Revolution at the Museum: History Now! Visits the Chicago Art Institute

Now through January 15th, the Art Institute of Chicago is presenting the exhibition “Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test.” The exhibition explores how the Russian Revolution of 1917 influenced every object and sphere of activity, illustrating how all things could be remade according to revolutionary principles. The exhibition is separated into ten model displays from the early Soviet era: Battleground, School, Theater, Press, Factory, Exhibition, Festival, Cinema, Storefront, and Home. These sections each hold rare works of art and expert, life-size recreations of early Soviet display objects or spaces.

It was only fitting that this semester’s History Now! (HIST 101) class visit the exhibition. Co-taught by Mark Steinberg (History) and Jessica Greenberg (Anthropology), the course aims to teach students how to apply historical thinking to present-day problems. This semester’s course focuses on “A Century of Revolutions,” beginning with the Black Lives Matter movement and working backwards in time to the 1917 Russian Revolution.


To learn more about the exhibition click here. Development of the course was supported by a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education office.


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