Persona, through April 21. This exhibit presents five artists--Lyle Ashton Harris, Keith Cottingham, Catherine Opie, Sharon Lockhart, and Collier Schorr--whose work pursues the notion of gender identification as a means of understanding the social construction of identity. Renaissance Society; call 702-8670.
1900: Books from the Collection of Robert Rosenthal, through May 10. Featuring books published in the year 1900 that were collected by the late Robert Rosenthal, AM'55, a former curator of Special Collections, this exhibit explores American publishing's depth and diversity at the turn of the century. Special Collections; call 702-8705.
Drawings from the Arts Club, through June 2. The Smart Museum presents drawings from the collection of the Arts Club of Chicago by such artists as Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Isamu Noguchi. Smart Museum; call 702-0200.
Peasants and "Primitivism": French Prints from Millet to Gauguin, through June 9. This exhibition of 80 works traces how two meanings of "primitivism" merged in French prints of the second half of the 19th century. Gauguin, Millet, and Pissarro are among the artists represented. Smart Museum; call 702-0200.
Heimo Zobernig, May 8-June 30. The work of this leading Austrian contemporary artist deals with strict, formalist issues, yet also interrelates with the unusual architectonics of the space in which it is presented. This is Zobernig's first American museum exhibition. Renaissance Society; call 702-8670.
Education for Life: 100 Years of the Laboratory Schools, May 30-October 14. Including letters, documents, publications, photos, and other memorabilia, this centennial exhibit begins with the pedagogical philosophy of founder John Dewey and the original group of teachers, then examines the techniques of their successors and recent advances. It also looks at the student experiences in classrooms, labs, theaters, machine shops, art studios, and field trips. Special Collections; call 702-8705.
The John Nuveen Lecture, April 18 at 4 p.m. FranŤoise Meltzer, professor of Romance languages and literatures, on "Simone Weil and the Problem of Work." Swift Hall; call 702-7170.
William Vaughn Moody Lecture Series, April 18 at 4 p.m., Max Palevsky Cinema: Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko speaks. May 10 at 4 p.m., Rockefeller Chapel: Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison speaks. Call 702-8509.
William John Bankes: An Early Egyptian Epigrapher, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. T. G. H. James, former keeper of Western Asiatic antiques of the British Museum, speaks. Oriental Institute; call 702-9507.
Olin Center Lecture Series: "The Place of Journalism in Democratic Life," April 24 at 4 p.m. William Kristol of the Weekly Standard tells why he founded the conservative paper. Social Science Research Building; call 702-3423.
Works of the Mind Lecture Series, 2 p.m. April 21: George Anastaplo, AB'48, JD'51, PhD'64, Basic Program staff member, on "Thoughts on Greek and Roman Tragedy." May 19: Associate professor Nicholas Rudall speaks on "Comedy in the Midst of Tragedy: Richard II, Falstaff, Henry V, Richard III, and Shakespeare's Transforming Genres." Judd Hall; call 702-1722.
Jazz Concert, April 20 at 7 p.m. The British-based group AMM plays improvisational free jazz. Goodspeed Hall; call 702-8670.
Easley Blackwood, April 21 at 7 p.m. Pianist and U of C professor Easley Blackwood gives a solo recital of Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Ives, Copland, and Schubert. Mandel Hall; call 702-8068.
Contemporary Chamber Players, April 25 at 8 p.m. Stephen Mosko conducts the ensemble in Louis Andriessen's Zilver, Elliott Carter's Night Fantasies, and John Cage's Sixteen Dances. Pianist and U of C professor Charles Rosen also performs. Mandel Hall; call 702-8068.
Charles Rosen, April 26 at 8 p.m. Rosen gives a solo piano recital featuring Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin. Mandel Hall; call 702-8068.
University Symphony Orchestra, April 27 at 8 p.m. Charles Rosen performs with the symphony and Barbara Schubert conducts in a program of Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. Mandel Hall; call 702-8069.
The Chicago Ensemble: Program IV, April 28 at 3 p.m. The Chicago Ensemble performs a program featuring Milhaud, Meyer Kupferman, Brahms, Schumann, and Bart—k. International House; call 907-2190.
Organ Recital, April 28 at 5 p.m. Mary Preston, resident organist with the Dallas Symphony, performs works by Bach, Reger, and Durufl. Rockefeller Chapel; call 753-1191.
The Millar Brass Ensemble, May 5 at 3 p.m. Music director Vincent Cichowicz leads the ensemble in works by Handel, Gabrieli, and Strauss. Rockefeller Chapel; call 753-1191.
University Wind Ensemble, May 5 at 3 p.m. Wayne G. Gordon conducts the spring concert. Mandel Hall; call 702-8069.
New Music Ensemble, May 5 at 8 p.m. Barbara Schubert conducts the ensemble in contemporary chamber works. Goodspeed Hall; call 702-8069.
University Chamber Orchestra, May 11 at 8 p.m. Antoinette Arnold conducts. Goodspeed Hall; call 702-8069.
Contemporary Chamber Players, May 16 at 8 p.m. Barbara Schubert conducts premieres of compositions by U of C graduate students. Mandel Hall; call 702-8068.
Organ Recital, May 17 at 8 p.m. University organist Wolfgang Rźbsam performs. Rockefeller Chapel; call 753-1191.
Easley Blackwood, May 19. Pianist and U of C professor Easley Blackwood gives a solo recital. Mandel Hall; call 702-8068.
University Symphony Orchestra, May 25 at 8 p.m. Barbara Schubert conducts the orchestra in a program of Rossini, Shostakovich, and Bart—k. Mandel Hall; call 702-8069.
Contemporary Chamber Players, May 30 at 8 p.m. Stephen Mosko conducts the ensemble in works by James Newton, John Adams, Mel Powell, and Lou Harrison. Mandel Hall; call 702-8068.
Multichoral Music from 17th-Century Venice, May 31 at 8 p.m. Scott C. Lehmkuhl conducts the Motet Choir and the University Chorus. Rockefeller Chapel; call 753-1191.
The Barber of Seville, through May 19. Performed by Court in rotating repertory with The Play's the Thing, Beaumarchais' satire addresses class struggle as well as young love. An old doctor is determined to marry his ward. She, however, has her eyes set on a young count--and enlists the aid of the barber, Figaro, who outclasses his masters in all but social status. Court Theatre; call 753-4472.
The Play's the Thing, through May 19. In this 1935 comedy by Ferenc Moln‡r, adapted by P. G. Wodehouse, a young composer arrives at a castle on the Riviera to surprise his fiance, only to overhear a passionate exchange between her and another man. The composer's mentor turns the disaster into delight by concocting a play around the steamy overheard dialogue. Court Theatre; call 753-4472.
Off-Off Campus: Spring Quarter Revue, April 19-May 24, Fridays at 9 p.m. The group presents sketches and improv. University Church, second-floor theater; call 702-3414.
Staged Readings of Original Works, April 20 at 8 p.m. University Theater presents two works by U of C students. F. X. Kinahan Theater; call 702-3414.
An Evening of Ives and Durang, April 25-27 at 8 p.m. UT presents David Ives' Sure Thing, The Universal Language, and The Philadelphia, and Christopher Durang's The Actor's Nightmare. F. X. Kinahan Theater; call 702-3414.
Extremities, May 2-4 and May 9-11 at 8 p.m. UT performs William Mastrosimone's play. Reynolds Club, first-floor theater; call 702-3414.
The Crucible, May 16-18 and May 23-25 at 8 p.m. UT presents Arthur Miller's play about the Salem witch trials. Abigail, the young niece of the town minister, is caught dancing in the woods and, to save herself, blames witches. F. X. Kinahan Theater; call 702-3414.
Tartuffe II, May 29-June 1 at 8 p.m. UT presents an adaptation of MoliŹre's classic. Reynolds Club, first-floor theater, call 702-3414.
Earth Day Celebration, April 20 at 1 p.m. The Oriental Institute joins the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History to celebrate Earth Day 1996. The afternoon program spotlights the ancient Egyptian gods of earth, sky, and air. Garfield Park; call 702-9507.
Shaping the Past: Making Ancient-Style Pottery, April 27 at 1 p.m. An Oriental Institute class in the ancient processes of pottery-making follows a slide presentation of ancient Egyptian and Nubian pottery. Hyde Park Art Center; call 702-9507.
First Friday Lecture Series, first Friday of every month at 12:15 p.m. May 3: Basic Program staff member Claudia Traudt, AM'81, on "`Extremest Mischief' and `Day o' the World': Selected Plutarchian and Shakespearean Stances on Classical Material." June 7: Basic Program staff member Joseph Alulis, AB'71, AM'77, PhD'87, on "The Misanthrope as Friend of Mankind: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Modern Utopianism." Chicago Cultural Center; call 702-1722.
Be an Ancient Egyptian Metalsmith, May 5 at 12:30 p.m. This Oriental Institute workshop teaches children and adults how to create their own jewelry. Lill Street Studios; call 477-6185.
Cityfront Forum, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. Divinity School professor Wendy Doniger lectures on "The Bed Trick: Sex, Myth, and Masquerade." Gleacher Center; call 702-2160.
Ancient Arts/Contemporary Artists, May 19 at 1 p.m. Following a slide presentation, the Oriental Institute takes a trip to the Chicago studio of James Mespl, a painter inspired by ancient and classical mythology. Oriental Institute; call 702-9507. (See "Center Stage.")
Ancient Art, Contemporary Artist: Inspired by the methods and mythology of the ancient world, James Mespl creates his own pigments to paint works that not only depict the epic of Gilgamesh but also portray a falling Icarus before the nuclear reactors of Three Mile Island.
Mespl's paintings will be featured in a May 19 Oriental Institute outing, the fifth in a series of field trips to the studios of Chicago artists influenced by ancient times. The afternoon will also include a pre-visit slide presentation by OI museum curator Karen L. Wilson and a post-visit wine and cheese reception. At the studio, after discussing the works on display, Mespl--who was educated at the University of Missouri and the Art Institute of Chicago and was a Uof C visiting artist in 1986--will demonstrate his techniques.
The artist begins with a wooden support, which he coats in rabbit-skin glue and covers with canvas. Called marouflaging, this process was used to cover the caskets of mummies in ancient Egypt. Then, after applying a plaster-like base called gesso, Mespl lays the colors down, using his self-made egg tempera-based pigments. The brilliantly colored, translucent paints allow light to reflect from the gesso, creating a stained-glass effect.
These jewel-like colors echo Mesopotamian art, which sometimes incorporated semi-precious stones. Mespl also looks to Mesopotamian culture for mythological subject matter, such as the Gilgamesh legend. The artist's interest in myth was born out of summers spent with his grandfather--who was half Osage and shared with him Native American tales of nature and animals--and grew to encompass ancient and classical mythology. The common theme of the battle between good and evil, "the balance of the Cosmos," provides Mespl with much of his material. "Myths, which are certainly a part of the foundation of contemporary American culture," writes Mespl, "are stories full of wonder and mystery--two ingredients which often appear to be missing in modern life."--Q.J.