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Designed to be Seen – The New World: Industrial, Corporate and Sponsored Films

Sunday, November 4, 2018 ,  2:30-4pm

The Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington Street, Chicago IL 60202 , go to map

Admissions: Free


still from The New World of Stainless Steel (1960)

Designed to be Seen: Art and Function in Chicago Mid-Century Film presents—for the very first time—a series of screenings that reframe the history of cinema in Chicago through various lenses and modes of production. This four program series illuminates the diverse factors that have shaped the filmic landscape of the region from the mid-century through the 1970s.

Form and Function: The Legacy of the Institute of Design, provides historical context and a new perspective on the lasting impact of Lászlo Moholy-Nagy’s teachings at the New Bauhaus. Two programs, The New World: Industrial, Corporate and Sponsored Film and Creative Broadcast: Communication, Commercials and Advertising, focused on industrial, commercial, sponsored, and advertising films, examine the innovative design work being done on film in the mid-century. Personal Legacies: Materiality and Abstraction, presents personal and experimental films made by the artists who worked for the design studios and corporations highlighted in the second and third programs of the series. As a whole, the series tells a chapter of Chicago’s history on film that has yet to be seen.

This series uncovers the interconnected histories of commercial and artistic film production in Chicago and, in doing so, sheds new light on the multitude of ways in which art and design industries overlapped and intersected in the city. Designed to be Seen explores the distinct genres and production models that were most dominant during this period of time and provides a new perspective on filmmaking in Chicago. It illustrates the innovative ways in which artists and designers used the moving image to both tell and sell the stories of their time.

The four screenings in the program are timed to complement other concurrent exhibitions taking place as part of the Terra Foundation’s Art Design Chicago Initiative, including those at our host venues: The Chicago Cultural Center and the Chicago History Museum. Designed to be Seen is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Designed to be Seen is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. 

The New World: Industrial, Corporate and Sponsored Films brings together films produced for clients including Republic Steel, Life Magazine, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and the Container Corporation of America that illustrate the impact of design on everyday life and product manufacturing. Films produced by Goldsholl Design Associates challenge conventions of the sponsored film through the use of experimental editing and camera techniques. Films produced for the Container Corporation of America bring us inside the company and illustrate corporate culture, values, and technological innovations. New products and manufacturing processes are showcased and the impact of good design—both on producers and consumers—is emphasized throughout the program. These corporate clients entrusted filmmakers and designers working in Chicago to breathe creative energy and life into films about subjects that don’t typically excite a general audience (the various uses of stainless steel, cardboard packaging, and a new plastic printing paper).

Program introduction and post-screening discussion: Lara Allison (Lecturer, Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago). Presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival. Reserve a free ticket here.

Films screening include:

The New World of Stainless Steel (Produced by Wilding Studios for Republic Steel, 1960, color, sound, 16 minutes)

CCA & You: Partners in Achievement (Produced and directed by Rhodes Patterson for the Container Corporation of America, 1976, color, sound, 5 minute excerpt)

WRAPAK: Your Packaging Answer? (Produced by Container Corporation of America, circa 1968, color, sound, 7 minutes)

Kimberly-Clark Corporation “Texoprint” (Produced by Morton Goldsholl Design Associates for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, circa 1960, color, sound, 14 minutes)

Champion Papers: Imagination 11 (Produced and directed by Morton Goldsholl for U.S. Plywood-Champion Papers, Inc., 1967, color, sound, 5 minutes)

Life Magazine “Mag” (Produced by Goldsholl Design Associates for Life Magazine, 1959, color, sound, 13 minutes)




The Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington Street, Chicago IL 60202
go to map