Whitney B. Halstead

Educator, Author

1926 – 1979


Who was Whitney B. Halstead?

Whitney Halstead was an historian, educator, critic, author, and artist. After receiving a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he worked as an assistant in the anthropology department of Chicago's Field Museum. He also taught art history at several Chicago-area universities, including the Art Institute, where he developed a series of courses on primitive art. His student included several artists of the Chicago School, including Roger Brown, Phil Hanson, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum. Halstead also played a prominent role in the 1965 Art Institute's faculty strike that resulted in better working conditions for the instructors, and by 1967, he had become Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts. In 1970, he assumed the position of Graduate Advisor. Halstead wrote critical reviews for Artforum, the Chicago Daily News, and numerous articles and essays promoting local and primitive art, including the work of Jim Nutt and nave artist Joseph E. Yoakum. He also curated several exhibitions, including Made In Chicago and Ulu/Inua: Form and Fantasy in Eskimo Art. Halstead's own art work, exhibited primarily during the 1950s and early 1960s, was in a variety of media and reflected his interest in Dadaism and Surrealism. Original biographical information from http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/findingaids/halswhit.htm

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Also known as
  • Whitney Halstead
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Master of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago
    (1967 - )
Lived in
  • Chicago

on July 23, 2013


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