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Burnham Exhibit Showcasing "Business of Architecture" Opens July 9 at DePaul University Art Museum
Daniel H. Burnham & Company, Architects, “The Engineering Building S.W. Corner of Wacker Drive & Wells St. Chicago No. 1260; 17A, Wacker Drive Entrance”. Graphite on tracing paper. Collection of DePaul University, gift of funds from the Richard Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.
CHICAGO, IL.- Architectural renderings ranging from façade drawings to engineering plans will be displayed at an exhibition exploring the works of Plan of Chicago architects Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett and others opening July 9 at the DePaul University Art Museum in Chicago.

“Building the Business of Architecture: the Burnham Brothers and Chicago in the Golden Twenties,” which runs through Sept. 16, traces the inside view of the history of Chicago’s iconic skyline through architectural drawings, photographs and archival documents. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. July 9 at the museum.

Also on display in the exhibition will be 19 architectural drawings by the Burnham brothers for the Engineering Building (1928); a presentation drawing by the Burnham brothers of the façade of the Carbide and Carbon Building; a copy of Burnham and Bennett’s Plan of Chicago; prints and drawings of the Chicago River area from the turn of the century through the 1920s; photographs of the architects, their studios and buildings in progress; architectural fragments, including terra cotta façade; and 1920s newspapers and magazines showing buildings as corporate symbols.

“These heavily annotated drawings are fascinating primary documents that open a window into architectural design and decision-making,” Museum Director Louise Lincoln said of the exhibit.

The exhibition is curated by Paul Jaskot, professor of art history at DePaul, in collaboration with students enrolled in Jaskot’s course Burnham, Chicago and the Progressive-era City.

“Corporate skyscrapers in the 1920s clustered around the Chicago River, which was both a centerpiece of Burnham and Bennett’s plan for the city as well as a site that diverged markedly from their recommendations,” Jaskot said. “It is a fantastic site for exploring the intersection of urban planning, economic history and the importance of advertising to architects in the 1920s.”

The exhibition is one of many activities commemorating the centennial of Chicago’s famed Burnham Plan by architects and urban planners Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett, which led to the creation of the lakefront parks, forest preserve districts and dramatic improvements to the city’s downtown area. DePaul’s Burnham centennial events are being held in collaboration with the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee housed at Chicago Metropolis 2020 and its 200-plus partner organizations, the Harry F. Chaddick Foundation, other universities and civic leaders.


DePaul University Art Museum | Daniel Burnham | Edward Bennett | Chicago | Carbide and Carbon Building | Paul Jaskot |


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