David Gremp Photographs

Dates: 1978-1979
Size: 1.5 linear feet, 1 oversize box, 69 photographs
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: n00021
Provenance: Photographs 1.1-1.60 were purchased from David Gremp, 2015. Photographs 1.61-1.68 were transferred from the Pullman Library Branch and Photograph 1.69 was transferred from the Chinatown Library Branch.
Access: Materials are open without restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: David Gremp Photographs, [Box #, Photograph#], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
Processed by: Michelle McCoy, 2015, updated 2021

Biographical Note

Born and raised in Chicago’s south suburbs, David Gremp earned an M.A. in photography at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1978. He has taught at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. He has also been the recipient of a humanities grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1980 and a completion grant from the Illinois Arts Council in 1982. His photographic exhibitions include: Alibi Fine Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois (2011, 2013), Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, Illinois (2012) and Calumet Photographic Gallery, Chicago, Illinois (2013).

He began taking this series of photographs in September of 1978 as part of the CETA/Neighborhood Arts Program in Chicago. The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) was initiated in 1973 as a program to create additional employment opportunities for unemployed and low income earners. Inspired by programs from the 1930s New Deal era such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA), opportunities were opened to artists in several U.S. cities.

As part of this program, David Gremp joined 120 artists-in-residence hired by the Chicago Council on Fine Arts. He was assigned to the Chicago Public Library where he taught photography workshops at various branches and was asked to document the various library facilities along with their corresponding neighborhoods. This amounted to about fourteen neighborhoods in twelve months. The photographs consist mainly of ordinary Chicagoans on the city streets, but also include individuals in the branch libraries, and the architectural styles of neighborhoods and the time period.

His choice was to approach all of his human subjects in the same way; by asking them to look directly into the camera. The project produced approximately 100 rolls of film. The library selected 120 black and white photographs to display in the various branch libraries and 40 photographs from this selection were exhibited at Chicago’s Cultural Center in 1980.

Scope and Content

This collection contains 69 black and white photographs from thirteen Chicago neighborhoods taken between September 1978 and August 1979. The neighborhoods include: Armour Square (Chinatown), Ashburn (Scottsdale), Austin, Chatham, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Lower West Side, Pullman, South Lawndale (Little Village), Uptown, Washington Heights and [West] Garfield Park.

Arrangement

The photographs are arranged alphabetically by Chicago 77 Community area.

Subject Headings

  • Armour Square (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Ashburn (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Austin (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Chatham (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Gremp, David, 1948- — Archives.
  • Hyde Park (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Lincoln Park (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Lincoln Square (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Lower West Side (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Neighborhood Arts Program (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Chicago Public Library — Pictorial Works.
  • Near North Side (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Neighborhoods — Illinois — Chicago — Pictorial Works.
  • Photography — Illinois — Chicago.
  • Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
  • South Lawndale (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Uptown (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Washington Heights (Chicago, Ill.)
  • West Garfield Park (Chicago, Ill.)

Related Materials

Container List

Box 1 Folder 1 Gremp, David, biographical information, 2016, undated
Box 1 Photograph 1.69 Armour Square (Chinatown) - Chinatown Library Branch and Wentworth Medical Center, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.11 Armour Square (Chinatown) - five children, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.12 Armour Square (Chinatown) - man in a lawn chair by residence, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.10 Armour Square (Chinatown) - man in doorway, Quong Hong, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.9 Armour Square (Chinatown) - newsstand operator, sign reads: Welcome to Chinatown, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.48 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - family bowling, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.46 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - Fotomat, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.43 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - man and boy in a pool hall, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.44 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - three men in a mall, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.49 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - triptyph of one-story bungalows, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.45 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - two men at phone booths, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.47 Ashburn (Scottsdale) - woman in uniform, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.1 Austin. unidentified boy on stairs, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.3 Austin - unidentified boys in empty lot, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.2 Austin - unidentified man on park bench, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.5 Chatham - bungalow, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.4 Chatham - four girls jumping rope, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.6 Chatham - man at sales window, George Saddler News, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.7 Chatham - man in doorway, Jiffy Taxi Cabs, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.8 Chatham - two men at counter of a local small grocery or general goods store, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.18 Hyde Park - apartment buildings, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.21 Hyde Park - boy in snow, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.17 Hyde Park - Harold’s Chicken Shack, 1208 E. 53rd Street, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.19 Hyde Park - mail carrier, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.22 Hyde Park - man in his garden, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.20 Hyde Park - young man at Americanization Center, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.24 Lincoln Park - Doggie Diner, 723 W. Armitage Avenue, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.26 Lincoln Park - man with produce delivery truck, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.25 Lincoln Park - two women behind shop counter, Romano’s Italian Lemonade, 1136 W. Armitage Avenue, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.23 Lincoln Park - two women cross a vacant lot, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.27 Lincoln Square - Beauty Salon, Montrose Avenue east of Lincoln Avenue, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.29 Lincoln Square - Johnny’s food cart, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.28 Lincoln Square - La Mode Tailors, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.30 Lincoln Square - Matt’s Barber Shop, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.37 Lower West Side - four young men and a boy on bench, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.38 Lower West Side - woman and daughter watering the lawn, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.66 Pullman - Gatelys People Store, storefront, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.41 Pullman - girl with a fishing pole, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.65 Pullman - Gus Swain Wig, storefront, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.42 Pullman - portraits of young couples, 4 photographs printed together, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photographs 1.61-1.63 Pullman - portraits of young couples, 3 separate vintage photographs, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.40 Pullman - sign before building advertises services of the Gospel Minister, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.39 Pullman - two men in front of C. K. Fruit Market, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.64 Pullman - two men on a loading dock, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photographs 1.67-1.68 Pullman - unidentified interiors, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.34 South Lawndale (Little Village) - boy in front of Maria Isabel Abarroles Carniceria, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.31 South Lawndale (Little Village) - family of ten on front stairs, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.33 South Lawndale (Little Village) - man behind counter of general store, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.32 South Lawndale (Little Village) - man watering his yard, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.35 South Lawndale (Little Village) - two people on front stairs, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.36 South Lawndale (Little Village) - two women in front of Bonnie’s bar, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.52 Uptown - boy and a dog alongside a station wagon, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.51 Uptown - family of eight on front stairs, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.56 Uptown - five men at the counter of J&M Kosher Meat Market, 4465 W. Lawrence Avenue, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.54 Uptown - girl along street, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.58 Uptown - Goldblatt’s, Lawrence Avenue and Broadway Street
Box 1 Photograph 1.57 Uptown - man in front of Ancel Radio Service, Broadway and Wilson, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.55 Uptown - man in front of Cat’s Paw shoe repair, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.53 Uptown - three boys with man along street, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.50 Uptown - woman with protest message before gas station advertisements, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.60 Washington Heights - girl in front of a card catalog at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.59 Washington Heights - man with a baby across the street from the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.15 [West] Garfield Park - man and a woman, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.13 West Garfield Park - two boys at Legler Branch, Chicago Public Library, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.16 [West] Garfield Park - two women in front of wall with “Soul Love” in graffiti, 1978-1979
Box 1 Photograph 1.14 [West] Garfield Park - woman and two girls, 1978-1979
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