Roger Brown Study Collection

Roger Brown Study Collection The Roger Brown Study Collection (RBSC) is a house museum, special collection, and archive of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
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The RBSC in a nutshell: The Roger Brown Study Collection (RBSC) is a house museum, special collection, and archive of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Located in the renowned artist and SAIC alumnus Roger Brown's former home and studio, the RBSC is an artists' museum featuring an astonishing range of objects including works by Chicago Imagists, self-taught artists, folk and tribal art and objects from material and popular culture, costumes, textiles, furniture, travel souvenirs, and a Ford Mustang in the garage––all of which were touchstones that fueled the intense and demanding work of being an artist. The building and collection function as a laboratory where students engage in many aspects of the care, organization, interpretation, and preservation of a vast collection of art and artifacts in a 19th century storefront building. The RBSC seeks to be a leader the genre of house museums in the 21st century, and is a member of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and At Home in Chicago, a network of Chicago-area house museums. The RBSC is open by appointment. Call or email, [email protected]
773. 929-2452

Operating as usual

05/17/2021

Tomorrow!

Karl Wirsum (1939-2021) was an incredible artist whose influence will be felt in Chicago and around the world for many y...
05/07/2021

Karl Wirsum (1939-2021) was an incredible artist whose influence will be felt in Chicago and around the world for many years to come. His distinctive style and aesthetic energy helped launch the Chicago Imagist movement. He impacted multiple generations of students as a wonderful, attentive, and kind teacher at SAIC.

As we celebrate his life and career, enjoy these photographs, objects, and ephemera from our collections.

Our hearts go out to Karl’s friends and family.

On April 12, 2000, the great Karl Wirsum (1939-2021) gave a tour of the RBSC, offering unique insights into the items Ro...
05/07/2021
Karl Wirsum leading a tour of the Roger Brown Study Collection, April 12, 2000

On April 12, 2000, the great Karl Wirsum (1939-2021) gave a tour of the RBSC, offering unique insights into the items Roger acquired and the culture in which our collection was formed.

Karl will be deeply missed, but his legacy as an artist and teacher will continue for years to come.

On April 12, 2000 the great Chicago artist Karl Wirsum led a tour of the Roger Brown Study Collection, giving great insight into the objects Roger collected ...

05/07/2021

Register for "Art Design Chicago Now: Joseph Yoakum's Atlas," a free event on May 18!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-design-chicago-now-joseph-yoakums-atlas-tickets-148332553661

This program will consider Joseph Yoakum’s “Atlas,” beginning in Chicago, where he is still revered; his early impact on artists and presence in their collections; his impact on successive generations of artists, including artists working today; and new “windows” into his life and work. Intuit President and CEO Deb Kerr will moderate presentations by Yoakum enthusiast Cleo Wilson, Roger Brown Study Collection collection manager James Connolly, artist Tim Nickodemus, and scholar Lisa Stone.

Joseph Elmer Yoakum (1891-1972) spent the last decade of his life as a prolific self-taught artist who made highly original and captivating drawn landscapes, evocations of places around the world. Created in the privacy of his home studio, Yoakum's work was discovered by an instructor at Chicago State College, where he had his first exhibition in 1967, followed by a show at a church, both on Chicago’s south side. He landed a show at a northside gallery the following year, where faculty and students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago received him and his work with great enthusiasm. This excitement launched Yoakum into larger and larger cultural spheres that has continued for fifty+ years.

Joseph Yoakum's Atlas is a free program presented as part of Art Design Chicago Now, an initiative funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art that amplifies the voices of Chicago's diverse creatives, past and present, and explores the essential role they play in shaping the now.

11/06/2020
The Roger Brown Study Collection at Intersect Chicago

The Roger Brown Study Collection is proud to be a Cultural Partner of Intersect Chicago, a virtual art fair replacing SOFA Chicago for the 2020 edition due to COVID-19. Intersect Chicago will be online from November 6-12, 2020.

RBSC Collection Manager James Connolly will present a guided tour of the institution, exploring RBSC's digital collections and providing a virtual tour with a focus on objects by self-taught artists and how they impacted Roger's creative practice on Tuesday, November 10 at 2:00pm CST. Register here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/8016027827098/WN_hG_TL40gSA2wd_t-gkuDTQ.

09/10/2020
RBSC Virtual Tour Preview

We are thrilled to launch our virtual tour, allowing visitors to remotely explore our space while we remain closed to the public because of the pandemic. We will be launching new resources for SAIC classes over the next two weeks, including the ability to schedule a remote visit where our staff will lecture on the RBSC, present our digital resources, and walk students through engaging with our collection remotely. See our website for more information and visit our virtual tour here: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=tp2sPU8hDUN&brand=0
#RogerBrown #saiclsc #HouseMuseum #ChicagImagists

The Roger Brown Study Collection is featured in the new Guide to Historic Artists' Homes and Studios alongside other inc...
06/26/2020
Guide to Historic Artists' Homes & Studios - A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (autographed copy) — Chesterwood

The Roger Brown Study Collection is featured in the new Guide to Historic Artists' Homes and Studios alongside other incredible organizations in the HAHS program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The guide is available for purchase at this link:

From the desert vistas of Georgia O'Keeffe's New Mexico ranch to Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner's Hamptons cottage, step into the homes and studios of illustrious American artists and witness creativity in the making. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios

Elmhurst Art Museum
03/29/2020

Elmhurst Art Museum

With a heavy heart we share news about the passing of Suellen Rocca (1943-2020), a close collaborator and friend of the museum. The Elmhurst College curator was part of the widely recognized exhibition group the 'Hairy Who'. In 2018 we honored her with an award that read, "in grateful appreciation for your outstanding service as an artist, curator, educator, and creative leader in the western suburbs."
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Photo: courtesy Elmhurst College, Painting: Suellen Rocca, Palm Tree Lampshade c. 1969.

http://kavigupta.com/exhibition/roger-brown/Kavi Gupta presents Roger Brown: Hyperframe, an exhibition bringing together...
03/23/2020

http://kavigupta.com/exhibition/roger-brown/

Kavi Gupta presents Roger Brown: Hyperframe, an exhibition bringing together an unprecedented selection of multi-frame paintings by one of America’s greatest imagists.

A painting does not have to tell a story. It does not have to create a world. It is an image-object; it only has to speak for itself.

Yet, consider the multi-frame problem—a single painting compartmentalized into sections. In the multi-frame paradigm, each frame stands alone, yet also supports a sequence. When one image follows another, meaning is generated in the mind even when the images resist. The frames restrict the images at the same time as they invite them. It takes a confident and skilled artist to conjure myths and legends out of the vacant plazas of this enigmatic structure.

Raised on comic books and films when those mediums first dominated the storytelling landscape, Roger Brown (1941 – 1997) considered the multi-frame image essential to the American visual vernacular. Throughout his career, Brown returned often to the multi-frame structure, demonstrating how both the mightiest depths and pettiest shallows of our national drama could be revealed within its format, especially with the careful addition of text.

Roger Brown: Hyperframe is the first exhibition ever to focus precisely on this unique aspect of Brown’s practice. Bringing together ten large, multi-frame paintings, as well as works on paper and Brown’s personal sketchbooks, it offers a unique glimpse into Brown’s shrewd wit, as well as his masterful grasp of what author and theorist Thierry Groensteen describes as spatio-topical networks—defined story spaces in which localized conversations unfold. Groensteen coined the term “hyperframe” to describe a container for spatio-topical networks. The canvas of a multi-frame painting is a hyperframe, and the gallery, perhaps, an extended hyperframe—a container for containers. Ultimately, Brown’s multi-frame oeuvre suggests the entire modern world is a network of hyperframes, extending from the multitude of box-like windows, shining like yellow eyes, on the homes, cars, factories, and skyscrapers of his paintings, to our offices and bedrooms, our social media feeds and browser windows.

We perceive in these extraordinary multi-frame paintings Brown’s insistence that there is always a bigger story to tell. Kavi Gupta is proud to introduce audiences to this under-appreciated aspect of Brown’s work.

03/21/2020
Roger Brown: Hyperframe

Kavi Gupta presents Roger Brown: Hyperframe, an exhibition bringing together an unprecedented selection of multi-frame paintings by one of America's great under-explored artists.

Raised on comic books and films when those mediums first dominated the storytelling landscape, Roger Brown (1941 – 1997) considered the multi-frame image essential to the American visual vernacular. Throughout his career, Brown returned often to the multi-frame structure, demonstrating how both the mightiest depths and pettiest shallows of our national drama could be revealed within its format, especially with the careful addition of text.

Kavi Gupta presents Roger Brown: Hyperframe, an exhibition bringing together an unprecedented selection of multi-frame paintings by one of America’s greatest…

Left: "American Landscape with Revolutionary Heroes", Roger Brown, 1983, oil on canvas, 84 x 144 in.Right: "See No Evil"...
02/05/2020

Left: "American Landscape with Revolutionary Heroes", Roger Brown, 1983, oil on canvas, 84 x 144 in.

Right: "See No Evil", Roger Brown, 1990, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 in.

Happy Birthday Roger Brown! Born December 10, 1941.
12/10/2019

Happy Birthday Roger Brown! Born December 10, 1941.

Roger Brown - December 10, 1941 - November 22, 1997Family Mourning Tree, 1987, color woodcutRemembering Roger Brown, who...
11/22/2019

Roger Brown - December 10, 1941 - November 22, 1997
Family Mourning Tree, 1987, color woodcut

Remembering Roger Brown, whose work was (and is being) celebrated this year by Kavi Gupta (gallery and art fairs), Creative Cadences: The Art of Roger and Greg Brown, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (May 2 - November 3); Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lives, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC (May 2 - September 15); and Roger Brown, Venus Over Manhattan, NYC (November 12, 2019 - January 11, 2020); Theater of Operations: The Gulf War 1991-2011, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (November 2, 2019 - March 1, 2020), and the Terra Foundation for American Art purchased Brown's iconic The Big Jolt, 1972.

A new Roger Brown exhibition opens at Venus Over Manhattan November 12 and runs through January 11. Don't miss it, and k...
11/06/2019

A new Roger Brown exhibition opens at Venus Over Manhattan November 12 and runs through January 11. Don't miss it, and keep an eye out for the catalog!

http://www.venusovermanhattan.com/exhibitions/roger-brown

Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Roger Brown, organized in collaboration with the Roger Brown Study Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Kavi Gupta. Comprising a large group of paintings that spans the breadth of his career, the presentation surveys the development of Brown’s production. In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery will publish a catalogue featuring two new texts on the artist by Lisa Stone, Curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection, and Dan Nadel, Curator at Large, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, UC Davis, as well as pages from Brown’s sketchbooks that relate to the works on view. The exhibition will be on view from November 12th, 2019 through January 11th, 2020.

Four Color Field Paintings Intersected by A Four Way Stop, Roger Brown, 1985, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. #ChicagoIma...
10/08/2019

Four Color Field Paintings Intersected by A Four Way Stop, Roger Brown, 1985, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. #ChicagoImagists #RogerBrown

In celebration of "Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes," MAD | Museum of Arts and Design will be hosting a symposium Saturd...
08/30/2019
Roger Brown: Theater of the Mind

In celebration of "Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes," MAD | Museum of Arts and Design will be hosting a symposium Saturday, September 7, 2019 - 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Participants include Julie Curtiss, Anthony Iaconok, Hein Koh, Shannon Stratton, Lisa Stone, and Lisa Wainwright.

Get tickets here: https://madmuseum.org/events/roger-brown-theater-mind

In celebration of Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes, MAD brings leading experts in Roger Brown scholarship together with contemporary artists for a multidisciplinary exploration of Brown’s work and ongoing influence. The symposium marks the publication of the exhibition's catalog, a limited edition...

"Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes" reviewed by Roberta Smith in the New York Times! Congrats to curator Shannon Stratton...
08/30/2019
The Keeper: Roger Brown, the Artist as Voracious Collector

"Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes" reviewed by Roberta Smith in the New York Times! Congrats to curator Shannon Stratton!

See the show before it closes September 15.

An idiosyncratic almost-retrospective at the Museum of Arts and Design looks at the Chicago Imagist’s late-career works.

"City Expanding," Roger Brown, 1989, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches. #RogerBrown #ChicagoImagists
08/22/2019

"City Expanding," Roger Brown, 1989, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches. #RogerBrown #ChicagoImagists

"The Devil's Surprise," Roger Brown, 1980, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in. #RogerBrown #ChicagoImagists #religion #church #he...
05/24/2019

"The Devil's Surprise," Roger Brown, 1980, oil on canvas, 72 x 48 in.

#RogerBrown #ChicagoImagists #religion #church #heaven #hell #sex #alcohol

Open today! "Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes" at the MAD | Museum of Arts and Design. Curated by Shannon Stratton, the ...
05/02/2019
Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes

Open today! "Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes" at the MAD | Museum of Arts and Design. Curated by Shannon Stratton, the show runs through September 15. Do not miss it, and keep an eye out for its forthcoming publication!!
https://madmuseum.org/exhibition/roger-brown-0

Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes brings together, for the first time, a vast grouping of the artist’s “Virtual Still Life” paintings (1995–97) made near the end of his career. By positioning these works alongside others that highlight their development, including early paintings demonstrating his interest in the stage and installations conveying the centrality of collecting to his practice, the exhibition lays out Brown’s process through the objects he collected and the spaces he created for and with them. This will mark the first New York solo museum show devoted to Brown, arguably one of the most significant artists to emerge from Chicago in the twentieth century.

Known for his atmospheric paintings of architecture, landscapes, and simplified social dramas, Roger Brown (1941–1997) stylized an American “ambiance” influenced by the visual language of postwar advertising and film noir. His practice investigated the tension between illusionistic and “real” space, aestheticizing the national mood as one of artificiality and theatricality. Brown’s work is remarkable in its capacity to provide a sly, compact critique of American politics and society through the stunning use of color, rhythmic pattern, and compressed perspective. His vision of reality emerges as particularly compelling today, given the elevated tension between the virtual and the real brought on by the popular use of digital space as a site for socializing and self-mythologizing.

Throughout his life, Brown was a voracious collector; he amassed hundreds of thrift store and yard sale finds, from vernacular ceramics and kitsch objects to exceptional works of folk and visionary art, which he meticulously arranged and displayed in his studio and homes. His virtual still-life paintings eventually became a studio expression of his collecting and curating of found objects, moving from the tableaux he created in his surroundings to discrete works of art that married his passion for collecting with his groundbreaking approach to painting. To create the twenty-seven works in the “Virtual Still Life” series, Brown selected from nearly five hundred objects, primarily ceramic, and curated distinct arrangements on display shelves that extended from the frames of his moody land and skyscapes. In these “virtual” still lifes, the concrete and the pictorial blur to enshrine and celebrate real experience.

In addition to examples from this last, important series, Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes presents early paintings that set the stage for the artist’s dramatic landscapes made midcareer; painted objects that unite his collecting with his studio work; and curated arrangements from his live-work homes in La Conchita, California, and Chicago, Illinois. As such, it examines how collecting practices and theatrical concepts permeated and shaped Brown’s artistic process, culminating in the “Virtual Still Life” series.

The exhibition and its accompanying publication are produced in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes is curated by former MAD William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Shannon R. Stratton with support from MAD Assistant Manager of Curatorial Affairs Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy and Roger Brown Study Collection Curator Lisa Stone.

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