This documentary portrait of Lee Godie (née Jamot Emily Godee), legendary within the Chicago art scene in the 1970s and 1980s, follows this Chicago-born woman who grew up during the Roaring 20s, had two failed marriages and abandoned children along the way. In the late ’60s, she appeared in the Old Town and Gold Coast areas of Chicago hawking rolled-up paintings, photo-booth self-portraits and pen/ink drawings. She gained notoriety and supported herself with sales from her art, declaring herself a “French Impressionist” as the long lines in front of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1980s proved there was high demand for this style of art.
The film looks at Godie’s work and life, interweaving first-hand anecdotes about Chicagoans’ encounters with the artist’s ever-changing marketing strategies, her artistic career and her rise to national newsworthy notice with previously unknown facts from her childhood, two marriages and the children she left behind. Referencing her journals and many of the early 20th century songs she loved to sing, this documentary reveals an artist whose outward demeanor and appearance often concealed her inner fortitude and belief in her outward beauty. In the early 1990s, after Godie became too frail to remain on the streets, she was cared for by her second-born daughter, who had only recently discovered her birth mother.
Godie was a charming raconteur and a roguish entrepreneur who touched the lives of many Chicagoans. Her choice to live on the streets mimicked the birds she often painted as she flitted from place to place, living life on her own terms and in her own style.
The film screening will take place in the performance space at Intuit and conclude with a Q+A with filmmaker Kapra Fleming and gallerist Carl Hammer, moderated by Intuit President and CEO Debra Kerr.
General admission: $15
Members receive a discount code via email to use for the film screening.
Please contact Lindsey Wurz at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions related to the film screening and or accessibility accommodations.
This program is funded in part by the Alphawood Foundation, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Prince Charitable Trust, Terra Foundation for American Art, and individual donations from Intuit members and supporters.
LEE GODIE, CHICAGO FRENCH IMPRESSIONIST (2021), 74 min, USA
Directed by Kapra Fleming / Produced by Kapra Fleming and Tom Palazzolo / A Pandora lobo estepario Production