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1945: Creativity and Crisis, Chicago Architecture and Design of the World War II Era

May 7, 2007–April 30, 2008
Gallery 227

Nineteen forty-five was a pivotal year that marked not only the end of the Second World War but also the close of an era that encompassed the boom years of the 1920s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. It heralded a new age of peace, prosperity, and equality, or at least the dreams for them. This exhibition and series of public programs will focus on American architecture and design of the 1940s, a neglected decade when compared with the celebrated accomplishments of the Machine Age 1920s and '30s and the International Style of the 1950s. The exhibition will be drawn from the extensive collections of architectural drawings and models within the Art Institute. It will consist of approximately 80 objects in a special installation by Stanley Tigerman within the Kisho Kurokawa Gallery of architecture. It also commemorates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in mid-August 2005. The objects within the exhibition will be organized thematically based on the results of several think-tank sessions with scholars of architectural and urban history, design history, and American history.


Exhibition catalogue: 1945: Creativity and Crisis, Chicago Architecture and Design of the World War II Era.


This exhibition is organized by the Department of Architecture of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Martha Thorne, associate curator of architecture, the Art Institute of Chicago


The exhibition is funded by the Fellows of the Department of Architecture. Ongoing support is provided by the Architecture and Design Society.

Educational programs are supported by The Albert Pick, Jr., Fund.