On Saturday, November 12, 2022, MAS Context organized the sixth 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 discussed them in relationship to their practice, the discipline, and/or society. Nathaniel Parks, Tigerman McCurry Director of the Art Institute of Chicago Archives, provided some background on the archives.
Elizabeth Blasius – Preservation Futures
Ania Jaworska – Ania Jaworska
Ralph Johnson – Perkins&Will
Patricia Saldaña Natke – UrbanWorks
Kekeli Sumah – Multidisciplinary artist and designer
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.