© 2008 University of Chicago Library
Preservation of this collection was supported with a generous gift from the University of Chicago Service League.
57th Street Art Fair. Records
9 linear feet (6 boxes)
Special Collections Research Center
This collection contains the planning and promotional materials for the 57th Street Art Fair, including meeting minutes, reports, posters, textiles, banners and buttons.
Open for research. No restrictions
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: 57th Street Art Fair. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Chicago’s 57th Street Art Fair continues its role as one of the country’s largest not-for-profit art fairs dedicated to exhibiting original art by artists who sell their own work. The Art Fair originated in 1948 when Hyde Park gallery owner May Louise Womer saw a need for local artists to network with each other and to their public directly. Invitations for the outdoor event were sent to galleries, art schools, and artists throughout the city. Initially the fair was open to all artists, but as the response grew each year, there became a need to limit entrants. In 1963, the Art Fair Committee was organized. Composed of critics, collectors, curators and artists, the panel chose which artists would display their work in the fair. This screening process is still in effect today. Once an artist is accepted, their exhibit space is held for their return through subsequent fairs; around 500 aspiring exhibitors compete for the 40 to 50 spaces that are vacated each year. Recently, over 300 artists exhibited in the Fair. Every year since 1948 there has been a 57th Street Art Fair, usually held the first weekend in June.
This collection contains the planning and promotional materials for the 57th Street Art Fair. Boxes 1 and 2 include administrative records of the Fair Committee, including minutes, financial reports, budgets and by-laws. These boxes also contain newspaper clippings about the Art Fair, lists of award winners, and an assortment of promotional materials including programs, postcards and bookmarks. Boxes 3-6 contain oversized materials. Boxes 3, 4 and 5 hold banners and posters of varying sizes, while box 6 contains t-shirts and other textiles.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
|Box 1 Folder 1|
Art Alfresco exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, 1977
|Box 1 Folder 2|
Artist’s postcards and brochures, 1980-2001
|Box 1 Folder 3|
Award winners, 1998-2002
|Box 1 Folder 4|
|Box 1 Folder 5|
Fair committee information and roster, 1972-1973
|Box 1 Folder 6|
Fair information and reports, 1980-1981
|Box 1 Folder 7|
Forms not in use, n.d.
|Box 1 Folder 8|
|Box 1 Folder 9|
Planning material, 1969-2001
|Box 1 Folder 10|
Printing samples, 1978
|Box 1 Folder 11-12|
Promotional materials, programs, postcards and bookmarks, 1975-1998
|Box 2 Folder 1-8|
Promotional materials, programs, postcards and bookmarks, 1999- 2007
|Box 2 Folder 9|
Publicity, newspaper clippings, 1974-1998
|Box 2 Folder 10|
Treasurer’s reports and budgets, 1971-1981
Large banners, vinyl, 1998-1999
Posters and buttons, 1999-2007