Contains primarily exhibition records and office files of curatorial departments. Exhibition files are organized according to the originating department, and include research files, loan correspondence, installation and fundraising documentation, catalogue preparation files, press coverage and follow-up material. Of particular interest are files from the Annual Exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture, 1888+ ; the Annual Exhibition of the Artists of Chicago and Vicinity, 1897+ ; and the Annual Exhibition of Applied Arts, 1902-1923.
African and Amerindian Art. (1957+)
American Arts (before 1900). (1975+)
Asian Art (1922+)
European Decorative Arts & Sculpture and Classical Arts. (1914+)
Harding Collection of Arms and Armor
Thorne Miniature Rooms
European Painting (before 1900). (1926+)
Prints & Drawings. (1910+)
Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture. (1953+)
Katharine Kuh Papers. (1953-1957)
A. James Speyer Papers. (1961-1986)
Artists Biographical Data Sheets. (1948-1965)
Libraries and Archives
Records of the Ryerson Library (1901-1957), the Burnham Library of Architecture (1912-1957), and the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries (1957+). The two libraries were merged administratively in 1957, but were not integrated physically until 1967. The records consist primarily of annual reports of the librarians, documentation on major library acquisitions, special projects such as oral histories and microfilming of architectural drawings, and the building history of the libraries.
First established as the Department of Museum Instruction in 1913, the name changed in 1934 to the Department of Museum Education. Prior to 1913, museum guides were available, and on occasion this service was referred to as the Museum Guidance Department, never officially established, and with no permanent staff member assigned to this: senior museum staff members and volunteers performed this service.
Gallery of Art Interpretation, 1926-1954
Garfield Park Art Gallery, 1935-1937
Junior Museum, 1963+
Records of transactions involving museum collections: Accessions, deaccessions, loans, insurance information, shipping arrangements, condition reports, etc. The majority of the records consists of shipping orders and receipts of object. Access restrictions apply.
Interesting for researchers is the Collection Records series: files arranged by donor or collection name, including correspondence, lists, appraisals, biographical data, etc.
Press releases, news clippings, audio-visual press coverage and other publicity about Art Institute exhibitions and events.
Press coverage (microfilm access only)
Corporate Records (Office of the Secretary)
Essential archival records of the corporation, documenting the founding of museum and school, changes in its corporate structure and policies, and history of gifts, estates and bequests to the institution.
Records of gifts, bequests and estates (access restricted)
Charter and by-laws
Minutes of the Board of Trustees and its committees, 1879-1991
Annual reports, 1880-1997
Photographs of exhibition installations, buildings occupied by the museum and school, special events, school classes, artists and administrators.
15 hours 31 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—In 1963 Melvin Edwards began Lynch Fragments, a series of welded steel assemblages made in response to the tumultuous social climate of the Civil Rights movement. The title of the series evokes the horrifying images of racist mob violence, yet Edwards’s works distill the subject into a powerful sculptural language, fusing modernist abstraction with a sense of personal and collective history.
Afrophoenix No. 1—one of the earliest objects from the series—exemplifies how the artist physically transformed found objects and brought them together in poetically suggestive, tension-filled compositions. Here the formal arrangement of steel elements evokes an equestrian bridle and bit. Chains, hammers, nails, spikes, and screws magnify the sculpture’s associative power, recalling implements of labor and torture. At the same the title references the mythological phoenix—alluding to death, rebirth, and transformation.
See Afrophoenix No. 1 (1963) by Melvin Edwards in Gallery 289D.
19 hours 57 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry
With their plush, inviting, and varied textures, the velvets featured in this exhibition showcase the diversity of modern velvet as well as the effects of industry on its production. As industrial innovations at the turn of the 19th century allowed for faster production and encouraged the use of less costly materials, designers and manufacturers of velvet sought to maintain its association with wealth, luxury, and splendor.
Learn how this elegant fabric has inspired designers for centuries, with a wide range of examples from the 19th century to present day—closing March 19.
1 day 6 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Just like the museum's collection comes from artists around the world, so does the Museum Shop’s assortment of products. We source exclusive products from artisans that are inspired by the cultures, mediums, and techniques represented in our museum collection. View our assortment of unique items from India.