Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Hyde Park Art Center
Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center, 1958
One of the oldest arts organizations in Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) is notable because of the dedication of its volunteers and visible effectiveness of its education and exhibition programs. Founded in 1939 as the Fifth Ward Art Guild, HPAC began its commitment to community participation with the support of Senator Paul Douglas, author Helen Gardner, and University of Chicago art historian Ulrich Middeldorf. HPAC built a steady following of students and artists, particularly in the 1960s under the imaginative leadership of board member and collector Ruth Horwich and artist/curator Don Baum.

HPAC organized the first exhibitions of artists who came to be known internationally as the Chicago Imagists—Roger Brown, Christina Ramberg, and Jim Nutt among others—and achieved national recognition for its exciting exhibition openings and its support of emerging artists. The commitment to Chicago's cultural community continues in HPAC's exhibitions and through its education program, which was cited in 1996 by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities for outstanding work with at-risk youths.

Schulze, Franz. Fantastic Images: Chicago Art Since 1945. 1972.
Shaw, Goldene, ed. History of the Hyde Park Art Center, 1939–1976. 1976.
Warren, Lynne. Alternative Spaces: A History in Chicago. 1984.