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 Don Baum  (1922 - )

About: Don Baum
 

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Lived/Active: Illinois/Michigan      Known for: sculptor-assemblage, monotypes

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AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Margarita II
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A leading figure in Chicago as artist, curator and educator in the 1960s and 1970s, Don Baum is credited as a significant leader in Chicago's rejuvenation as an arts center. He advocated institutional support for local artists, and having been appointed to choose America's entry to the 1973 San Paulo Biennale, he organized a landmark exhibition "Made in Chicago".

As an artist, he creates assemblages of found and hand-made materials and constructions that are "corpse-like plastic dolls that are imprisoned within transparent boxes." (38) His signature work is his "Domus" series, which was small houses, often with cutting-board bases, whose themes relate to shelter and its social and moral significance.

Don Baum was born in Escanaba, Michigan, and took his early college education in hotel management at Michigan State University. He arrived in Chicago as a hotel employee.

In 1942, he began classes at the Art Institute and also studied art at the University of Chicago and at Nagy's School of Design, run by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. In 1948, he took an art teaching position at Roosevelt University, and from 1970 until his retirement in 1984, was Chair of the Art Department.

The period of his greatest influence was from 1956 to 1972, when he served as Director of the Hyde Park Art Center, which featured work of artists in the Chicago area. It was written that "his discerning eye for discovering new talent resulted in a series of ground breaking exhibitions." (38) His exhibition, "The Hairy Who" in 1966, marked the beginning of the Chicago Imagist Movement, which included Ed Paschke, Roger Brown, Phillip Hanson and Christina Ramberg.

In 2001, Don Baum became an artist member of the Union League Club of Chicago, and his mixed-media art work is in that collection.


Source: Marianne Richter, "Union League Club of Chicago Art Collection"

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