Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society

Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Le Baiser (The Kiss), 2000. Courtesy of the artist, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

December 18, 2012
Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society

In a newly released book, editors Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelynn Baas foreground Chicago and its crucial role in the history of modern innovation. Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society, co-published by the University of Chicago Press and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is now available.

Chicago Makes Modern applies the missions of a brilliant group of historic innovators to our own time, boldly remapping 20th-century modernism from our new-century perspective. The book raises the questions: How did the modern mind—deeply reflective, yet simultaneously directed—help to dramatically alter our perspectives on the world and make it new? What has been left undone that draws us back to the modern to reexamine and take it up again?

From the radical social and artistic perspectives implemented by Jane Addams, John Dewey, and Buckminster Fuller to the avant-garde designs of László Moholy-Nagy and Mies van der Rohe, the prodigious offerings of Chicago’s modern minds left an indelible legacy for future generations. Staging the city as a laboratory for some of our most heralded cultural experiments, Chicago Makes Modern reimagines the modern as a space of self-realization and social progress—where individual visions triggered profound change.

Mary Jane Jacob, Professor and Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, joined by Jacquelynn Baas, an independent scholar and Director Emeritus of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, have curated a unique group of invested and insightful contemporary voices demonstrating how and why the city of Chicago continues to be a keystone for any consideration of the modern world. Contributors include:

Ai Weiwei, Amy Beste, artway of thinking, Marcos Corrales, Carla Duarte, Ângela Ferreira, Madhuvanti Ghose, Michael J. Golec, Anna Halprin, Charles Harrison, Walter Hood, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Justine Jentes, Ronald Jones, Narelle Jubelin, Jitish Kallat, Walter E. Massey, Ben Nicholson, Helen Maria Nugent, Michelangelo Pistoletto, J. Morgan Puett, Zoë Ryan, Staffan Schmidt, Elizabeth A. T. Smith, Maggie Taft, Jan Tichy, Tricia Van Eck, Arturo Vittori, Andreas Vogler, and Kate Zeller.

Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society
University of Chicago Press
35 USD | 304 pages | 72 color plates, 30 halftones | 7-5/8 x 9-3/4 | © 2012
Edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelynn Baas
Published December 15, 2012

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also enables adults, high school students, middle school students, and children to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC’s resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit

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December 18, 2012

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