Lincoln Park Official Proceedings volumes in the Chicago Park District Special Collections.

Graduate student interns at the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), in Northeastern Illinois University's Ronald Williams Library: foreground, Crispien Van Aelst; right, Marc Arenberg.

Shifting Grounds: Block 21 & Chicago's MCA
turned out to be somewhat of a fast-paced endurance project, structured to coincide with the November 9, 2013 launch of the exhibition, The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Even though I had completed several yearlong intensive research projects prior to this one, my past year has been loaded with other ongoing projects that at times stalled Shifting Grounds' progress.

As an artist, I am interested in revealing the unseen; as a researcher, I thrive on the quest, discovery, and the process of integrating the past into the present.

In addition to combing through what has become a plethora of online resources, discoveries within libraries and archives drive my passion. Nothing compares with seeing and handling materials from the distant past.

As part of this project, I visited these local public and private libraries and archives where I met the caretakers of Block 21's past:

Chicago Park District Special Collections
Chicago History Museum Library & Research Center
Special Collections unit at the Harold Washington Library Center
Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Library & Archives
Newberry Library
Northwestern University Library in Evanston, IL
Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern University
The Paul Butler Family Archive

View from a library table at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern University.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Library and Archive.

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