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Details of Design: Chicago exhibit includes treasured traces of Northwest Indiana : Arts-and-theatre

A modernist coffee maker by Iannelli

Continuing now through Aug. 17 in the Chicago Rooms at the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington, is a new exhibit “Modernism’s Messengers: The Art of Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli.”

From the Iannelli exhibit

The show tells a love story with a lasting impression on modern art design. There are wonderful items on display that were brought from Northwest Indiana, an area not always associated with decoration or artistic touches.

Mr. Iannelli was born in Italy, but his wife Margaret was from an old American family which predated the Revolutionary War. She looked outside the country to the art of Japan and European modernists for inspiration but Alfonso liked American art and styles.

The Iannelli’s studio and home were in the Chicago area, and the current exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center includes 65 pieces of the husband and wife artists’ work. The disply includes terra cotta screens designed for a kindergarten, church furnishings, illustrations for Rand McNally, and commercial designs that Alfonso created like a modernist coffee maker and Oster mixer. Ianelli was on a mission to bring Modernist Art into the lives of everyday people in the 1930s, and you can see examples in this show.


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