Maggie Taft


Maggie Taft’s research collects in two primary areas: modern design and the history of art in Chicago. Her current work on design is concerned with the global circulation not only of, but also embedded in inter- and postwar design. Her teaching in subject areas such as Chicago’s art history and the Bauhaus foregrounds research approaches, writing strategies, and methodology.

Taft’s current book project, The Chieftain and the Chair: Danish Design in Postwar America (under contract with the University of Chicago Press), tells the story of the production and persistent international appeal of Danish Modern design through a dual biography of two iconic midcentury chairs—Finn Juhl's Chieftain Chair and Hans Wegner's Round Chair (known colloquially as The Chair). She is also co-editor of Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now (University of Chicago Press, 2018). Taft’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Graham Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation, among others.

Taft is Founding Director of the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute, an independent, community-based writing center, and post-graduate preceptor for the MAPH program.


Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now

Edited with Robert Cozzolino, University of Chicago Press

“Sustainability, Cultural Inheritance, and Scandinavian Design in America,” Nordic Design in a Global and Regional Perspective, edited by Rachel Gotlieb and Astrid Skjerven. Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming


“Hostess Twinkies” and “Haeger Potteries.” In Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America, edited by Robert Bruegmann, 183-184, 325-326. Chicago: Chicago Art Deco Society, 2018


“The New Organic: Georg Jensen and Danish Modern at Mid-Century.” Georg Jensen: Scandinavian Design for Living [Exhibition Catalogue], edited by Alison Fisher, 154-168. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018


“Morphologies and Genealogies: Shaker Furniture and Danish Design,” Design and Culture, Vol. 7, No. 3 (November 2015): 313-334


“Progress, Now.” In The Future Is Not What It Used to Be [Exhibition Catalogue], edited by Zoe Ryan, 346-349. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2014


“Better than Before: László Moholy-Nagy and the New Bauhaus in Chicago.” In Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society, edited by Jacquelynn Bass and Mary Jane Jacob, 31-43. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012



Into the City: Art in Chicago,” Smart Museum of Art, 2018


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Modern Art and Aesthetics
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