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Museum of Contemporary Art interviews, 1979-1986

Historical Note

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago was founded in 1967 with Jan van der Marck as its first Director. The period from 1979 to 1986, represented in the videorecordings in this collection, was a period of physical expansion for the Museum, as well as a period when audiovisual components of artworks and exhibition design were increasingly incorporated into exhibitions and other programming. In 1979, a physical expansion of the museum begun in 1977 was unveiled with the opening of four new galleries, signaling an increased capacity for showing local and emerging contemporary artists and engaging the community.
The museum's education department began using video to create a rich record of solo and group exhibitions mounted at the museum, and created short video programs to reach out to new audiences. For their 1979
Wall Paintings
exhibition, artists were interviewed while making their work in the museum, creating a visual record of the ephemeral works on display and the process of their creation. Video interviews with Detroit artists were created in preparation for a 1981 exhibition showing contemporary artists in the Cass Corridor community of that city. In 1983, Museum staff collaborated with Chicago's N.A.M.E. gallery to create the traveling exhibition
Eleven Chicago Artists
, which combined artwork with video documentaries showing artists at work and talking about their creative process. The exhibition traveled to city and suburban schools around Chicago. And on the centenary of the birth of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1986, interviews were conducted with Mies' grandson, Dirk Lohan, also an architect, as well as architectural historians George Danforth and Franz Schulze.