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Join art historian, Margaret MacNamidhe, associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a noontime talk. This event is free and open to the public, with a special invitation to people with a lived experience of homelessness.

  • Date:10/21/2022 12:00 PM - 10/21/2022 02:00 PM
  • Location 1226 West Ainslie Street, Chicago, IL, USA (Map)
  • More Info:Bezazian Library


For decades, histories of art and architecture favored biographical writing—celebrating, even glamorizing, the lives of individuals. Over time, however, scholars shied away from biography, fearful of casting it as entirely determinative. Without losing sight of the deciding role that social forces play in all our lives, this presentation restores a sense of narrative and story to our architectural understanding of the Loop. Known to us all, this area at the heart of Chicago remains key to its very identity as a city built under the impact of modernism. Crowded as the Loop now is by buildings old and new—some of them rising high in shimmering steel and glass, others grounded by brick, brass, terracotta, and sculpted stone—our openness to the Loop's everyday marvels can easily become blunted (as we rush to catch buses or barely pause there on our way to other destinations). If we transport ourselves back to the twentieth century's opening decades however, we encounter iconic buildings like the massively walled Monadnock or the cream-colored, light-filled, Reliance relatively free of neighbors. Such buildings stood in all their eye-catching glory as the harbingers they were: of Chicago's fame as the home of the skyscraper. By travelling back in time without ever losing sight of the present, this lunchtime event looks into the stories of the people associated with a handful of Chicago's iconic buildings and renders vivid our appreciation of an area etched already in memory.

Red Line Service is led by people with a lived experience of being unhoused. Red Line Service wields art world resources to build community, generating the sense of belonging and mutual care essential to securing and retaining housing. We collaborate with artists and cultural institutions to expand access to the art world, avowing that art can break the bonds of ingrained social roles and structures and forge new realities in which all can flourish.

Red Line Service: Art Histories is a series of lectures and conversations presented as part of Art Design Chicago Now, an initiative funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art that amplifies the voices of Chicago's diverse creatives, past and present, and explores the essential role they play in shaping the now.

RSVP through the checkout system is required.

A meal will be provided.