Convergence: Jewish and African American Artists 
in Depression-era Chicago 
 
 

February 7 - March 28, 2008 

Curators: Richard Courage and Nathan Harpaz



During the Great Depression, artists of diverse backgrounds found ways to not only document the pain of the era, but also create images of hope. This exhibition reveals the cooperative spirit that existed between Jewish and African American artists in Chicago during this challenging period of history. The exhibition tells the stories of young men and women who bravely challenged the conventions and taboos of their age. 
Featured African American artists include Charles White, Margaret Burroughs, Bernard Goss, George Neal, Eldzier Cortor, Charles Davis, Walter Ellison, Archibald Motley and Marion Perkins. Featured Jewish artists include Bernece Berkman, Aaron Bohrod, Alex Topchevsky, Morris Topchevsky, Mitchell Siporin, Sophie Wessel, Simon Gordon, Shoshannah, and Todros Geller. 
The exhibition consists of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper focusing on three themes: Chicago’s urban landscape; the human factor; and commentary on the state of a nation facing the Depression, and later, issues surrounding civil and social rights struggles.

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Aaron Bohrod, North Clark Street
Todros Geller, Michigan Avenue Bridge
Eldzier Cortor , Two Men
Aaron Bohrod, North Clark Street, 1938, 
Oil on board, 24 x 32 in., 
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Harlan J. Berk.
Todros Geller, Michigan 
Avenue Bridge, 1930, Oil on canvas, 
24 x 22 in., Courtesy of Richard L. Silverman.
Eldzier Cortor , Two Men, c.1930s, Mixed media, 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 in. Courtesy of Aaron Galleries, Chicago. 
Morris Topchevsky, Gospel Singers
Archibald J. Motley Jr., The Jazz Singers
Charles Davis, Sunday Funnies
Morris Topchevsky, Gospel Singers, 1930, Oil on canvas, 28 x 34 in., 
Private collection.
Archibald J. Motley Jr., 
The Jazz Singers, c. 1934, 
Oil on canvas, 32 x 42 in., 
Collection of Western Illinois University
Charles Davis, Sunday Funnies, 1940, Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in., 
Collection of the Southside Community Art Center, Chicago.
Soshannah, Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs, Prayer
Charles White, Head of Man
Soshannah, Margaret Burroughs
c. 1940s, Oil on canvas, 19 ½ x 15 ½ in., Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Harlan J. Berk.
Margaret Burroughs, Prayer, 1945, Lithograph, 14 x 10 in., Courtesy of Michael and Dana Cartwright.
Charles White, Head of Man
c. 1930-40s, Etching & aquatint, 6 x 5 in., Courtesy of Aaron Galleries, Chicago.
Todros Geller, Yemenite Beggar
Simon Gordon, Woman with Two Childern
Marion Perkins, John Henry
Todros Geller, Yemenite Beggar, 1930, Oil on canvas, 55 ½ x 36 in., 
Courtesy of David Silverman.
Simon Gordon, Woman with Two Childern, c. 1930s, Plaster, 18 ½ in. H, Collection of the Illinois State Museum/Gift of Louis Cheskin. 
Marion Perkins, John Henry, c. 1942, Limestone, 17 in. H, 
Courtesy of Thelma and Toussaint Perkins.
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