AT MAXWELL STREET
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Legendary Chicago Filmmaker and Photographer Tom Palazzolo to Publish Book about Bygone Maxwell Street Marketplace
River Forest, Ill. – Chicago’s Maxwell Street Marketplace evolved from a 19th century old-world European market, and blossomed in the 20th century into Chicago’s official open-air market, according to Lori Grove of the Maxwell Street Foundation. “The Sunday market,” Grove writes in the Foreword to the book, “was a three-tiered extravaganza composed of the sidewalk storefront shop, the curbside vending shed, and the vending plywood table-tops on wooden horses lining each side of the street. Vehicular traffic was impossible there due to the dense pedestrian population milling, moving, bobbing and buying on Maxwell Street.” Jack Helbig, veteran journalist and current theater critic for the Daily Herald, says in his introduction to the book: “Every Sunday morning Maxwell Street seemed to spontaneously appear in open land along Halsted, a few blocks south of Roosevelt. A messy, sprawling open-air flea market where you could find almost anything provided you were willing to poke through piles of junk, check out every stall and table and blanket laid out in no particular order.”
Tom Palazzolo, a veteran Chicago filmmaker and photographer, has put together the book At Maxwell Street: Chicago’s Historic Marketplace Recalled in Words and Photographs. In 1983, he led a team of his students and colleagues in creating a seminal documentary film called At Maxwell Street. A DVD version of the film is included in the book, about 50 minutes in length, along with additional compelling images of life on the street.
The book and the DVD combine to make a multilayered portrait of the long-gone Maxwell Street marketplace, which was razed by city officials and the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001 to make way for development of the upscale University Village neighborhood. Palazzolo captures the essence of Maxwell Street in this book, and he employs a host of other artists to help him bring the old place back to life. Lionel Bottari, who grew up in the Maxwell Street neighborhood and whose father was a stall owner there, provides a poignant reminiscences., Marcia Palazzolo, wife of the artist, and Bernard Beckman, another graduate of SAIC, each have their own sections of photographs in the book. --
Tom Palazzolo is a 1965 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a visiting artist at the School from 1976 – 1990. He has been photographing activities at Maxwell Street since the early 1960s.
At Maxwell Street: Chicago’s Historic Marketplace Recalled in Words and Photographs will be published on October 15, 2008. It will be available in hardcover (ISBN 978-0-9789676-1-1) for $45.00, with a DVD insert. It contains 111 pages and 80 black-and-white photographs.
Copyright; Marcia Palazzolo all rights reserved.