Opening Thursday, December 13th, from 6PM - 7:30PM
University of Michigan professor Dr. Deborah Dash Moore, a historian specializing in the American Jewish experience, will be in conversation with award-winning Chicago Sun-Times Urban Affairs Columnist Maudlyne Ihejirika, Thursday, December 13 from 6 to 7:30 pm. They will be discussing issues of segregation and immigration, both past and present, in relation to Todros Geller’s work.
This Program is held in conjunction with Todros Geller: Strange Worlds
The exhibition draws primarily from Spertus Institute’s collection — which includes extensive holdings of Geller’s paintings, prints, and works on paper as well as preparatory sketches, letters, books, postcards, articles, photographs, posters, and illustrations — to present the broad scope of Geller’s creative endeavors. More than 30 works in a range of mediums will be on view, along with a selection of unique archival materials to allow viewers to explore the public and private concerns that animated Geller’s work.
Born in Ukraine in 1889, Geller immigrated to Chicago in 1918 and made it his home until his death in 1949. He was inspired by the complex blending of old world traditions and modern culture that characterized Chicago — what he termed the collision of “strange worlds.” An active proponent of the concept of Jewish art, he served as a mentor to numerous Chicago Jewish artists and was a prominent educator, first 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).
In both work and life, Geller reflected the prevailing social, political, and artistic concerns of his time. Often fondly referred to as the “Dean of Chicago Jewish Artists,” he was intimately entwined with Chicago’s evolving Jewish community and its efforts to establish, maintain, and promote Jewish identity.
Todros Geller: Strange Worlds is organized by Ionit Behar, Spertus Institute Curator of Collections, and Dr. Susan Weininger, Roosevelt University Professor Emerita of Art History.
Todros Geller: Strange Worlds is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy. Art Design Chicago is an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Todros Geller: Strange Worlds is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Exhibitions at Spertus Institute are also made possible through the generous support of the Harry and Sadie Lasky and Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundations.