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With full-color illustrations of nearly two hundred Chicago murals and accompanying entries that describe their history—who commissioned them and why, how artists collaborated with architects, the subjects of the murals and their contexts—A Guide to Chicago's Murals serves both a general and a specific audience. Divided into easy-to-read geographical sections with useful maps for walking tours, it is the perfect companion for tourists or Chicagoans interested in coming to know better this aspect of the city's history. Gray also provides crucial information on lesser-known artists and on murals that have been destroyed over the years, filling a gap in the visual record of the city's development.
Gray also includes biographies of more than 150 artists and a glossary of key terms, making A Guide to Chicago's Murals essential reading for mural viewing. From post offices to libraries, fieldhouses to banks, and private clubs to street corners, Mary Gray chronicles the amazing works of artists who have sought to make public declarations in this most social of art forms.
"A major lacuna in the history of art in Chicago has been filled, with the thoroughness of the research proportionate to the richness of the material revealed."—From the Foreword by Franz Schulze
"Gray's book . . . can function as a guidebook, as the murals are conveniently arranged according to the quadrants of the city. But the book is also beautiful to look at and indespensable as art history and Chicago history as well. . . . This book is a wonderful guide to Chicago's rich and unique mural tradition."—Elizabeth Alexander, Chicago Tribune Books
"If you love art and history, this is a book you'll truly enjoy."—Al Paulson, Utne Reader