Joseph Randall Shapiro papers

Survey Repository: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

In process. Approximately 2.5 linear feet of material consisting of documents produced during or related to Shapiro’s tenures as the founding Board President and as temporary director of the MCA, including correspondence, news clippings, ephemera, and MCA financial and administrative documents.

Biographical Historical Note

Joseph Shapiro began collecting in 1942 and was drawn to works in the Surrealist tradition. While establishing one of the most important art collections in Chicago, Shapiro and his wife Jory enjoyed personal friendships with artists and used their collection to educate and increase public appreciation of modern art in Chicago. Shapiro was a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and served on its board as President from 1967 until 1974.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Museum of Contemporary Art Exhibition Records, David Katzive Papers, Jan van der Marck Papers, Video Archive, Performing Arts Events Archive, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; University of Chicago Office of the President, Levi Administration Records and Elizabeth H. Paepcke Papers, University of Chicago Library; Gallery files, Fr. Michael E. Komechak, O.S.B. Art Gallery, Benedictine University. The Joseph Randall Shapiro and Jory Shapiro papers, 1943-1985, are in the Archives of American Art.