Category: History

Lessons from Scott Walker's visit to my father's funeral

Lessons from Scott Walker's visit to my father's funeral
One of my best friends died on Christmas morning. My dad, Sen. Walter John Chilsen, was 95 but he was so full of energy and life curiosity and joy that none of us was prepared for him to die. A few years ago, he had tasked me with writing his obituary and it took the... Read more »

Introducing "Lessons of Place" a new project for the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration

Introducing "Lessons of Place" a new project for the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration
Welcome to “Lessons of Place”, a new project I’ve been working on as part of a program celebrating the State’s Bicentennial. With support from Illinois Humanities and their “Forgotten Illinois” program, I’ve been traveling around the state photographing sites on Landmarks Illinois’ “Most Endangered Places” lists. Mostly, I have been looking at those on the... Read more »

Wisconsin's Lady "Forward": history offers hope

"Forward" frames the Wisconsin State Capitol
“Forward” caught my eye recently. She strides outside the State Capitol building in Madison Wisconsin; “Forward” being the state’s motto, and also an allegorical sculpture positioned outside the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Miss Forward, as she is sometimes called, was sculpted by Jean Pond Miner for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and... Read more »
Advertisement:

Operation Condor and the Statue of Liberty: two photography exhibits in Arles address freedom and repression

The Entrance to the Arles Archaeology Museum. Henri Ciriani, Architect, which hosted two exhibits for Les Rencontres de la Photographie, 2016 in Arles.
One day last summer at ‘Les Recontres de la Photographie’ (The Arles Photography Festival), I saw two exhibits that in retrospect seem a dark premonition of today’s political ‘scape. Even their location, in a museum dedicated to fallen Roman rule seems prescient. The shows were both presented at the ‘Musée départemental Arles Antique’, Arles’ Archaeology... Read more »

What, me worry? In search of a more perfect union at Democracy’s crossroads in Wisconsin

What, me worry? In search of a more perfect union at Democracy’s crossroads in Wisconsin
Throughout the hideousness that was this recent ‘election cycle’, I would often meditate on the presence of a charming little building out in the middle of what almost could seem like nowhere, deep in the Wisconsin driftless. Thinking about it kept me sane. Wisconsin’s first capitol in Belmont. I visited the site in February of... Read more »

Arles in Southern France - Fetes and Romans and Photographie!

Arles in Southern France - Fetes and Romans and Photographie!
Am very excited to be heading off for the start of the Arles Photo Festival today. Les Rencontres de la Photographie happens in Arles every summer. This is the first time I’ve been here for opening week and I’m looking forward to attending lectures, projections, receptions, etc. as well as the lineup of always interesting... Read more »
Advertisement:

Reduce Reuse Recycle. The National Public Housing Museum gets some light from the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Reduce Reuse Recycle. The National Public Housing Museum gets some light from the Chicago Architecture Biennial
Part of what’s great about the Chicago Architecture Biennial is that on-going projects get fresh energy and new attention. An example of this is the project to create a National Public Housing Museum in the last remaining building of the former Jane Addams Public Housing project on Chicago’s west side. The Jane Addams Homes opened... Read more »

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Opposites Attract at the Detroit Institute of Arts



Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Opposites Attract at the Detroit Institute of Arts


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) exhibit Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit offers a nuanced narrative of these great artists pairing them as individuals linked in opposition. The DIA’s intro to the show presents the artists in contrast “He carried a pistol, she carried a flask. He romanticized Detroit. She rejected it.” But,... Read more »

Chicago Cultural Center: BYO Flashlight Tour with Cultural Historian, Tim Samuelson

Chicago Cultural Center: BYO Flashlight Tour with Cultural Historian, Tim Samuelson
For Chicago Cultural Center’s late-night building tour with Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson, participants were reminded to BYO Flashlight, and arrive promptly at 10:30 PM. The night concluded around 1AM with a screening of the wonderful “Lost Buildings”, an animated film by Chris Ware; an inspired excursion through Samuelson’s early love of buildings and his... Read more »
Advertisement:

Opening Day: Maybe This Will Be The Year I Finally Get to Wrigley Field

Opening Day: Maybe This Will Be The Year I Finally Get to Wrigley Field
I’m a Cubs fan though you wouldn’t know it. I’ve never been to a game – despite the fact that when I first moved to Chicago, I lived not far from Wrigley Field. Every spring I vow I’m going to make it to a game this year. I’ve heard about the fabled Wrigleyville rooftops, the... Read more »