On October 21, 2016 a reception opens an exhibit co-curated by Lara Allison, lecturer in art history, theory and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Jack Weiss, former chairman of the 27 Chicago Designers and current president of the Chicago Design Archive, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the 27 Chicago Designers in 1936. The event will be held at the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Illinois at Chicago Richard J. Daley Library.
Focusing on the original members of the 27 Chicago Designers, the exhibit charts the development of a collaborative or team-driven approach to design, the incorporation of modernist and experimental practices into American design culture during the 1930s and 1940s and the promotion of Chicago as a center for advanced commercial design and advertising.
The Special Collections and University Archives department at the UIC Library holds materials produced by the 27 Chicago Designers including 38 design books published by the organization from 1936-1991, as well as its administrative records. The UIC Library holds one of the most significant design collections in Chicago.
The 27 Chicago Designers organization was dedicated to promoting the work of its members — illustrators, typographers, photographers and designers. Important founders were type designers Oswald Cooper and R. Hunter Middleton. More recent members include internationally recognized John Massey and Rick Valicenti.
The exhibit features a catalog written by Allison and designed by Steve Liska, founder of branding and design firm Liska + Associates and former AIGA Chicago president, and a book edited by Jack Weiss and designed by Joseph Michael Essex, former 27 Chicago Designers chairman and member and current AIGA advisory board member, showcasing images from the 125 cumulative members of the 27, their biographies and selected text from some of the first editions. The exhibit primarily focuses on the 27 Chicago Designers design books, but also includes other materials produced by various members of the 27 from the UIC design collection and the Newberry Library.
Selling Design: 27 Chicago Designers 1936-1991 is open to the public through February 28, 2017. For more information, visit the UIC University Library website or call (312) 996-2742.
October 21, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be served.
UIC Special Collections and University Archives
Richard J. Daley Library
801 South Morgan Street
3rd Floor South
Chicago, IL 60607
Directions and parking: uic.edu/about/visit-directions
Please RSVP: (312) 996-2742