Vintage war poster for U.S. Employment Services
Vintage Adverts

The International Vintage Poster Fair is rolling into Chicago again this weekend at the Chicago Cultural Center, and this year there will be more than 10,000 vetted art nouveau, art deco, and mid-century modern posters on display and available for purchase from worldly dealers including our own Poster Plus and the Chicago Center for the Print. A feature exhibit within the exhibit is “The Art of Persuasion: 100 Years of Propaganda Posters,” exploring advertising and promotional posters designed to persuade (They really-really-really want you to see it. Pretty please?). Friday night’s opening party is $30, and benefits the Pritzker Military Library; Saturday and Sunday admission is $15.

Give Me Liberty

I’m more than a bit of an Anglophile, so I was happy to hear the British were coming to Target in the form of a new collaboration with the cheeky Liberty of London company. It’s brill, this partnership, and already incredibly successful—the commercials that are airing are delightful, the pop-up shop in New York’s Bryant Park had to pop-off early last week, as they were almost completely sold out, and home and fashion items are briskly selling online (if the objects of your affection are out of stock, you can ask to be notified when they become available). Spring is the perfect time for Liberty’s foppish floral patterns and mad 1960s Peter-Maxxy attitude, transported here on a ceramic canister. In terms of housewares, there are bins, boxes, lamps, bedding and pillows, inexpensive melamine dishes (eight plates for $24 allows for some posh picnic planning), and a few pieces of furniture. Bob’s your uncle!

Lowes Grill

Grill of Your Dreams?

Faced with the pressing, glamorous task of replacing both a dishwasher and a garbage disposal last weekend, we headed off to the nearest big box to (hopefully) knock it out quickly and still have time for a movie, lunch, and some less-pedestrian shopping. Two frustrating hours later, having wandered miles of aisles and crankily signed dozens of contracts, the task was still not finished, but that tale of woe can wait. While dashing through the Lowe’s in Lincolnwood, I did spot some finds, including a surprising display of new-model gas and charcoal grills that wouldn’t seem out of place on either side of sliding patio doors. This Sonoma by Altima modular outdoor kitchen system, for example, comes with solid granite countertops, a stainless steel sink, working fridge, and a brick-lined firebox. Fancy! And maybe it’s just not been on my radar, but since when did reasonably priced grills come in sophisticated, enameled-finish colors such as deep green, espresso, and copper, like the Genesis line from Weber?

Interior designer Maida Karte

Maida To Order

Interior designer Maida Korte has come a long way since she started a small home-based business almost 15 years ago. In addition to launching a new line of custom furniture and implementing a bridal registry in her Bucktown atelier and retail store, Designs by Maida, Korte opened a second office/shop location in the historic Woodstock square, at 105A East Van Buren Street, Woodstock. She’s celebrating with a grand re-opening party this Friday, March 19, and invites folks for cocktails, food, and live music from 6–9 p.m. (RSVP to Michelle at 773-292-9200). Maida’s a whiz with window treatments, upholstery, and pillows, and also provides space planning and interior design services.

British design critic Alice Rawsthorn

Design in Time

Alice Rawsthorn, the British design critic who pens the “Object Lesson” column for the New York Times Magazine, as well as syndicated articles for the International Herald Tribune, is coming to town next Tuesday for a public sit-down chat with the Art Institute’s design curator Zoë Ryan. The pair will be discussing form, function, and just what exactly modern design has to offer us and where it’s going in the future. The style-conscious conversation begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Fullerton Hall at AIC, and a ticket will set you back $15 (call 312-443-3631 or email for a reservation.