MAS Context Fall Talks 2024

Tracing / Traces: Architecture and the Archive 2024

November 9, 2024 at 11:30AM


Ryerson & Burnham Art and Architecture Archives

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

The event is free with museum admission. Please, check coats and bags before entering the library.


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Highrise City (Hochhausstadt): Perspective View: North-South Street, 1924. Ludwig Karl Hilberseimer, Papers, c.1885-1995 (bulk 1938–1967). Courtesy of the Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

On Saturday, November 9, 2024, MAS Context will organize the eighth edition of our Tracing / Traces event when readers will have 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 will select items of the collection and discuss them in relationship to their practice, the discipline, and/or society. Nathaniel Parks, Tigerman McCurry Director of the Art Institute of Chicago Archives, will provide a brief introduction to the archives.

Participants include:

Robert Becker and Sharon Xu Studio Becker Xu
Sarah Blankenbaker
Architectural designer and educator
Akima Brackeen Educator, designer, and researcher
Susan Conger-Austin – S. Conger Architects
Alexander EisenschmidtDesigner, theorist, and 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.