Review: John Baeder’s Road Well Taken

“John Baeder’s Road Well Taken,” by Jay Williams, Vendome Press, 272 pages, 300 color and b&w illustrations, 2015. 978-0865653191. Hard cover $45 John Baeder is legendary among roadside architecture enthusiasts for Diners,” his book of photorealistic diner paintings that turned out to be one of the most culturally influential publications of the 1970s. Baeder, the […]

Southeast Sider Art

Railroad bridges over the Calumet River, with the Chicago Skyway in the background.

Chicago’s Southeast Side easily looks like a wasteland to drivers taking the Chicago Skyway as the shortest, though most expensive, path to get from the city to Michigan. But of course there are glimpses of a more interesting reality. The most obvious are the dramatic railroad bridges you see as you cross the Calumet River […]

Tour the Lakefront Stone Carvings: Oct. 11

Chicago is home to the greatest collection of outdoor stone carvings in urban America. Generations of beach-going carvers whiling away the hours left their marks on huge limestone blocks installed during the Depression to improve and protect the city’s park-lined lakefront. Many of these anonymous carvings have been destroyed as part of more recent anti-erosion projects. […]

Food Truck Visions: A Street Food Environment

The vibrant visual environment created by food trucks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a longtime favorite at Interesting Ideas. These photos of this vernacular art experience are from our third session there, in August 2015. You can also see some glorious details at Food Truck Visions: Art of Street Food, D.C. . See our […]

Short Review: David Plowden’s A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America

David Plowden’s photos in A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America are marvelously evocative as always. His introductory text moves them to a dimension beyond ruin porn. Usually when you see pictures of rural decay you respond to that evocativeness and to the formal beauty of the scenes. Plowdwn connects you to the stories behind these […]