Great Ideas of Humanity: Passing the Torch
February 25th – December 31st 2020

From 1950–1975, Chicago-based Container Corporation of America ran a campaign heralded as one of the best in advertising history, Great Ideas of Western Man. The world has changed since 1975. Great ideas are timeless.

Our response, Great Ideas of Humanity, celebrates globalization and cross-pollination of ideas, societies, and cultures. Like the original series, a committee meets, gathers “great ideas,” and commissions an artist or designer to create a visual response. The work does not advertise a product, but an ethos—of the museum, of the community, of Chicago—to make the world a better place through thoughtful design.


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This iteration of the project displays the work of Chicago Public School students and takes inspiration from two Chicago public artworks that feature women in the arts and Latinx thinkers. Great Ideas of Humanity 2020 connects and celebrates community, public art, and design to both elevate the voices of Chicago teens and grow the cannon of artists and thinkers to include those traditionally left out of the conversation, bringing their ideas to the fore.

Exhibition materials generously donated by:

PrideFlags logo
R&S Marching Arts logo
Color4 logo