Everybody wants love. And who doesn’t want to have good luck and success in life? Or to look their best? Quietly operating from Chicago’s South Side between the 1920s and 1980s, the Valmor Products Company offered all these things and more. Perfumes, hair pomades, incense, and a wide variety of other products came packaged in small bottles and tins with eye-catching labels affirming the mystical powers of the products within. Produced in small quantities and targeted to minority consumers, the distinctive graphic designs of Valmor’s products were nearly forgotten. But in a lucky circumstance of historical “lost and found”, the Chicago Cultural Center is displaying the first comprehensive exhibition of these remarkable works of graphic design. Tiny labels – some no bigger that a postage stamp - will be enlarged to poster-size using contemporary imaging technology. Also displayed will be vintage bottles, product containers and original artwork which in themselves embody complex stories of cultural history.
click on image to enlarge (Photo Credit: James Prinz Photography)
April 25-August 2, 2015
Exhibition Preview: April 24, 2015, 5:30-7:30pm
Gallery Talk: Saturday, July 18, 2pm Gallery Talk with exhibition curator Tim Samuelson
Symposium: Race, Magic, Mojo: Explorations of Culture, Identity and Spirituality Download (PDF)
Friday, July 24 from 6-8pm & Saturday, 25 from 12 Noon-5:30pm
A free, two-day Symposium examining the ongoing connections between race, appearance, social desirability and economic mobility in popular art, design and visual culture from the Valmor Products Company’s heyday on Chicago’s South Side (1920s-1980s) to now.
Chicago Cultural Center, Exhibit Hall, 4th Floor North
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
The following services are available at the Chicago Cultural Center for persons with disabilities:
El: Pink, Orange, Green, Brown, Purple to Randolph; Blue to Washington; Red to Lake.
Bus: 3, 4, 6, 10, 14, 26, 143, 144, 146, 147, 151, 157.
Metra and South Shore to Millennium Station.
For more travel information, visit www.transitchicago.com