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Museum of Contemporary Art interviews, 1979-1986

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Series 1: Interviews with Artists, Collectors, and Curators, 1979-1986
8 linear feet
Boxes 1-8

Series contains video interviews with 35 artists, curators, and an art collector, conducted by the staff of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago between 1979 and 1986, on 107 U-Matic videocassettes. The first set of interviews in the series are with contemporary artists who had solo exhibitions at the museum between 1979 and 1985, including Chuck Close, Roger Brown, Eric Fischl, Peter and Ritzi Jacobi, Steve Keister, Sol Le Witt, and collector Dennis Adrian, whose Chicago art collection was exhibited in 1982. The remainder of the series contains four sets of interviews and other footage relating to exhibitions and programming, including the 1979 exhibition
Wall Painting - Ryman, Hafif, Pozzi, Jackson, Yasuda
; the 1981 exhibition
Kick out the jams: Detroit’s Cass Corridor 1963-1977
; and the 1983 exhibition and educational program
Eleven Chicago Artists
, created with Chicago’s N.A.M.E. gallery, which traveled to area high schools featuring short video documentaries about each artist that were created from the footage on the tapes in this collection. The last set includes interviews with architects Dirk Lohan and George Danforth and historian Franz Schulze, created for the 1986 program “Mies van der Rohe Remembered,” celebrating the centennial of the architect’s birth.
The main content of the recordings are interviews with the artists or other subjects, ranging from 1 to 2 hours in duration. Some of the tapes contain footage of exhibition installations, artworks, or footage of the artist working. Tapes with content other than interview footage are typically labeled “Inserts” referring to material that was shot to be inserted into the edited version of the interviews. The museum’s education department created edited versions of many of these interviews to accompany exhibitions, but the edited versions are not in the current collection, except for one, entitled “Shaking in the Cape of Good Hope” by Karl Wirsum. Note that the two Sol Le Witt tapes are numbered 4 and 6 and no other Le Witt tapes are found in the collection.
Individual interviews are arranged at the beginning of the series alphabetically. The remainder of the series is arranged by exhibition. The videocassettes for the Wall Paintings and Cass Corridor exhibitions are arranged in the sequence in which they were shot, and those for the Eleven Chicago Artists exhibition are arranged alphabetically by artist.
Some of the material in this series has been digitized for research access.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.