November 20, 2012 – January 13, 2013
Beginning in the late 1920s, Chicago artist Melville Steinfels and his wife, Margaret, began sending custom Christmas cards to their friends and family. This exhibition presents over 40 of these cards dating from 1929 to 1996 and a selection of woodblocks used in their creation. This collection of cards shows the level of skill and attention to detail present in all of Melville’s work and illustrates his change in style over the years. With images ranging from traditional religious iconography to clever and playful presentations of family photos, these cards provide a glimpse into the past and show a phase of transition in Christmas cards in twentieth-century Midwestern American tradition.
Image: Melville P. and Margaret H. Steinfels Papers (detail), 1938