Crafting Your Experience

ChicagoArt & Theatre
Rebecca Zorach

Lost Murals of Chicago

With their colorful walls, Chicago artists launched an international community mural movement in the 1960s and 70s. Today most of the hundreds of murals they produced are gone. Rebecca Zorach is a Professor at Northwestern University who teaches and writes on early modern European art (15th-17th century), contemporary activist art, and art of the 1960s and 1970s. Walk with Rebecca, as she recreates some of the highlights of these lost murals in the city.

  • 1.

    Wall of Meditation

    Wall of Meditation

    A mural that depicted the history of Africans and African Americans from ancient Egypt to the Black Panthers.

  • 2.

    Wall of Love

    Wall of Love

    Celebrating love, strength, support, and companionship within Black families

  • 3.

    Break the Grip of the Absentee Landlord

    Break the Grip of the Absentee Landlord

    Inspired by the Wall of Respect, this mural by Rogovin creates an image of the fight of tenants against exploitation.

  • 4.

    Wall of Brotherhood

    Wall of Brotherhood

    Mario Castillo worked on this mural with students to create one of the first Chicano murals in Chicago.

  • 5.

    Universal Alley

    Universal Alley

    Muralist Mitchell Caton and poet-muralist C. Siddha Webber worked over many sessions to create a layered experience in this alley.

  • 6.

    Philosophy of the Spiritual

    Philosophy of the Spiritual

    Taking its name from a jazz album, the mural depicted challenging issues and cult figures.

  • 7.

    The Wall of Respect

    The Wall of Respect

    The Wall of Respect started the community mural movement even though the collaboration was racked with controversy and conflict.

  • 8.

    The Wall of Truth

    The Wall of Truth

    The Wall of Truth, painted on the wall of a condemned building, featured politically charged statements and provided space for propaganda.

  • 9.

    Into the Mainstream

    Into the Mainstream

    What begins as an idea of black youth moving “into the mainstream,” becomes a portrait of anger and frustration.

  • 10.

    Peace and Salvation

    Peace and Salvation

    William Walker thought of murals like a newspaper, a way of keeping communities informed about current events.

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