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Chicago Avant-Garde puts the spotlight on Chicago as a site of historic, boundary-pushing experimentation in art, literature, and dance. At the center of the exhibition are five women whose lives and careers embodied a uniquely Chicago style of radical creativity in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s: artist Gertrude Abercrombie, poet Gwendolyn Brooks, dancers Katherine Dunham and Ruth Page, and curator Katharine Kuh.

Visitors to the exhibition will encounter a range of artifacts and archival materials, including paintings, sketches, photographs, posters, dance costumes, and rare video footage.

Chicago Avant-Garde is open at the Newberry from September 10 – December 30, 2021. Admission is free and open to all.


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