority consumers, the distinctive graphic designs of Valmor’s products were nearly forgotten. But in a lucky circumstance of historical “lost and found”, the Chicago Cultural Center is displaying the first comprehensive exhibition of these remarkable works of graphic design. Tiny labels – some no bigger that a postage stamp - will be enlarged to poster-size using contemporary imaging technology. Also displayed will be vintage bottles, product containers and original artwork which in themselves embody complex stories of cultural history.

Dates: 
April 25-August 2, 2015

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist

The FREE exhibition Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist celebrates twentieth-century American artist Archibald J. Motley, Jr. (1891-1981) and reveals his continued impact on art history. While considered a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, Motley never lived in New York but rather played that role from Chicago – his home for most of his life.

This full-scale survey of 42 remarkable paintings chronicles the African-American experience, including life in Chicago’s Bronzeville, and gives a radical interpretation of urban culture of the Jazz Age 1920s and 1930s. Spanning 40 years and representing various periods of his lifelong career, the exhibition also includes his noteworthy canvases of Jazz Age Paris and 1950s Mexico, as well as works that address slavery and racism.

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist at the Chicago Cultural Center is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by Columbia College Chicago. The exhibition originated at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and was curated by Dr. Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke. Grant support to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events provided by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Support to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art; the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; and the Henry Luce Foundation; and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

Dates: 
March 7-August 31, 2015

SOURCE: Chicago Cultural Center