Visit the RBSC
FOR THE SAIC COMMUNITY
The RBSC is open to SAIC faculty, students and staff, and to Art Institute of Chicago staff, as an SAIC instructional resource and artists’ study collection, by appointment. Research visits can include a guided exploration of the collection, a focused exploration of artists, objects, concepts, and histories in it, and/or access to archival materials. There is no fee for SAIC students, faculty, and staff, and Art Institute of Chicago staff. The SAIC community is invited to bring visiting artists or colleagues, family, and friends to visit the collection informally. A little advance notice is advised, and visits will be granted based on staff availability.
FACULTY AND STUDENTS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS
Class visits can include a guided exploration of the collection, a focused exploration of artists, objects, concepts, and histories in it, and/or access to archival materials. Research visits are limited to 15 or fewer guests. Non-SAIC faculty and students: $5.00/guest.
FOR THE PUBLIC
The RBSC is open to the public by appointment, days or evenings, based on staff availability. For information or to schedule a visit: e-mail email@example.com or call 773.929-2452. Please include the date and time of your requested visit, the type of tour (see list below) and the number of guests. It will help if you send a selection of possible dates in order of your preference. We’ll reply quickly and schedule your visit.
As a special collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Roger Brown Study Collection hosts SAIC classes, projects, and meetings, which can take place mornings, afternoons, and evenings any day of the week. To accommodate academic programming we don’t block out specific days/times that the collection is open to the public. However, we welcome guests from the public and strive to accommodate all requests.
ARTISTS' MUSEUM Public Tours: Guided tours include a slide presentation on Roger Brown's artistic and collecting path and a complete tour of the collection. Tours generally last an hour and a half, and are limited to 12 or fewer guests, $15.00/guest.
SNEAK PEEK TOURS: If you prefer to skip the more formal Artists’ Museum tour, schedule a more intimate “sneak peek” visit. RBSC staff will guide you through the collection, provide information, and answer questions. All this for $8.00/guest. A little advance notice is advised, and visits will be granted based on staff availability.
GROUP TOURS: ARTISTS' MUSEUM Tours for museums and other groups: We welcome museum and other professional groups. Tours include a slide presentation on Roger Brown’s artistic and collecting path and a complete tour of the collection. Slide presentations can be tailored to specific subjects or areas of interest by request. Sketchbooks and other archival materials can be viewed by advance request.
Group tours generally take one and a half hours; there is no time limit.
For groups of more than 15 guests, half of the group will view the slide presentation in the first floor gallery/orientation space, while half the group tours the collection on the second floor, then the groups switch. For tours of more than 15 guests it’s best to schedule at least an hour and a half. There are many restaurants in the area, please feel free to request a list.
- Group tours are limited to 30 or fewer guests.
- The fee is $350.00 for groups of 24 to 30; $15.00/guest for smaller groups.
For information or to schedule a visit please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 773.929-2452.
PLEASE NOTE: The Roger Brown Study Collection is densely installed with art and objects. Tours are geared primarily for an audience of teen age and older guests. If you bring young children they must be carefully supervised.
The RBSC is located in a historic 1888 storefront building. The collection is located on the second floor and in two stairways, accessible by stairs only. Our facilities are not presently fully accessible but we are actively working towards removing barriers to accommodate people with disabilities. An in-depth slide presentation with many views of the collection can be shown to anyone unable to reach the second floor. Please let us know if you have special needs in advance of your visit. Our wheelchair ramp is located on the south side of the building. A staff member will open the gate.
All visits are scheduled on a first come - first served basis, based on staff availability.
Location and contact information
Roger Brown Study Collection
1926 North Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois 60614
voice: 773. 929-2452
fax: 773. 665-4804
Directions to the RBSC
The RBSC is located at 1926 North Halsted Street, 1/2 block south of Armitage Avenue on Halsted Street, on the west side of the street.
By public transportation
- CTA Brown Line (Ravesnwood El): Exit at Armitage and walk 3 blocks east to Halsted St. Turn right on Halsted and go 1/2 block south to 1926.
- CTA Red Line: Exit at North Avenue, go to Halsted St. (1/4 block east) and walk 2 1/2 blocks north to 1926.
- CTA Bus # 8, Halsted Street Bus, exit at Armitage and walk 1/2 block south to 1926.
From I-94, exit at North Avenue, drive east to Halsted Street. Turn left/north on Halsted St. and drive 2.5 blocks to 1926.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE FACILITY:
The Roger Brown Study Collection is densely installed with art and objects. Tours are geared primarily for an audience of teen age and older guests. If you bring young children they must be carefully supervised.
The RBSC is located in a historic 1888 storefront building. The collection is located on the second floor and in two stairways, accessible by stairs only. Our facilities are not presently fully accessible but we are actively working towards removing barriers to accommodate people with disabilities. An in-depth slide presentation with many views of the collection can be shown to anyone unable to reach the second floor. Please let us know if you have special needs in advance of your visit. Our wheelchair ramp is located on the south side of the building. (A staff member will open the gate.)
What our visitors say:
I didn't realize at the time that the skills I was developing would eventually form the basis for what has become my career; these skills would never have blossomed without working at the RBSC...
— Duncan Mackenzie, SAIC Alumnus and former student intern
...The time I've spent at the RBSC has been immensely valuable as a lesson in art history, the
–– Erin Johnson, SAIC alumna and former student intern
"The objects at the Roger Brown Study Collection inspire anyone with an interest
in the artistic production of various cultures, by which I mean everyone. In
its vastness and multitude, the Study Collection is able to be read and
interpreted by the spontaneity of eye movement and personal taste of the viewer
in a way that embraces the plurality of the audience. Working at the Collection
has allowed me to experience the perpetual reconfiguration and discovery that
occurs within it--something that can only come through a prolonged period of
study--and has enriched my artistic and art historical interests immensely.
Being able to handle the objects, to gain an intimate relationship with them,
while simultaneously studying the life and writings of artist Roger Brown has
been an incomparable experience."
–– James Connolly, RBSC student intern, 2006-07
"One of the many extraordinary things about the RBSC is how fully this
environment—essentially preserved as it was created, welcomes and
accommodates a welter of very contemporary activities. Somehow, its
preservation of a historical environment creates an ideal setting for
teaching and learning, for the presentation of very recent artworks
and projects, and for the development of individual visions. Visitors immediately understand that it is
protected, and nurtured, as a special place, and one which finds it
realization through the public's use of it and continual redefinition
— Rachel Weiss, SAIC professor
"The Study Collection is a one-stop crash course in the limitless approaches to art making and the principles of preservation. Each object in the collection tells a story, always relating to Chicago. It is vital to save the Study Collection as it not only represents important parts of Chicago’s underrepresented art history, it preserves and presents Chicago history."
— Alex Marr, RBSC student intern 2006-07
"What do we know about any artist? More often than not, we must be satisfied with what we can glean from their work, their archives, and their biographies. However, Roger Brown’s living space and vast art collection imparts the artist’s singular perspective towards living
with and understanding art. It is a wonderful opportunity to navigate
this exceptionally dense art collection and, at the same time, witness how Brown manages to distill all conversations about the nature between high and low, outsider versus insider, and consumption versus mysticism. I have never had a better time."
— Hannah Tashjian , RBSC volunteer 2003-05
"…Just last week I took a group of High School students to view the collection, and needless to say, every student left with a specific enlightening experience…the Roger Brown Study Collection is the only site of its kind in which I and my fellow teachers can illustrate this non-prejudiced approach to the world of things, the world of art…in years to come, sensitive artists, students and educators…will tell the same story…"
— Jorge Raphael Lucero, SAIC alumnus and Instructor, Northside College Prep. High School
"In many of the nation’s famous artist’s studios and house museums the original environment…has been laboriously recreated after it had been dismantled and dispersed…Rare is the home and studio solution the Roger Brown Study Collection offers – a complete house and art collection that represents not only the personal interest of one of this nation’ most creative artists…but itself a nationally significant collection of outsider art and found objects in its Roger Brown designated context."
— Rolf Achilles, Associate Professor of Art History, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
"The Roger Brown Study Collection is without a doubt one of Chicago’s
hidden treasures, and for me, a place that I will hold forever dear
in my heart. Having worked there for a year during graduate school
at The School of the Art Institute, I became very close to the Collection, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to spend the time I did learning about Roger Brown in the very place
that he called home. Historic sites like this are all too few in this world, and it is important that they remain for eternity."
— Matthew DuPont, SAIC student intern, 2006-07
"…you realize what a gift you have been given. You have become part of an ongoing learning experience, a glimpse into the life of another, and another, and another. All by walking through that door. This is far more than a study collection, this is a time capsule that you have now become a part of."
— Carla Pearlman, SAIC student, 2006
"As Director of the Folk Art Institute and Curator of Special projects for the Contemporary Center for the Museum of American Folk Art (NYC), I recognize and appreciate the importance of the Roger Brown Study Collection as a unique setting to study outstanding original art works in context. The opportunity to examine original works by trained artists, Roger Brown and the Chicago Imagists along with the art of self-taught artists they appreciated and in some cases discovered, is extraordinary for researchers, scholars, and the public…"
— Lee Kogan, Director, Folk Art Institute, American Folk Art Museum, New York
"…This collection not only expands understanding of Mr. Brown’s work but also opens a window into an aspect of Chicago’s esthetic heritage, apart from its rich architecture, that too few people know about…The Study Center gives you "the real thing," a Chicago storefront studio where a flesh-and-blood individual, at the center of a generation where this interest was strongest, lived and worked…The Roger Brown Study Center is an "Artist’s Studio Museum" unlike any other, in the U.S. or abroad…"
— Sidney Lawrence, independent curator, former Head of Public Affairs, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture
"I have just had the great pleasure of visiting the Roger Brown Home and Studio…of course I knew the artist’s work, but gained a deeper understanding of his concerns….Now when I see works by this important voice, I have a deeper and more complete context in which to place the canvases…I know you will agree with me, that there is nothing like seeing the artists studio and environment to come to the essence of creation. Certainly this was true in the case of the Georgia O’Keeffe Home and studio in Abiquiu…"
— Elizabeth Glassman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Terra Foundation for American Art.
"In the year before his death in 1997, Roger Brown, one of Chicago’s most prominent artists, donated his collection to the School of the Art Institute. On 1926 North Halsted Street the quite blue accented facade of this 1889 storefront—which served as his home and studio—belies the thousands of treasures installed on every surface: tribal artifacts, folk art, toys, mementos, kitsch souvenirs, Indian miniatures, and stunning examples of work by Chicago Imagists. Unlike some historic domiciles, stuffy containers for personal relics, the Roger Brown study Collection inflects preservation with relevancy and vitality. It offers public glimpses into the inspirational sources and generous imagination of a private artist, like the room full of precious Joseph Yoakum drawings. Scholars can admire Brown’s sketchbooks and kids can observe how individual creativity dissolves distinctions between popular culture and high art. Upstairs in the kitchen, souvenir note cards are displayed in the dishwasher, and still parked in the garage is Roger’s shiny blue 1967 Mustang."
— Judith Russi Kirshner, critic and curator, dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"The Roger Brown Study Collection contributes immensely to SAIC’s goals of putting students in touch with a larger world and of finding deep roots for their art…The work in the collection is not only global in scope, but expands each visitor’s sense of where they might find objects worth their attention, whether it be in circus sideshows, in the signs hand-lettered by a politically engaged farmer, or in the toy section of a department store…Although Brown did not like terms such as "regionalist" or "Chicago artist," his Study Collection is the best place in the world to view outstanding works by Chicago artists of the past four decades in conjunction with a gathering of the sorts of objects and images that influenced their work…These are some of the reasons why, as a seeker of visual delights and as a cultural historian with a special interest in connections between Chicago and the world, I visit the Roger Brown Study Collection as often as possible …Knowing that we have resources such as the Roger Brown Study Collection is one of the reasons why I was willing to work with others over the past several years to develop the new B.A. in Visual and Cultural Studies…Knowing of the institution’s long term commitment to protecting, documenting, studying, and maintaining access to this collection gives me confidence that in the years ahead SAIC will continue to offer an education that encourages students to find inspiration for their development as artists and thinkers both close at home and in distant worlds."
— George H. Roeder, Jr., Professor of Liberal Arts, Chair, B.A. in Visual and Critical Studies Program, SAIC (1944-2004)
"The Roger Brown Study Collection is a mass of artistic corpuscles that come together to form one of Chicago’s most valuable and fascinating archives of local art history. The Collection inspires new possibilities within my own artistic practice. As an aspiring curator, I yearn to develop my own living space into a domestic gallery with strategically placed cardboard, tapestries, toys and paintings. The collection does just this, in allowing a living space to become an artistic biography. The collection is a time capsule of the life of one of the greatest Chicago Artists and should be preserved and continually celebrated."
— B. Ingrid Olson, SAIC student