The 21st Show

Lincoln Park Zoo Turns 150; A Preview Of Barack Obama’s Visit To U of I; Jewish Artist Todros Geller


Libby Foster/Illinois Public Media

On The 21st: President Obama is back in Illinois and is coming to Urbana tomorrow! We’ll find out more about his visit. And, we'll tell you more about a new exhibit at the Spertus Institute in Chicago featuring the work of early 20th century Jewish artist Todros Geller. But first, we visit the Lincoln Park Zoo and see what they're doing to celebrate 150 years. 

If you’ve ever been to Chicago in the summer, you’ve probably strolled through the Lincoln Park Zoo on the Northeast side of the city.

150 years ago, back in the summer of 1868, commissioners of New York’s Central Park sent Chicago a gift of swans, officially giving the zoo its start. That makes it one of the oldest zoos in the U.S, and one of the only that has remained free since its inception.

Earlier this week, we sat down with Adrienne Horrigan at Lincoln Park Zoo- she’s one of the curators of the 150th exhibit: From Swans to Science.


Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will be visiting the University of Illinois campus. He’ll be accepting the 2018 Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the U of I System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), and delivering a talk at 11 a.m. from the campus.

Interest in this visit is so widespread more than 22,000 students tried to get tickets to for the event. Just 1,200 or so have been given out. If you’re not among the lucky few to be there, our 21st team will be doing a special broadcast. 

To talk more about this visit, and this rather crazy week in Illinois politics, we spoke with Mark Maxwell - he’s WCIA3’s Capitol Bureau Chief. We were also joined by WGLT Bloomington-Normal’s Ryan Denham. 


This weekend, the Spertus Institute in Chicago debuts a new exhibit of work by an artist who was central to the history of modern American Jewish art. It’s called “Todros Geller Strange Worlds.” Todros Geller was born in the Ukraine, and immigrated to Chicago in 1918, and it's the collision of those two strange worlds -- the old country and the new, the sacred and the secular -- that he brought to life in a range of mediums, many of which are on display at the Spertus.

According to the museum, he was fondly referred to as the Dean of Chicago Jewish Artists. But it begs the question, what is Jewish art? Is it simply work made by Jewish artists? Is it work that deals in Jewish themes? As Susan Weininger explained, it’s complicated question.

Weininger is a Roosevelt University Professor Emerita of Art History and the co-curator of the show. We also spoke with Ionit Behar, Spertus Institute Curator of Collections. 

Story source: WILL