Archive for the ‘House Museum’ Category

03/17/2007

Museums collecting houses.

Back when the Farnsworth House was in trouble I asked honchos at the Art Institute of Chicago if they were interested in buying it. It certainly wasn’t that expensive, as masterpieces go, just 7 – 8 million bucks. Nothing when you consider that a far-less-interesting Jasper Johns painting can go for $80+ million. Anyway, the Art Institute wasn’t interested, they said they didn’t collect houses.


I also thought at the time that the then newly-flush (after an approximately 125 million dollar bequest) Poetry Foundation could buy the Farnsworth House and its land, and let poets reside there, be inspired and write. What could the Poetry Foundation do better with its money? They weren’t interested either. Nothing rhymed with ‘Farnsworth?’ Anyway, the saga ended well when Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust bought the darn thing at auction.

So I’m pleased to see that Los Angeles County Museum of Art Director Michael Govan is looking at houses – as potential museum pieces.

Edward Wyatt in the New York Times has the story.

(Govan’s) idea — one that has rarely, if ever, been tried on a large scale by a major museum — is to collect significant pieces of midcentury residential architecture, including houses by Rudolf M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his son Lloyd Wright, and to treat them as both museum objects and as residences for curators.

What a perk! I think it’s a great idea.

I like House Museums and I would like Museum Houses. For cities like LA, Chicago, and yours? – lucky enough to be blessed with inspired, inspiring dwellings.

If you get one of those really nice dwellings, I’d be happy to bring you a cup of sugar.
-Edoardo

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12/10/2006

House Museums
Those who know me know I love house and studio museums. I believe the spirit of the artist comes through in the places they were.

And I love museums dedicated to one artist. Especially when they then have solo shows of other artists.

The building above, in downtown Chicago, should house one but doesn’t. It’s a perfect location, a block from the tourist-frequented John Hancock building, and across Pearson Street from the Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you don’t know who lived there, I’ll tell you in a second. But first, I digress.

In Paris I loved the Bourdelle Museum. No, it’s not the bordello museum ya numbskull! It shows the sculpture of Antoine Bourdelle.


I love the garden there, there used to be nobody around.
Zadkine has a nice house and studio museum in Paris too. These places make city life richer. And history come alive.

Here in Chicago I wish we had (with the cooperation of the owner) turned the second floor apartment in Lincoln Park in which

Henry Darger lived, for more than 40 years, until about 1973. It would have been a special house museum and a great attraction for visitors. I believe the space contained secrets.

There he wrote and illustrated his 19,000 page long book, ‘The Story of the Vivian Girls, in what is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.’ Is Darger’s America’s Van Gogh? He is a fine colorist.

And then there is the place above. A space we know was inhabited by a great artist, an original thinker. There he lived for nearly thirty years.


In a few rooms in 200 East Pearson, on the corner of Pearson, and — yes, we have done it – Mies van der Rohe way. (I love to hear the bus drivers pronounce it, and I’ve yet to meet one who knows who Mies was.) I’d love to see it turned into a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe House Museum one day. When the currrent owner (a fine architect) wills it.

As I said it’s right across the street from Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (although a great old armory sat there when Mies lived on Pearson) and they could administer it.


Wouldn’t a Mies museum across the street draw more people also to the MCA?

Inside the Mies House let’s display objects he designed, and some of the things he owned.
Plus printed matter and a room of videos of him and of others explaining his work and his influence.

And from this very central location in Chicago, right near 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive, 900 – 910 Lake Shore Drive, and the Arts Club staircase, launch Mies tours including to IIT and the Farnsworth House. Serve martinis if you like !

Would you come visit?

-Edoardo

In 1941 Mies moved his residence from a Chicago hotel to 200 East Pearson Street, Chicago, IL, USA, where he lived until his death in 1969. Other than painting the walls white, the only change he made in the apartment was to built two wall shelves cantilevered on both sides of a gypsum block wall that separated the living room from a bedroom.

12/10/2006

House Museums
Those who know me know I love house and studio museums. I believe the spirit of the artist comes through in the places they were.

And I love museums dedicated to one artist. Especially when they then have solo shows of other artists.

The building above, in downtown Chicago, should house one but doesn’t. It’s a perfect location, a block from the tourist-frequented John Hancock building, and across Pearson Street from the Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you don’t know who lived there, I’ll tell you in a second. But first, I digress.

In Paris I loved the Bourdelle Museum. No, it’s not the bordello museum ya numbskull! It shows the sculpture of Antoine Bourdelle.


I love the garden there, there used to be nobody around.
Zadkine has a nice house and studio museum in Paris too. These places make city life richer. And history come alive.

Here in Chicago I wish we had (with the cooperation of the owner) turned the second floor apartment in Lincoln Park in which

Henry Darger lived, for more than 40 years, until about 1973. It would have been a special house museum and a great attraction for visitors. I believe the space contained secrets.

There he wrote and illustrated his 19,000 page long book, ‘The Story of the Vivian Girls, in what is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.’ Is Darger’s America’s Van Gogh? He is a fine colorist.

And then there is the place above. A space we know was inhabited by a great artist, an original thinker. There he lived for nearly thirty years.


In a few rooms in 200 East Pearson, on the corner of Pearson, and — yes, we have done it – Mies van der Rohe way. (I love to hear the bus drivers pronounce it, and I’ve yet to meet one who knows who Mies was.) I’d love to see it turned into a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe House Museum one day. When the currrent owner (a fine architect) wills it.

As I said it’s right across the street from Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (although a great old armory sat there when Mies lived on Pearson) and they could administer it.


Wouldn’t a Mies museum across the street draw more people also to the MCA?

Inside the Mies House let’s display objects he designed, and some of the things he owned.
Plus printed matter and a room of videos of him and of others explaining his work and his influence.

And from this very central location in Chicago, right near 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive, 900 – 910 Lake Shore Drive, and the Arts Club staircase, launch Mies tours including to IIT and the Farnsworth House. Serve martinis if you like !

Would you come visit?

-Edoardo

In 1941 Mies moved his residence from a Chicago hotel to 200 East Pearson Street, Chicago, IL, USA, where he lived until his death in 1969. Other than painting the walls white, the only change he made in the apartment was to built two wall shelves cantilevered on both sides of a gypsum block wall that separated the living room from a bedroom.