Elmhurst Art Museum sets winter and spring programming

  • An upcoming exhibit showcasing the works of the late Elmhurst-based artist-curator Sandra Jorgensen, including the 1987 "Buggy Drawing," will be featured at the Elmhurst Art Museum.

    An upcoming exhibit showcasing the works of the late Elmhurst-based artist-curator Sandra Jorgensen, including the 1987 "Buggy Drawing," will be featured at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum

Submitted by Amanda Berrios
Updated 1/10/2020 10:44 PM

The Elmhurst Art Museum will debut two new exhibitions, "Sandra Jorgensen," a broad survey exhibition that showcases the works of the late Elmhurst-based artist-curator, and "Could Be Architecture: McCormick AfterParti," an interactive installation in the historic McCormick House that allows visitors to playfully explore the home's original 1952 floor plan through playful interventions.

Both exhibitions are on view Jan. 25 to April 12, and complementing these visually rich exhibitions will be a range of contemporary art and design programming for all ages.


Unless otherwise noted, all public programs listed take place at Elmhurst Art Museum and are free with Museum admission or membership. Select programs require reservations. More information can be found at elmhurstartmuseum.org.

Sandra Jorgensen (1934-1999) was the driving force behind the internationally known Elmhurst College Chicago Imagist collection and helped found the Elmhurst Art Museum. She held positions as professor and chair at Elmhurst College, and curator of the Elmhurst College Art Collection, for many years. An accomplished painter, she worked in oil and specialized in contemporary American landscapes and still life compositions. In addition to her paintings, the exhibition includes a series of never-before-printed photos taken by Jorgensen of the Chicago Imagists in their homes and studios.

Chicago-based design practice Could Be Architecture, directed by Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison, create playful interventions that invite movement, light, activity, conversation, and more throughout "Could Be Architecture: McCormick AfterParti," where visitors can explore the Mies van der Rohe McCormick House in its original configuration by ducking through rounded portholes into various rooms, relaxing on pullout seating in the living room, enjoying culinary delights on shapely kitchen cabinets during exhibition-related events, while younger visitors play with architectural blocks in the house's dedicated playroom space.

The following are programming highlights for the "Sandra Jorgensen" exhibit.

• On Saturday, Jan. 25, the exhibition opening event will be "Conversation with Suellen Rocca and Margaret Hawkins" at 1:30 p.m. This conversation about the life and work of Sandra Jorgensen is presented by artist and curator Suellen Rocca and writer Margaret Hawkins who will include personal stories and anecdotes about Jorgensen. The conversation will be moderated by Executive Director John McKinnon.

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• On Monday, Feb. 17, the Family Day Workshop will be "Screenprint Landscapes" from 1 to 4 p.m. At this special Presidents Day workshop, children and families are invited to create their own landscapes inspired by the work of Sandra Jorgensen. Using screen printed bands of color, participants are encouraged to create a scene that tells a story of personal significance.

• On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Chicago Imagist Tour, led by Elmhurst College's Suellen Rocca, will be at 1:30 p.m. at Elmhurst College, 190 S Prospect Ave. Suellen Rocca, a Hairy Who member and current curator and director of exhibitions at Elmhurst College, leads a tour through the Elmhurst College Chicago Imagist collection highlighting purchases made by Sandra Jorgensen during her tenure as curator.

• On Saturday, March 21, Ox-Bow director Shannon Stratton leads a discussion about Chicago Imagist influences on the work of Sandra Jorgensen, specifically those of Imagist Roger Brown, at 1:30 p.m.

• On Saturday, March 28, this special exhibition tour offers an in-depth look at the work of the artist, curator, and educator Sandra Jorgensen at 1:30 p.m.


• On Saturday, April 4, the Family Day Workshop will be Stained Glass Landscapes from 1 to 4 p.m. With colored tissue paper, families will create "stained glass" pieces inspired by Sandra Jorgensen's landscapes.

The following are programming highlights for the "Could Be Architecture."

• On Saturday, Feb. 1, the exhibition tour of McCormick AfterParti will be at 1:30 p.m. Led by architects and educators Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison of Could Be Architecture, this tour will give an in-depth look at the design duo's site-specific installation in the historic McCormick House.

• On Saturdays, Feb. 8 and 29, learn about the history and unique design of the McCormick House (1952) by Mies van der Rohe on this docent-led tour, incorporating the current interactive installation, at 1:30 p.m.

• On Thursday, Feb. 20, "Small Bites are More: A Culinary Pop-Up" will be 6 to 8 p.m. At this culinary activation event, Could Be Architecture teams up with local brewery Twisted Hippo and local restaurant One Fifty One, offering a specialty beer and bite-sized appetizers in their installation in the McCormick House, inspired by elemental geometry, colors, and flavors of modernist architecture. This is a ticketed event.

• On Saturday, March 14, the Family Day Workshop will be Puppets from 1 to 4 p.m. Families participate in art activities inspired by the museum's current exhibition Could Be Architecture: McCormick AfterParti including an exploration of storytelling and character design via the creation of their own puppets.

About the McCormick House

In 1952, the renowned modern architect Mies van der Rohe designed a home for Robert Hall McCormick III, a member of Chicago's most prominent families, and his wife, the poet Isabella Gardner. The home is a rare and important example of Mies van der Rohe's mature style, incorporating elements of his celebrated designs for the Farnsworth House (1951) and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive (1951). The McCormick House -- one of only three single-family homes designed by Mies in the United States -- originally served two purposes: it was a home for the McCormick family and a prototype for a proposed group of smaller, affordable mass-produced modular homes in the western Chicago suburbs that McCormick and co-developer Herbert S. Greenwald were hoping to build. However, the cutting-edge, high-end buildings were not met with enough buyers to begin construction.

About Elmhurst Art Museum

The Museum is located at 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave. in Elmhurst, 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by car or public transportation (Metra). The museum is both an international destination for Mies van der Rohe scholars and fans and a regional center where people from Chicago and the western suburbs learn to see and think differently through the study of the art, architecture and design of our time. The Museum is one block from the Elmhurst Metra station and open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 ($12 for seniors) and free for students and children under 18.

In September 2019, the Elmhurst Art Museum released a new modern and approachable graphic identity to better highlight the organization's vision for art, education & architecture. The updated look distinguishes the unique art center as a dynamic site to inspire and enrich its community.

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