3/26/22: Cosmo’s Cosmos: 100 Years of Birth, Death and Rebirth

A celebration of the life and work of artist Cosmo Campoli (1922-1997), through a maker event, a historical tour, and a presentation featuring images, films, lectures, and storytelling.


March 26, 2022 / Various locations

March 21, 2022 will be the centenary of the birth of sculptor and Hyde Park resident Cosmo Campoli. Campoli (1922-1997) was part of the “Monster Roster” group associated with the Chicago Imagists in the 1950s, including Leon Golub and H.C. Westermann. His work, which frequently centered on themes of birth and death, was exhibited as part of the Chicago Imagists at the Hyde Park Art Center. His sculpture, “Bird of Peace,” known colloquially as “The Egg,” is a well-known piece of public art in Nichols Park.

Cosmo’s Cosmos is part of the Chicago Lost & Found series of events focused on Chicago art history created by Media Burn Archive. It is being held in partnership with the Smart Museum of Art and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. It is presented as part of Art Design Chicago Now, an initiative funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art that amplifies the voices of Chicago’s diverse creatives, past and present, and explores the essential role they play in shaping the now.


1-4pm           Family Day: Kid-YOU-topia! at the Smart Museum of Art
4-5:30pm      Kozmopoliz Kampopoliz: A Tour of Cosmo Campoli’s Hyde Park
6-7:30pm      Chicago Celebrates Campoli

Family Day: Kid-YOU-topia! 
1-4pm / Smart Museum of Art
Free, RSVP Recommended


Create imaginative utopias, colorful cities, and fantastical playground designs for children, by children during this special family day at the Smart Museum of Art. Join artist Laura Shaeffer for an interactive afternoon of hands-on projects that are inspired by sculptor Cosmo Campoli’s playful 1970s engagements with the Hyde Park neighborhood and the visionary paintings on view in Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine. Working in our outdoor sculpture garden, imagine new kid-centered worlds of play by making 3D paintings using fluorescent paints and glitter.

FREE. Art-making supplies and other materials are provided. Family programs are best for kids 4–12, but all ages are welcomed! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Advanced registration is strongly encouraged—please review our current health and safety guidelines prior to your visit. 

Kozmopoliz Kampopoliz: A Tour of Cosmo Campoli’s Hyde Park
4 – 5:30pm / Starting from the Logan Center
$10 Tickets, RSVP Required


Join us for a trolley tour through the Kozmopoliz, also known as Cosmo Campoli’s Hyde Park, as we celebrate the 100th birthday of the late artist and educator. Many know Campoli’s Bird of Peace sculpture in Nichols Park, but he lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years, leaving his mark on everything from what was eaten at certain restaurants (Spaghetti A La Gargoyle anyone?) to what got shown at the 57th St. Art Fair. On this tour, we’ll retrace his steps, searching out the bits of Hyde Park’s past that survive to this day.

Tour Guide: Paul Durica is the Director of Exhibitions at the Newberry Library. He has a PhD in English from the University of Chicago, where he developed a series of free and interactive walks, talks, and reenactments dealing with Chicago’s past. These public history experiences have received local and national media attention and led to collaborations with cultural institutions from across the city. This is his fifth Hyde Park tour. Find out more at https://pocketguidetohell.com/

Space is very limited. Mask and proof of vaccination required. The trolley will load and unload passengers outside the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at 915 E. 60th Street.

Chicago Celebrates Campoli
6-7:30pm / Logan Center, Performance Penthouse
Doors open at 5:30pm
Free, RSVP Recommended 

This celebration will delve deeply into Campoli’s life and work, through images, films, lectures, and storytelling. The event will be emceed by Paul Durica, Director of Exhibitions at the Newberry Library.


Presentations will include:

-A riff on the Jean Debuffet’s seminal 1951 lecture “Anticultural Positions” by Northwestern University Professor Rebecca Zorach;
-Personal and artistic remembrances from renowned sculptor Virginio Ferarri, whose sculptures Dialogo (1971), Interlocking (1993), and Caring (2015) are visible on the University of Chicago campus;
-A screening of Cosmo’s Cosmos, a 1981 documentary short by Annette Barbier and Terry Moyement;
-Newly unearthed 1991 footage of Campoli performing his unique take on beat poetry, shot by filmmaker Joe Winston, director of the soon-to-be-released documentary Punch 9 for Harold Washington;
-A screening of a cooking demonstration of the recipe for Cosmo’s Special Spaghetti, a truly unique dish that reflected Campoli’s whimsical attitude. Won Kim, chef at Bridgeport’s Kimski restaurant, who is also a graffiti artist and DJ, recreated Cosmo’s famous dish that he used to serve at the Blue Gargoyle.

Mask and proof of vaccination required.


1 Comment

  1. Rich DuCasse says:

    Wow. This is awesome you are remembering Cosmo. He was a great artist and friend of mine. I was one of his students at the Institute of Design in the late 70s. I’ve always thought he was a true genius. Glad to hear his work lives on.

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