The Business of Holidays

Nov ’04
12:00 am

The Business of Holidays book release event
6PM Friday December 3rd
The Business of Holidays, ed. Maud Lavin (New York: Monacelli Press): Holiday celebrations in the United States are a surprisingly strong force behind the country’s $3 trillion retail economy. From New Year’s diets to Festivus-flavored ice cream, Presidents’ Day care sales to Independence Day barbecues, Hanukkah cards to Kwanzaa candles, the social and material culture of holidays has been transformed into a finely tuned marketing extravanganza. Contemporary holiday rites showcase a particularly American obsession with celebration–and the shopping, decorating, card sending, feasting, drinking, and advertising that goes along with it. This witty and satirical look at thirty-three of our most loved (and hated) holidays explores the history and the traditions, the kitsch and the color, of the business of holidays.
For the book release event join Maud Lavin, Alyson Beaton, Eliza Rosen, Courtney Perkins and Ben Finch
Maud Lavin is an associate professor in visual and critical studies and art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduate director of visual and critical studies. She is the author of a monograph on the Berlin Dada artist Hannah Hoch–Cut with the Kitchen Knife–and a book on design and politics–Clean New World.
Alyson Beaton is an instructor in visual communications at the School of the Art Institute. Her recent artists’ books are in the collections pf Printed Matter, Collette, and the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at SAIC.
Eliza Rosen is a freelance graphic designer in Chicago whose clients have included Deborah’s Place and Chicago Magazine.
Courtney Perkins is an independent curator who has organized exhibitions in Chicago at venues including 1926 and ThreeWalls and in Austin, Texas.
Ben Finch is the owner and creative director of The Killswitch Collective, a Chicago multimedia and design firm. He specializes in web and print design for the creative and music industry.