Listen to the 17-minute conversation:

Lynne Warren
, curator at the MCA, photographed while giving a gallery talk in August 2013. We had a conversation about her long tenure at the MCA, beginning as a secretarial assistant in 1977. She curated her first exhibition in 1981 and spoke about how her projects are either large and encyclopedic or very small and specific.

She also mentioned the MCA's early intention of being a Kunsthalle - an art center that only exhibits - and then became a collecting institution.

Lynne Warren was a great help in filling in gaps in my research and illuminating aspects of the MCA over the past thirty years.

Presentation of this brochure is courtesy of the MCA Chicago Library & Archives.

This brochure was produced during Lynne Warren's second year as a curator. The schematic shows the museum after its first expansion at the Ontario Street location in 1982. It would soon outgrow this space.

Lynne Warren's selected curatorial projects:

7 Artists: a look at some recent graduates of Chicago art schools.

Exploration of emerging representationalism and a crude style through an examination of contemporary art educational practices, accompanied by illustrated catalogue with essay.

Selected Works by John Cage and Other Composers
Scores & visual art works by contemporary composers held in conjunction with New Music America Festival.

(traveled 1983‑85 to the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts, Colorado; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida; Midland Art Center, Midland, Michigan; Huntsville Art Museum, Alabama; Montgomery Art Museum, Alabama). Theme exhibition dealing with the re‑emergence of figurative imagery in the work of 18 contemporary American artists, accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essay.
Kenneth Josephson.

Thirty‑year retrospective of this seminal figure in contemporary photography, accompanied by fully‑illustrated exhibition catalogue with general essay and entries on individual series of works.


The Ronco Show at Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago.
Theme exhibition featuring the convenience gadgets of the “king of late‑night TV advertising,” the Ronco Corporation, that explored how objects and ideas enter American culture.
Alternative Spaces: A History in Chicago
Major historical exhibition exploring the role of artist‑run spaces in Chicago, accompanied by a comprehensive book outlining Chicago's art history through an exploration of the “alternative space.”

Eric Fischl.
Additions to exhibition organized by the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada, accompanied by an illustrated gallery sheet with essay.
Phil Berkman at Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago.
One‑person exhibition of works 1983‑1985.
Paul Rosin
, Ken Warneke, Jin Soo Kim, Jo Anne Carson.
Four simultaneous one‑person exhibitions by emerging Chicago artists, accompanied by four illustrated brochures with essays.

Donald Sultan
(traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas; The Brooklyn Museum, New York). First major museum presentation of New York painter's work, accompanied by book published by Harry N. Abrams.
Nancy Chunn

First solo museum showing of New York‑based painter, accompanied by illustrated brochure with essay.
Images for Human Conduct.
Four‑person exhibition of artists who use media presentations to deal with issues of society and morality, accompanied by small illustrated catalogue with essay.
A New Generation from SAIC.
Individual installations and projects by 16 area and New York artists recently graduated from Chicago's School of the Art Institute, including Elizabeth Newman, David Klamen, and Tony Tasset, accompanied by illustrated catalogue with essays on each artist.
Jon Kessler

(traveled to the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston).  First one‑person museum exhibition of New York artist who works in kinetic tableaux, accompanied by a fully illustrated color catalogue with essay.

Jeff Koons
(curator-in-charge; org. by MCA Director I. Michael Danoff)

Chicago Artists in the European Tradition.

Ten Chicago-area artists, accompanied by color catalogue with essay.

Toward the Future: Contemporary Art in Context.
Major exhibition of MCA permanent collection.
Richard Rezac.
One‑person exhibition of abstract sculptor, accompanied by color brochure with essay.

Realism, Figurative Painting, and the Chicago Viewpoint.
Selected works from MCA's permanent collection, accompanied by four‑color gallery guide
Julia Wachtel.
Solo exhibition of New York‑based painter, accompanied by a 48‑page, color catalogue with essay.

Selections from the Permanent Collection: Alexander Calder from the Ruth and Leonard J. Horwich Family.
Accompanied by color catalogue with essay.
Permanent Collection Focus:Conceptualism-Postcon­ceptualism: The 1960s to the 1990s
Accompanied by brochure with essay; Artists' Books from the Permanent Collection

Selections from the Permanent Collec­tion: Conceptual Photography from the Gerald S. Elliott Collection.
Exhibition of a group of gifts from legendary collector, accompanied by full-color brochure with essay.

Wesley Kimler.
First area one-person museum showing of abstract painter accompanied by color catalogue with essay
Dan Peterman: Sulfur Cycle.
Conceptual-environmental project by Chicago-based artist accompanied by color brochure with brief essay.
Jim Lutes: The Development of Style
Monographic exhibition of Chicago-based painter accompanied by color catalogue with essay.

Art in Chicago, 1945-1995.
Major historical exhibition accompanied by book of the same title published by Thames and Hudson, London and New York.

This 1994 MCA promotional brochure shows Lynne Warren and others, while preparing for the exhibition, Art in Chicago, 1945-1995. Left to right: Lynne Warren, curator, special projects; Dominic Molon, research assistant, time arts; Staci Boris, curatorial assistant; Monique Meloche, project assistant.

Courtesy of the MCA Library & Archives.

Miroslaw Rogala: Divided We Speak.
New interactive sound and media installation by renowned media artist.
Mary Brogger.
One-person exhibition by Chicago-based conceptual artist, accompanied by a catalogue.

Robert Heinecken: Photographist, a 35-year retrospective.
Traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Accompanied by a monograph, Robert Heinecken: Photographist.

Jim Nutt: Portraits. 
Exhibition of new body of work by established Chicago painter, accompanied by catalogue.

Tony Fitzpatrick: Max and Gaby’s Alphabet

(traveled to numerous Illinois and national venues).  Premiere of suite of 24 color etchings. Accompanied by catalogue with essay and centerpiece of annual MCA Family Day.


H. C. Westermann
(traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and The Menil Collection, Houston). Major retrospective exhibition, accompanied by an exhibition catalogue and  catalogue raisonné with essay “Right Where I Live: Westermann’s American Experience.”

Wanderings of the Mind’s Eye:  Photographs by Illinois Artists from the MCA Collection.
This exhibition presents work by eleven Illinois-based artists from 1930 to the present that evokes reveries, dreams, or other workings of the subconscious.

Multiformity: Multiples from the MCA Collection.  
Selection of new and never-before-shown works from the MCA's collection of artists' books and multiples. (Co-curated with Tricia Van Eck)

ENOUGH: Indira Freitas Johnson and Voices from Around the World.Installation in MCA Education center of collaborative project with Chicago artist of Indian heritage. UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Jeff Zimmermann STAMP! Artists’ Postage Stamps and Books from the Collections of MCA & Bad Press Books. (Co-curated with Tricia Van Eck) UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Scott Anderson

Dan Peterman: Plastic Economies.
Mid-career review accompanied by catalogue with essay and accompanying project on MCA plaza, Standard Kiosk (Chicago).

The Center Is Anywhere. 
Exhibition of works from MCA collection showing generation that emerged in Chicago in the mid-1980s.

Uncovered: Recent Acquisitions from the Artists? Books Collection.
(Co-curated with Tricia Van Eck)

UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Stan Shellabarger.

Chris Ware.
First solo museum exhibition for popular alternative cartoonist accompanied by cartoonist-designed gallery guide with short essay.
Drawn Into the World: Works from the MCA Collection with selected loans
Collection exhibition exploring contemporary drawing.
UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Jason Lazarus.

UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Lora Fosberg.

Record Times.
40th Anniversary Exhibition that traced the history of the MCA in artworks, photographs, news clippings, artist correspondence and other archival materials.
Sol LeWitt in Memoriam
UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Greg Stimac

UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Steven Husby

Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure
(curator-in-charge with additional materials; org. by Whitney Museum of American Art, New York)
Everything’s Here.

In conjunction with major exhibition Jeff Koons; presented Chicago-based artists from MCA’s collection that had been admired by and influenced Koons.
UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Tan Lee Wit

UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Paula Henderson

Don Baum: In Memoriam

UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Jill Frank

Alexander Calder: Form, Balance, Joy.
Major traveling exhibition that examines Calder’s influence on contemporary sculptors. Includes work of seven rising international artists. Accompanied by major publication of the same title.

Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character.
Major exhibition accompanied by artist-designed monograph.
UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work:  Anne Elizabeth Moore

UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work: Takeshi Moro

MCA DNA: Dieter Roth.
In-depth examination of pioneering artists’ books artist drawn from MCA collection.

MCA DNA: John Cage.
Exhibition drawn from MCA collection and archives celebrating 100th anniversary of Cage’s birth and examining the many intersections of this acclaimed figure with MCA Chicago.
MCA DNA: William Kentridge.
Exhibition drawn from MCA collection featuring films and charcoal drawings for this South African artist’s acclaimed films.

Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes.  
First museum retrospective of leading Amerian cartoonist. (Expansion of exhibition organized by Oakland Museum of California Art.)
MCA DNA: Chicago Conceptual Abstraction, 1985–1996.

Explores group of conceptually informed Chicago based artists who emerged around Randolph Street Gallery; includes Tony Tasset, Jeanne Dunning, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, among others.