MAS Context Fall Talks 2020

Tracing / Traces: Architecture and the Archive 2020

October 24, 2020 at 11AM

On Saturday, October 24, 2020, MAS Context organized the fourth edition of our Tracing / Traces event when readers had the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at selected items from the Ryerson & Burnham Art and Architecture Archives located at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Five architects and designers selected items of the collection and discuss them in relationship to their practice, the discipline, and/or society. Nathaniel Parks, Director of the Art Institute of Chicago Archives, provided some background on the archives.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the program took place online.

Participants included:

Monica ChadhaCivic Projects
Peter ExleyArchitecture Is Fun
Andres L HernandezArtist / Designer / Educator
Jayne KelleyEditor / Writer
Francesco MarulloArchitect / Educator

The Ryerson & Burnham Art and Architecture Archives’ collections are notably strong in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century American architecture, with particular depth in midwestern architecture. Architects such as Edward Bennett, Daniel Burnham, Bruce Goff, Bertrand Goldberg, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Mies van der Rohe, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright are represented in a broad range of papers. Major architectural events, such as the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, The Century of Progress International Exposition of 1933–1934 in Chicago, and the World’s Fair of 1939 in New York, are also represented in an individual archive.

Mas event 2020 tracing traces 01

Mount Prospect Park District, Lions Memorial Park, Bathhouse and Youth Room, Mount Prospect, Edward Dart, c. 1956. © Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.