About the collection

Entrance of the Roger Brown Study Collection
Storefront of the Roger Brown Study Collection

The Roger Brown Study Collection (RBSC) is one of SAIC’s very special collections. Located in an 1888 brick storefront building, it extends the SAIC campus into Chicago’s Lincoln Park/DePaul neighborhood. It was the home and studio of artist and alumnus Roger Brown from 1974 to 1996, when it became an SAIC house museum, archive, and place for all manner of explorations and studies The collection is preserved the way Brown installed it, as his “Artists’ Museum of Chicago.” The home collection is a mélange of artworks by Chicago Imagists, non-mainstream artists, folk and indigenous art, objects from material and popular culture, costumes, textiles, furniture, travel souvenirs, and sundry objects. The garden was designed by Brown in 1994/95 and his 1967 Ford Mustang lives in the garage. This place is a lab where students and faculty engage in wonder and projects, as well as aspects of the care, organization, interpretation, and preservation of an extensive collection of art and artifacts. We have many stories to tell: Roger Brown’s life and extraordinary creative path, the history of this house, histories and narratives of over 2000 objects in it, and histories being made here. We are guided by Brown’s conviction that his collection be presented in an environment devoid of academic and economic hierarchies, and his belief in the “spiritual and mystical nature that material things can evoke.”

The RBSC is a member of the Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and At Home in Chicago, a network of Chicago-area house museums.