June 14 (Day 1): Newberry Library
The first day will consist of introductory readings and discussion of design history and pedagogical approaches to object and image study in a range of disciplines. In the morning session, we will discuss readings and share individual goals for learning and project development. In the afternoon, the group will view and discuss a selection of typography and ephemera from the Newberry’s collection with Jill Gage, Custodian of the Wing Foundation on the History of Printing and Liesl Olson. This collection introduces text and type as an area of design history. The holdings of Chicago graphic and print materials document the convergence of small-press artists, booming retail and catalog industries, and both African American and immigrant publishing ventures.
9:30am: Coffee and Introductions
12:00-1:30pm: Lunch (provided)
1:30-3:30pm: Collections Presentation with Jill Gage
June 15 (Day 2): UIC Special Collections + Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
The second day of the seminar will be devoted to resources at the University of Illinois at Chicago. We will begin at UIC Special Collections, which holds a diverse range of archives related to the history of design in Chicago. Assistant Professor and Special Collections Librarian Kellee E. Warren together with Jonathan Mekinda will lead seminar participants in an exploration of these design archives as well as other holdings pertaining to design-adjacent activities. Reflecting the strengths of the archival holdings at UIC, the seminar activities here will examine the various strands of activity in Chicago that fostered the popularization and professionalization of design beyond architecture. In the afternoon, the seminar will visit the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, where the group will explore the museum’s history and collections, including work created by Jesus Torres at the Hull-House kilns. The discussion at JAHMM will focus on the particular tradition of social reform central to Hull-House and the workshops and practices organized by the settlement house.
9:30am: Arrive at east entrance to Daley library
12:30-2:00pm: Lunch at JAHHM (provided)
June 16 (Day 3): Chicago Cultural Center; Art Institute of Chicago
On the third day, the group will explore the use of objects and architectural materials in teaching design. At the Chicago Cultural Center we will discuss Chicago design and ephemera. Traveling from the Chicago Cultural Center to the Art Institute of Chicago, with stops at key building exteriors in the Loop, we will review the history of Chicago skyscrapers and consider the use of existing buildings in classroom discussions and assignments. At the Art Institute, Bess Williamson will lead a discussion of “where is design in museums?” with Architecture and Design curator Alison Fisher. We will end our visit with time to view highlights of the Art Institute’s collections including integrated displays of modern painting and decorative arts in American Art.
10:00am: Meet in Lobby of Chicago Cultural Center
12:00pm: Lunch on own
1:30pm: Meet at Art Institute; enter on Michigan Avenue
4pm: End of session; Art Institute will remain open until 8pm for those who would like to stay
June 17 (Day 4): The Vivian G. Harsh Research and the South Side Community Art Center
On the final day, we will explore the history and practices of African American designers who worked in Chicago’s South Side. In the morning, we will visit the Hyde Park Art Center, where textile artist Robert Paige will give a tour of his studio and talk about his design career and current practice. In the afternoon, we will visit the Vivian G. Harsh Collection, where archivists Beverly Cook and Beth Loch as well as historian Davarian Baldwin will guide participants through the world of Black print culture and printmaking as archived in the papers of William McBride. We will conclude the workshop with a short seminar meeting to reflect upon the week’s activities.
9:00am: Meet at Newberry for bus; Travel to Hyde Park Art Center
11:45am: Lunch (Provided)
12:30pm: Bus to Harsh Collection
4:00pm: Bus back to Newberry
7:00pm: Dinner at Olson residence
The workshop will continue through two virtual meetings during which participants will share and receive feedback on their pedagogical projects. The idea is that participants will be given time to absorb the ideas and content of the workshop, in order to develop a new (or revised) syllabus, a series of assignments, prompts, lectures, and/or other pedagogical projects. The first meeting will take place two weeks after the conclusion of the in-person workshop, in small groups of five participants, with each director (Dingwall, Mekinda, Olson, Williamson) overseeing one of the groups. The second meeting, three weeks after the conclusion of the in-person workshop, will gather the full group together again to share work, and to synthesize ideas about how to teach design history.