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Descriptive inventory for the Contemporary Art Workshop (Chicago, Ill.) records, 1949-2009, bulk 1970-2008

Contemporary Art Workshop (Chicago, Ill.) records

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Descriptive inventory for the Contemporary Art Workshop (Chicago, Ill.) records, 1949-2009, bulk 1970-2008

Prepared by Julie Wroblewski; ed. by Peter Alter and Rachel Juris, 2010.
  
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Web-site: http://libguides.chicagohistory.org/research
Catalog: http://chsmedia.org
E-mail: research@chicagohistory.org
Instructions for accessing this collection
  

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Contemporary Art Workshop (Chicago, Ill.) records, 1949-2009 (inclusive), 1970-2008 (bulk)
Creators: Contemporary Art Workshop
John Kearny
Lynn Kearny
Dates: 1949-2009 (inclusive), 1970-2008 (bulk)
Accession number: 2009.0076
Bib number: 00217463
Call number: MSS Lot C
Size:32 linear ft. (78 boxes)
3 vols.
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Materials were a gift of the Contemporary Art Workshop (accession # 2009.0076).

Terms governing use:

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Restriction(s):

For listening purposes, it is necessary to use a copy, not the original (and to have a listening copy made if one is not available).

Please cite this collection as:

Contemporary Art Workshop records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include a collection of photographs from the Contemporary Art Workshop; and publications and sound recordings cataloged separately that relate to John Kearney and other artists associated with CAW.

Collection Summary +/-

Administrative records, correspondence, artist files and portfolios, financial documents, exhibition planning and publicity materials, press releases, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and other records of the Contemporary Art Workshop (CAW), a non-profit, artist-run gallery, community center, and studio space located in Chicago (Ill.). The collection relates primarily to CAW's daily operations, including renting studios to artists, mounting exhibitions, offering community outreach programs, publicizing events, and raising funds through donations and grants. Also present are materials about the artists who worked with the organization; grant applications and donor records; and photographs, slides, and CD-ROMs depicting exhibitions and the work of artists.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

The Contemporary Art Workshop (CAW) was a non-profit, artist-run gallery and community arts organization in Chicago (Ill.). CAW was founded in 1949 by sculptor John (Jack) Kearney and his wife Lynn, as well as artists Leon Golub, Cosmo Campoli, Ray Fink, and Al Kwitz. Kearney was the owner of the Contemporary Art Gallery, from which CAW evolved, and is known for creating animal and figurative sculptures, including large-scale public sculptures made from chrome car bumpers that were placed in Chicago and across the United States. CAW supported emerging artists by staging solo and group exhibitions to promote their work, offering classes and other technical assistance, and renting 20 low-cost studios. In addition, CAW hosted community outreach programs, including local public school student art shows; field trips and workshops; and an internship program for students of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. CAW participated in art fairs, such as SOFA Chicago and Art Chicago, and was the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in 1984.

CAW was located originally in the carriage house of the Cyrus McCormick mansion near Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue, then in a loft near the Wrigley Building, and ultimately moved to 542 West Grant Place in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in 1960. At the larger Lincoln Park facility, CAW was able to put on more exhibitions and work with a greater number of artists; by 1989, CAW worked with approximately 200 artists each year. While CAW featured Chicago and Midwestern artists, the work of national and international artists was also exhibited. Well-known artists affiliated at CAW include: Lee Grantham, June Leaf, Didier Nolet, Arnaldo Roche Rabell, and Seymour Rosofky. CAW closed in 2009.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Subjects:
Alternative spaces (Arts facilities)--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Art, American--Illinois--Chicago--20th century--Exhibitions
Art, Modern--Illinois--Chicago--20th century--Exhibitions
Artists' studios--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Artists--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Public welfare--Illinois--Cook County--20th century
Persons:
Campoli, Cosmo
Fink, Ray
Golub, Leon, 1922-20045
Kearney, John, 1924-
Kearney, Lynn
Kwitz, Al
Organizations:
Contemporary Art Workshop--Archives
Genre/Form:
Administrative records
Announcements
Artist files
Audio tapes
Compact discs
Correspondence
Financial records
Newspaper clippings
Photographic prints
Photographic prints--Color
Portfolios
Press releases
Scrapbooks
Slides--Color
Geographic:
542 West Grant Place (Chicago, Ill.
Chicago (Ill.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Lincoln Park (Chicago, Ill. : Community area)

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged in six series.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. Administrative records, 1949-2009 (box 1-6)
Series 2. Artist files, 1977-2009 (box 7-50)
Series 3. Grants and fundraising files, 1970-2008 (box 51-63)
Series 4. Exhibitions, 1973-2009 (box 64-73)
Series 5. Public relations materials, 1959-2009 (box 74-78)
Series 6. Scrapbooks, 1949-2009 (vols. 1-3)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Emily Purcell using Oxygen editor, 2016.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to the Explore Chicago Collections portal.
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