Firmness, Commodity, and Delight:
Architecture in Special Collections
Through July 29. Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery. 773.702.8705. Referring to the three elements Ancient Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio deemed necessary for a well-designed building, this exhibit celebrates the opening of the new Special Collections exhibit space (see “Center of Attention”), as well as the completion of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. The show—presented in conjunction with a city-wide program, “500 Years of the Illustrated Architecture Book”—features rare books and archival materials about architectural history.
Warhol at Work: Portrait Snapshots, 1973–1986
Through August 21. Smart Museum of Art. 773.702.0200. In the 1970s pop artist Andy Warhol carried two automatic cameras with him everywhere, snapping photos of parties, studios, and New York City streets, as well as posed Polaroid portraits of friends and celebrities against a blank wall. This exhibit features more than 60 of Warhol’s Polaroids and black-and-white photographs, many on display for the first time.
Porgy and Bess
May 12–June 19. Court Theatre. 773.753.4472. Court artistic director Charles Newell directs George and Ira Gershwin’s American folk opera, with musical direction by Doug Peck. Set in Charleston, South Carolina, at the turn of the 20th century, it tells the story of a disabled black beggar who falls in love with a woman with a disreputable past.
William J. O’Brien
May 15–June 26. Renaissance Society. 773.702.8670. Chicago artist William J. O’Brien presents approximately 100 ceramic sculptures in his first solo exhibition. A central theme in O’Brien’s work is his exploration of the role of the pedestal.
Artspeaks: David Henry Hwang and Oskar Eustis
May 16, 7:30 p.m. International House, Assembly Hall. 773.702.8080. Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang and Oskar Eustis, artistic director of New York’s Public Theater, talk about the creative development of Chinglish, Hwang’s comedy debuting June 18 at the Goodman Theatre.
Poem Present: Reading by Joyce Carol Oates
May 18, 4:30 p.m. International House, Assembly Hall. 773.834.8524. National Book Award–winning novelist Joyce Carol Oates reads from her poetry. She’s written ten collections, including The Coming Storm (forthcoming).
Contempo: Tomorrow’s Music Today II
May 22, 7:30 p.m. Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall. 773.702.8068. The second of two annual concerts, this performance features new works by U of C doctoral candidates in composition Jacob Bancks, Michael LaCroix, and Füsun Köksal. Transforming the pieces into reality are University of Chicago artists-in-residence and Grammy-winning ensembles eighth blackbird and Pacifica Quartet.
An Adventure of Great Dimension:
A Conference Celebrating the Completion of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary
June 6, 1 p.m. Oriental Institute, Breasted Auditorium. 773.834.9775. The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, 90 years in the making, is complete. In this conference, Mesopotamian scholars in art history, Sumerology, and biblical studies—including the dictionary’s editor and Chicago humanities dean Martha Roth—discuss the work’s intellectual possibilities in their respective fields.