Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-01-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Foundation acquires major Roger Brown work
by Kerry Reid
2019-10-30

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Though born and raised in small towns in Alabama, the late gay artist Roger Brown's greatest fame came through his association with the Chicago Imagists, an informal band of artists who grew out of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the late 1960s and whose work often had a surrealist bent to it, filtered through lenses of pop culture and social commentary.

Now the Terra Foundation for American Art—which has emphasized collecting Chicago artists in recent years—has acquired Brown's painting The Big Jolt, a 1972 canvas created as part of his Disasters series. It was in a private collection until Terra bought it at auction this fall. The foundation also recently bought Top Cat Boy, a piece by Brown's fellow Imagist Ed Paschke, and Beauford Delaney's Untitled ( Village Street Scene ). All three paintings reflect Terra's more recent focus on collecting American art of the post-World War II era.

The Terra Foundation Collection represents around 800 works, including paintings, works on paper, and sculptures ranging from the late 18th century to the mid-20th. Founded in 1978 by the late Daniel J. Terra, who also established the former Terra Museum of American Art ( first in Evanston, then on Michigan Avenue, where it operated from 1987 to 2004 ), the Foundation now focuses on partnering with institutions around the world in sharing the work of American artists. But as curator Peter John ( PJ ) Brownlee noted, there is increasing interest in exhibiting post-1945 American art, especially in foreign museums.

"We have a collection plan and we revise and update that every few years," said Brownlee. "We try to be generous lenders to exhibitions organized by other museums. So we see what kinds of requests are coming in, and if you've been paying attention to the art world at all, you'll see that it's swung firmly to the 20th century." Through the Terra Collection Initiative, the foundation sends work to exhibitions around the world. Terra president and CEO Elizabeth Glassman noted that over the last 15 years, about 89 percent of the collection has been shared with other cultural institutions. Locally, the Art Institute also maintains a rotating collection of around 30 paintings from the Terra Foundation.

Brown's work holds special resonance for Chicago's LGBTQ community. In 1997, the year Brown died of AIDS-related complications ( he was inducted posthumously into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2004 ), he unveiled his glass mosaic mural Hull House, Cook County, Howard Brown: A Tradition of Helping at what was known as the Howard Brown Health Center ( now Howard Brown Health ) on North Sheridan Road. Figures representing Hull House founder Jane Addams and Howard Brown flank buildings representing Cook County Hospital, Hull House and the Howard Brown Health. It's a decidedly more positive spin on the urban landscape than that of Brown's Disasters series, which, as in The Big Jolt, often feature buildings on the verge of collapse.

Brown's longtime personal and creative partner, George Veronda, was an architect. Their shared studio at 1926 N. Halsted St., containing Brown's extensive collection of art and artifacts ( which included everything from his fellow Imagists to folk and Indigenous art, Art Deco and travel souvenirs ) was styled by Brown as "The Artists' Museum of Chicago" and is now maintained as the Roger Brown Study Collection through the Art Institute.

The special significance of The Big Jolt, according to Terra assistant curator Taylor Poulin, is that Brown and his fellow Imagists were "picking up on things that were happening in the moment. If you think about where they drew their imagery or their interests, Roger Brown would open up the newspaper and see a disaster happening." Poulin added "What they touch on is this anxiety about these things. It's humorous, but he's also kind of making a point about how fearful the world can be to a lot of people."

Brownlee noted that many of the issues artists such as Brown and others represented by the Terra delved into have relevance today for places like Brazil ( the Terra has partnered with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sao Paulo ), where LGBTQ rights and environmental activists have both been under attack in recent years. Putting work by American artists in conversation with each other and with artists from other nations remains a high priority for the Terra. In that way, Brown's wide-ranging interests as a collector as well as a creator of work reflecting a broad and eclectic array of styles and media also echo Terra's mission.

But as Glassman notes, the foundation's interest in expanding its collection of work by Chicago artists also remains a priority. The foundation's 2018 Art Design Chicago initiative helped cement Terra's desire to showcase work by artists such as Brown. But Glassman said, "We don't buy them only because they're Chicago artists. We buy them because they're great works of art and because we do feel that they speak to other works in our collection." She noted that the Paschke painting, which features a masked and top-hatted man holding a woman in a leopard-print bikini, can work in conversation with other Terra pieces emphasizing "the performative," such as a Reginald Marsh painting depicting the backstage of a burlesque show and a Walt Kuhn painting of a clown.

Building connections between works of art and spectators also remained important to Brown throughout his life. In a letter Brown sent months before he died to Lisa Stone, curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection, he wrote "I feel the things in the collection are of universal appeal to all artists and people with a sense of the spiritual and mystical nature that material things can evoke."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago Gay Hockey Association participating in Blackhawks Pride Night 2020-01-23 - The CGHA ( Chicago Gay Hockey Association ) is participating in the first official Chicago Blackhawks Pride Night at the United Center, 1901 ...


Gay News

CAKE announces venue change, cites Center controversy 2020-01-23 - After being at Center on Halsted for several years, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ( CAKE ) 2020 organizing committee announced the weekend-long ...


Gay News

Woman Made Gallery names Alcaraz as new executive director 2020-01-23 - Chicago's Woman Made Gallery (WMG)—a feminist contemporary art gallery now in its 28th year—announced the appointment of a new executive director. Gaylon B. ...


Gay News

Center announces new security provider 2020-01-22 - Center on Halsted has finally selected a new security provider, according to a statement released by Center officials the afternoon of Jan. 22. ...


Gay News

Study says 6% of sexual minority adults in the US identify as queer 2020-01-22 - The first study to examine queer identity in a U.S. nationally representative sample An estimated 6% of sexual minority adults in the U.S. ...


Gay News

LGBTQ military non-profit names veteran Jennifer Dane Interim ED 2020-01-22 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) — the nation's largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and ...


Gay News

GLSEN slams religious exemptions that Trump proposes 2020-01-22 - GLSEN—which works to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students—denounced religious exemptions to federally funded programs across nine federal agencies recently proposed ...


Gay News

Me Too movement founder at NU Jan. 27 2020-01-22 - Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke will keynote Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week on Monday, Jan. 27. Burke will speak on the ...


Gay News

Patin at Hyde Park through Feb. 28 2020-01-21 - Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., is welcoming Nikki Patin as its new flex space resident through Feb. 28, 2020; she ...


Gay News

Sean Hayes at Feb. 5 Goodman event 2020-01-21 - Goodman Theatre, now in its 95th season, will host the "Legacy & Promise" Education and Engagement Luncheon Wed., Feb. 5, featuring Emmy-winning and ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.