Bauhaus and Performance Art at the Elmhurst Art Museum
February 22, 2019
Chicago is a city full of architectural masterpieces, but not all of them are downtown. The Elmhurst Art Museum, just to the west of the city, boasts a unique Bauhaus connection in the form of the McCormick House, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the final director of the original Bauhaus school.
The Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, IL, is an organization dedicated to the development of rotating contemporary art exhibitions, the celebration and preservation of the McCormick House, and ongoing educational programs. Through its activities, the Museum enriches thousands of lives annually by deepening knowledge of art, architecture and design, increasing understanding of the relevance of visual art in our times, and sparking the development of individual creativity through innovative programming.
In 1991, the Elmhurst Fine Arts and Civic Center Foundation purchased the Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick House, a prototype for prefab housing proposed for the western Chicago area. Three years later, the house was moved to its current location, and the Museum commissioned a new building that would incorporate house into the Museum’s design. In 2018, the Museum underwent a renovation to restore the McCormick House’s exterior to its original mid-century appearance.
In celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the Bauhaus and the recent transformation of the McCormick House carport and front entryway, the Elmhurst Art Museum is hosting several projects that highlight the history of the Bauhaus and its relevancy today.
This month, the Museum kicks off a series of Bauhaus-influenced exhibits. Opening on February 23, The Whole World a Bauhaus, by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), explores the work that Bauhaus students did in their revolutionary workshops with industrial materials and processes, the school’s major impact on the international avant-garde, and how the students and instructors sought to rethink their world. This is the touring exhibit’s only stop in the U.S.
The McCormick House is also hosting a two-person show by Chicago-based artists Assaf Evron and Claudia Weber. The installation by Israeli-born Evron is inspired by Mies’s handmade collages: by treating the windows with images of Germany and the Middle East, he furthers a conversation about global citizenship, while also collapsing rational architecture with the natural world. The German-born Weber will reside in and research the McCormick House, create changing installations, showcase the works of Olivia Block and Kate Park, interact with visitors, and host a variety of events. As she lives, works, and exhibits in the space, Weber’s projects will reflect on the structure’s history as a prototypical home and current function as a museum space.
To learn more about these exhibits and upcoming events at the Elmhurst Art Museum, visit our event page!