Chicago Weekend Recap

It started Thursday night with a dinner at the Four Seasons in honor of the Reva and David Logan Foundation (whose critical contributions to JLP are described here) hosted by CDS Director Tom Rankin and Associate Director Greg Britz.  92 year old David Logan was the honoree, as were his sons Dan Logan and Jon Logan of Alexandria, VA and Berkeley, CA respectively.  Dan’s daughter Liz, an editor and culinary authority in Chicago, was also there.  Lanny Silverman and Greg Lunceford from there from the Chicago Cultural Center (CCC).

As Courtney indicated in her previous blog post, the exhibition at CCC is different from NYPL, but very effective.  Lanny and Greg deserve kudos for their efforts on JLP’s behalf at CCC from the first day they expressed interest in this project.  I miss many aspects of Courtney’s NYPL installation -  for one, the more prominent tape box banners with period color and design and Smith’s manic handwriting – that left you more worn out and awed by Smith’s achievement.  But photography purists might enjoy the extra breathing room given to Smith’s original prints more at CCC.  Also, CCC’s creative use of audio is what we’ve longed to do and didn’t fully achieve in the space at NYPL (Lunceford deserves a lot of credit at CCC), and the room itself it a wonderful spectacle at CCC.  In both shows optimal use was made of the space and resources.  If you saw the show in NYC, it’s a terrific, new experience here.  When the show comes to our home town of Durham, N.C. (Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art) next spring it’ll be another new experience.

At the opening reception in Chicago Dan Logan introduced me to Bill Michel, the inaugural director of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Peforming Arts at the University of Chicago, which broke ground in May with a $35 million contribution from the Logans.  They plan to open the center for the ’12-’13 school year and we had an initial brainstorm session about how JLP might be a presence there.

Of special notice, Hall Overton’s niece Joyce Overton and her husband Randy Madonna attended the opening.  Joyce works in development at North Park University in Chicago and Randy is a former minister and longtime social worker at Cook County Hospital.  I’ve known Joyce’s father Harvey Overton for years.  He is a poet and retired humanities professor who lives in Chicago but was unable to make it downtown for the reception.  By all indications the Overton family shares the exceptional, warm, generous traits exemplified by Hall.  Later this week we will post a video of Harvey reading the poem he wrote about his late brother.

Finally, on Friday I learned from Indianapolis photographer Mark Sheldon that the free brochures available at the JLP show at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts from February to May are now being sold for $12 on Ebay.  That leaves me at a loss for words.

-Sam Stephenson


  1. Tom Mullaney Said,

    July 26, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

    Hi Sam Stephenson,

    Such serendipity. I looked up your blog to see how to contact you and discover that you wrote about the Logan Art Center (which I wrote about in Chicago Tribune of May 7th) and Bill Michael.

    I wanted to direct you to my blog where I have just posted about the JLP now at Chicago Cultural Center.
    I was blown away when I came upon the exhibit by accident at NY Public Library. I don’t intend to ever sell my program on E-Bay. Hope you enjoy what I wrote and I plan to attend your talk here next month.

  2. admin Said,

    July 26, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

    Tom, thanks for the note. We linked your piece on our NEWS section of the JLP site. We are grateful for your attention to the project and great write-up. I look forward to meeting you in August at CCC.