Collections & Exhibits

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Exhibit Thumbnail Title Locations Subjects
Exhibits
Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary: Children's Books and Graphic Art
Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary examines both the intensive and extensive dimensions of Soviet posters and children books.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Aug. 22 — Dec. 30, 2011
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Subjects
Slavic/Eastern Europe/Eurasia
Art
Allen Debus American Popular Music and Entertainment: The Gay Nineties to the Great Depression
Exploring a unique era in American musical and cultural history, the exhibit features sheet music, cylinders, discs, and phonographs from the extensive private collection of Allen G. Debus, the Morris Fishbein Professor of History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — May 31, 1989
Subjects
Music
Animal Vegetable Mineral Animal-Vegetable-Mineral: Natural History Illustration from the John Crerar Collection
The art and beauty of illustrated natural history books is celebrated in this exhibition. The collection exemplifies the development of natural history illustration and the role of the image in disseminating knowledge of the natural sciences.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Sept. 30, 1991
Subjects
History of Science
Art
Art in the Stacks Art in the Stacks
The Special Collections Research Center is known for being the University of Chicago Library’s center for rare books, manuscripts, and university archives. Nestled within these materials, there is a lesser known aspect of our collections—art. Art in the Stacks highlights these holdings with a selection of original paintings, drawings, and sculptures, in addition to artists’ books and other works on paper produced in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
June 19 — Sept. 15, 2017
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Subjects
Art
bakwin-010_100dpi copy.jpg An Art of Persuasion: Soviet Posters from the Library's Collections
The exhibit showcases twenty-four Soviet political posters from the 1930s. Drawn from the E.M. Bakwin Collection of Soviet Posters and the War Poster Collection in the Library, the exhibition explores the role that these images played in rallying the peoples of the Soviet Union to take up social, political, and war-time causes.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 31, 1987
Subjects
Art
Slavic/Eastern Europe/Eurasia
audobon.jpg Audubon's Birds
This exhibition serves as a model for an irregular series of displays from the set of Audubon prints over the next few years.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — May 1, 1996
Subjects
Organismal Biology
Art
The Book in the Age of Theatre Exhibit The Book in the Age of Theatre. 1550-1750
This exhibition explores the relationship between the printed book and the theater during a key period in their developments in Europe.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — April 1, 2001
Subjects
Theater
vanvechten.jpg Carl Van Vechten
Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964, University of Chicago Ph.B. '03), arts critic, novelist and photographer, played an important role in the American literary and arts scene of the 1920s through the 1940s. In addition to the acclaim he received for his own work, Van Vechten was instrumental in promoting the careers of other writers and artists, among them Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 1, 1994
Subjects
American Literature
Photography
Default Placeholder Photo Culture of the Camera: The Irving Leiden Collection
Culture of the Camera: The Irving Leiden Collection
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1979
Subjects
Photography
Curated Mysticism Curated Mysticism: Visual Representations of the Cosmos and Consciousness
Humans have had a long history of interpreting the "symbols" around them, from divining the future through the arrangement of stars in the night sky, to tracing out the lines of luck and life on palms, to predicting future fortunes from a stack of cards. This rich visual tradition of mysticism has trickled down to us today in the form of magazine horoscopes, "cootie catchers" (origami fortune tellers), appropriated evil eyes, and more recently, the outpouring of mandala colouring books.
Locations
Regenstein 1st Floor Reading Room
May 16 — July 31, 2016
Subjects
Religion
Art
scrc_baldridge_titlegraphic.jpg Cyrus Leroy Baldridge: Illustrator, Explorer, Activist
Cyrus Baldridge (1889-1977) was an artist, illustrator, and author whose travels took him across Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Far East. His artistic training began at age 9, followed by education at the University of Chicago. Baldridge also developed an acute social and political awareness through a range of experiences, from working in a social settlement house to cattle ranching in Texas.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
June 27 — Sept. 9, 2016
Subjects
Humanities
Social Sciences
Art
Diaghilev Ballet Russes Exhibit The Diaghilev Ballet Russes, 1909 - 1929: An Exhibition of Original Designs and Documents
This exhibition is being held on the occasion of a dance history seminar funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 1, 1975
Subjects
Dance
enguerre_cover.jpg En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I
En Guerre will offer a fresh examination of World War I through the lens of French graphic illustration of the period.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 14 — Jan. 2, 2015
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Subjects
European History
Art
Envisioning Earth Envisioning Earth
This exhibit points to historical references to conservation and the environment; the approach is one that is multidisciplinary, accomplished through music, literature, and cartography.
Locations
Regenstein 3rd Floor Reading Room
May 1 — Sept. 4, 2017
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Subjects
Maps
Literature
Music
Eva Watson Schutze Exhibition Catalog Cover Eva Watson Schutze and the Philosophers' Circle
Eva Watson Schutze, wife of a young German instructor at the University of Chicago, was a founding member of the Phot-Secession, a turn-of-the-century movement led by Alfred Steglitz that sought to establish photography as one of the fine arts. The exhibit includes letters, diaries and memoirs.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — April 1, 1985
Subjects
Photography
family album.jpg A Family Album--Unfamiliar Faces and Places from the University Archives
This exhibit invites students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University to help identify some of the mysterious people and places represented in unidentified photographs from the University Archives.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — April 1, 1982
Subjects
Photography
University of Chicago
Firmness Commodity Delight thumbnail Firmness Commodity and Delight
Firmness, Commodity, and Delight was the inaugural exhibition in the new Special Collections gallery, running from May through July 2011. The exhibition celebrated the opening of the new SCRC exhibition gallery and the completion of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library with a display of books, manuscripts, and archival drawings and photographs representing our collections in architecture. The exhibition also had two items provided by the architectural firms who designed the Mansueto and Special Collections spaces – one drawing each from Murphy/Jahn (Helmut Jahn) and Booth Hansen. The exhibition was presented in conjunction with "500 Years of the Illustrated Architecture Book," a city-wide festival marking the publication of the first illustrated book on architecture, the Fra Giocondo edition of Vitruvius's De architectura libri decem.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 9 — July 29, 2011
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Subjects
Architecture
Frederic Chopin and His Publishers Frederic Chopin and His Publishers
This exhibition, which surveys the relationship between Chopin's music and its publishing history, includes first editions, images of Chopin and his associates; facsimiles of autograph manuscripts; and later editions prepared by Chopin's students and performers of his music.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — April 30, 1998
Subjects
Music
History of Print
From Dreamland to Showcase Exhibit From Dreamland to Showcase: Jazz in Chicago, 1912 to 1996
This show highlights the development of jazz music and musicians in the Chicago area through the use of sheet music, photographs, recordings, music manuscripts, posters and other treasures from the University Library's Chicago Jazz Archive and from private collections.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Feb. 28, 1997
Subjects
Music
Silhouette of Crowd with Shahada The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts
Designed for mass distribution and aimed towards a large public audience, posters embed social, political, and religious concerns that frequently are articulated through both text and image. Perhaps more so than at any other moment in recent history, posters served as powerful modalities for mobilization and communication during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88).
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 15 — Dec. 18, 2011
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Subjects
Middle East
Art
Default Placeholder Photo A Gray City Playbill: Student Theatre at The University of Chicago, 1895-1950
This exhibit of programs, photographs, and scripts from 55 years of student productions narrates the history of dramatic satire at the University. Beginning with the Dramatic Club, the University's first theater group, founded in 1895, the exhibit traces the development of the University's famous student theater.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Feb. 1, 1982
Subjects
Theater
Default Placeholder Photo Hands Making Paper: The Art of Japanese Papermaking
More than thirty-five examples of traditional paper types from Japan, including the multi-layered, tie and fold dyed, gilt, and printed papers, were displayed for the first time in Chicago in this exhibit.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
June 1 — Sept. 1, 1988
Subjects
Art
Technology
Huidobro Vicente Huidobro Vicente in Avant-Garde
This major exhibition of photographs, manuscripts and books traces the life and work of the avant-garde poet Vicente Huidobo (1893-1948).
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — March 1, 1988
Subjects
Art
Spanish Literature
I Step Out of Myself thumbnail I Step Out of Myself: Portrait Photography in Special Collections
An exhibition of portrait photography collections in the University Archives.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 12 — March 20, 2015
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Subjects
Art
Photography
University of Chicago
Image of Hand Imaging/Imagining: the Body as Data
Imagining/Imagining the Body as Data examines the data revolution that has transformed modern medical imaging with technologies such as Magnetic Resonance, Computed Tomography and Ultrasound imaging.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
March 25 — June 21, 2014
Subjects
Photography
Medicine
Organismal Biology
Biological Sciences
Italian Drama of the Renaissance Exhibit Program Italian Drama of the Renaissance: An Exhibition of Books from the Collection of the University of Chicago Library
This exhibition highlights the University's strong collection of Renaissance drama, which "includes some of the rarest editions of Italian plays ... and examples of every known dramatic genre from the sixteenth century to the middle of the eighteenth century" and recognizes the gifts of Louis H. Silver, Ira J. Hechler, and Howard Weingrow.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Dec. 31, 1961
Subjects
Italian Literature
Theater
Jazz-the Chicago Scene Jazz-The Chicago Scene: The Art of Stephen Longstreet
The Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s and 1930 is memorialized in this exhibit, which showcases over 60 watercolors, drawings, and collages by art-historian and long-time jazz observer Stephen Longstreet.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Nov. 30, 1989
Subjects
Music
John Morris Donor Bookplate John Morris: Photo Journalism
Showcasing the gift of the papers of John Morris, one of the mid-century's most important photographic editors, the exhibit presents photographs by Toni Frissell, Eliot Elisofon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Cornell Capa and explains Morris's central role in their use in some of the world's most important news stories.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Dec. 1, 1990
Subjects
Photography
legacy_of_sebastian_virdung.jpg The Legacy of Virdung: Rare Books in the Collection of Frederick R. Selch Important in the Study of the History of Musical Instruments
Rare books on the history, design, and use of musical instruments collected by Frederick R. (Eric) Selch (1930-2000) will be on view in this traveling loan exhibition.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — June 1, 2006
Subjects
Music
Livres D'Artiste Livres D'Artiste: An Exhibition of Books from the Collection of Dr. & Mrs. Sam Berkman
The display includes roughly fifty books, on loan from Mr. And Mrs. Sam Berkman, representing thirty-five artists who took part in the collective livre d'artiste effort near the turn of the century in Paris.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Oct. 1, 1981
Subjects
Art
History of Print
Default Placeholder Photo Looking to Learn, Too: Visual Pedagogy at the University of Chicago
This exhibition explores the ways in which objects, artifacts, and images have been collected, deployed, and displayed in teaching, research, and self-representation since the early days of the University.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Oct. 31, 1996
Subjects
Art
University of Chicago
Default Placeholder Photo Matisse's Jazz
"Matisse's Jazz" displays the Library's copy of Henri Matisse's famous livre d'artiste, published in 1947.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Feb. 28, 1997
Subjects
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Max Liebermann (1847-1935)
Max Liebermann was a German-born Jewish painter and etcher whose career was marked by both success and controversy. The untraditional, proletarian style of his early work contrasted sharply with the academic art then in vogue in Germany. His later impressionist tendency contrasted no less severely.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — April 1, 1986
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Max Liebermann: The Eye of the Artist
Max Liebermann (1847-1935), the German Jewish artist who shocked audiences in the 1870s with his somber and rough-textured depictions of workers and later rose to prominence with light-infused scenes of leisure that evoke the style of the French Impressionists, is the subject of this exhibition.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — March 1, 2001
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
Music in the University of Chicago Library Music in the University of Chicago Library: Selected for an Exhibition at the Joseph Regenstein Library
Representative of the Library's music collection, this exhibition includes fine first editions, works of general historical interest, and music manuscripts showing how the contemporary composer works.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 31, 1972
Subjects
Music
OntheEdge On the Edge: Medieval Margins and the Margins of Academic Life
This exhibition explores the symmetry between medieval margins and the modern margins of academic life.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 19 — Sept. 10, 2012
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Subjects
Art
European History
History of Print
Origins of Color main poster The Origins of Color
The Origins of Color exhibit explores the historical and scientific development of pigments and dyes and their production and uses in both fine art as well as craft manufacture.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
April 16 — Nov. 2, 2007
Subjects
Materials Science
Art
History of Science
Technology
Default Placeholder Photo Over There and Here: Posters from the Great War
The exhibit showcases posters commissioned and circulated during World War I by the Committee on Public Information.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — April 1, 1983
Subjects
Art
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Exhibit Planes, Trains and Automobile: The Transportation Revolution in Children's Picture Books
This exhibition reflects growing interest in the artistic and historical significance of children's literature. "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" examines how illustrators in several countries exploited the great changes in travel and transportation that succeeded the coming of the railroad.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — Aug. 30, 1995
Subjects
Art
Literature
Default Placeholder Photo Plays, Playwrights, and Players: A Selection from the Drama and Theatre Collection
This exhibit presents rare books, playbills, and posters illustrating the depth of the University Library's drama collections, considered to be among the best in the country.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Feb. 1, 1982
Subjects
Theater
100 yard dash.jpg Preserving the Photofiles: Digitizing Images at the University of Chicago
On view is a selection from the rich collection of more than 60,000 images in the University Archives Photographic Files, documenting individuals, buildings, activities, and events associated with the University, dating back to the pre-Civil War period founding of the Old University of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Jan. 31, 2003
Subjects
University of Chicago
Photography
Race and the Design of Everyday Life Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art
Drawing from collections of food packaging, advertisements, children's books, album covers, and other household goods, this exhibit traces the vexed history of African Americans in commercial art—as images and as makers of their own image—and their vital role in shaping the rise and establishment of our modern consumer society.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 14 — Jan. 4, 2014
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Subjects
African-American Studies
Art
shapey.jpg Ralph Shapey Manuscripts
The exhibit showcases some of the manuscripts and sketches Ralph Shapey has donated, which vividly demonstrate his methods for scanning text and seating ensembles. The scores themselves are included as well.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 1, 1981
Subjects
Music
Default Placeholder Photo Scenes of Jewish Life from the Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica
An exhibition of books and prints featuring illustrations of Jewish life and customs and highlighting the work of Bernard Picart, a French Protestant book illustrator who settled in Amsterdam and produced engravings of Jewish life based on first-hand observation.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — June 30, 1997
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
Yerkes Science at the University of Chicago: A History from the Library's Archival Photofiles
This exhibit draws from the rich collection of University of Chicago photographs available in the Library's online Archival Photofiles Collection and highlights the history of the science departments.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Oct. 20 — March 31, 2009
Subjects
Photography
History of Science
Architecture
Sun Ra Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961
This exhibit explores Sun Ra’s Chicago years through images and sound recordings of his poetry and music, vinyl records and album artwork, promotional materials and early controversial broadsheets. While living in Chicago, Herman Poole “Sonny” Blount became Sun Ra—the leader of the Arkestra and a composer and arranger of some of the most avant-garde jazz of the time.
Locations
Regenstein 3rd Floor Reading Room
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Subjects
Music
Chicago and Illinois
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
With over 900 engravings of views and monuments of Classical and early modern Rome, the selections in this exhibition reveal the nature and variety of the University of Chicago's Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae collection, and the rarity and quality of individual prints.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1966
Subjects
European History
Art
Architecture
Image of a Young Buck The Studio in the Field: Techniques of Early Wildlife Photography
The Studio in the Field traces the development of wildlife photography as a popular cultural pursuit, focusing on the innovative techniques and strategies devised to craft pictures that would appear convincingly natural to nineteenth-century audiences.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
April 6 — Sept. 15, 2015
Subjects
Organismal Biology
Environmental Studies
Photography
Biological Sciences
Super Metroid Super Metroid: A 20th Anniversary Retrospective
This exhibit celebrates the art of the videogame as seen in one of its early classics. Additionally, this exhibit explores the creative activity that lies beyond the game itself, from concept art and promotional materials to the fan art the game still inspires twenty years later.
Locations
The Joseph Regenstein Library
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Subjects
Arts
art and astronomy They Saw Stars: Art and Astronomy
This John Crerar Library exhibit highlights works of art and literature influenced by astronomy, either through scientific study, a fascination with the night sky, or as an inspiration for the literary imagination. Both contemporary and historical works are included.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
June 2 — Nov. 1, 2005
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Subjects
History of Science
Art
Astronomy & Astrophysics
lewellyn.jpg Through the Lens: Stephen Lewellyn Photographs of the University of Chicago
The prints on display, works by photographer Stephen Lewellyn, document University events, personalities, and campus scenes from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s, and were made from more than 10,000 negatives Lewellyn presented as a gift to the University of Chicago Archives.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Jan. 31, 2003
Subjects
Photography
University of Chicago
Main exhibit poster Under Your Feet, Chicago's Water, Freight, Subway and Storm Tunnels
Under Your Feet explores the system—from the first water tunnels completed in 1867, to the now defunct freight tunnels of the early 1900's, to the subway system we use today, to the Deep Tunnel project and storm tunnels of the future.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Feb. 14 — March 31, 2006
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Subjects
Art
Chicago and Illinois
Technology
Default Placeholder Photo Victorian Song
Victorian Song
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1977
Subjects
Music
Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome Exhibit The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome: Printing and Collecting the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
This exhibition examines the publishing history of Antonio Lafreri's Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae through several generations of printmakers and print publishers, showcasing the Library's Speculum Romanae Magnificantiae Digital Collection.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Feb. 29, 2008
Subjects
European History
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Writing for the Eyes from Antiquity to the Renaissance
Interactions between the visual and verbal arts are explored in this exhibition of illustrated texts that contain descriptions of actual or imagined works of art.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — Oct. 31, 2003
Subjects
Literature
Art