Sunday, March 3, 2013–Sunday, June 2, 2013
During the first half of the 20th century, the city of Chicago was shaped and reshaped by waves of migration and immigration as African Americans poured in from the South and newcomers arrived from Europe and Mexico. They Seek a City is the first exhibition to focus on the art produced by the wonderfully diverse communities that made Chicago their home. Over 80 works primarily by southern- and foreign-born artists—many rarely seen by the museum’s audiences—come together for this look at the city’s rich art of migration, as Chicago became the polyglot, cosmopolitan place that it remains today.
Migration and immigration were typical American experiences during the early 20th century. Over 1.6 million African Americans moved from the rural South to more industrial areas of the North and Midwest in what has become known as the Great Migration. Likewise, hundreds of thousands of European immigrants crossed the ocean, often fleeing political or religious persecution in their homelands, and thousands of Mexicans journeyed north in search of better economic opportunity, a movement that coincided with a tremendous vogue for Mexican culture among U.S. residents.