Old Town Art Fair


I am showing art this weekend at Old Town in Chicago... one of the oldest art fairs still running. It is celebrating 64 YEARS of being a volunteer run festival and touted as one of the top 25 shows in the country!

I couldn't help but wonder as my peers and I ready all of our pieces for what hopes to be a magnificent show... What type of art was shown there 64 years ago? Did it look similar to ours? What was cutting edge back then? What were people collecting?

The Old Town Association posted this photo of one of the earlier fairs...
And I guess, at the very least, I can say that our displays have certainly come a long way!

In the late 40's/Early 50's, when this fair started, I know that Surrealism had a nice stronghold on the world. Pop Art and Dadaism were on the rise. Some very popular artists were deep into their careers, like Dali, Pollock, and Chagall. One of my favorite, albeit slightly disturbing, artists was on the scene in Francis Bacon... but all of that aside, I highly doubt this is the same type of imagery one would have found on the streets of Old Town, Chicago.

Even still, how fascinating it would have been to be a fly on the wall of a show like this over 60 years ago? What if we could've strolled through a show in 1950 full of Norman Rockwell's, Pin-Up Girls, and Propaganda? While I might bet that THAT Old Town Art Fair certainly did not look much like the fair you might see today... as our trends, ideas, and styles are all influenced by popular culture- perhaps one will find some treasures this year that are reminiscent of the art from years gone by?
The Tattooist, Norman Rockwell, 1944
Easy to Spot, Harry Ekman, 1950

1950 Ad for Dow Chemical, Artist Unknown
Lastly, this popular little caution is also thought to have originated in the 50's. I will be on the look out... will you?
See you at the Fair this weekend!