Roger Brown Study Collection

The Roger Brown Study Collection is currently closed for a long-planned renovation project on the first floor. The work includes making the first-floor restroom ADA accessible, workspaces more efficient, and bringing storage spaces up to archival standards to preserve our collections. The construction timeline has shifted as the contractors experienced some unexpected delays. We will provide an update later this summer with more specific details about when we’ll be ready to welcome the community back into the Roger Brown Study Collection. We apologize for the inconvenience this closure might cause; thank you for your continued patience as we work toward a new and improved space.

The Roger Brown Study Collection (RBSC) is a special collection and house museum of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago open to the public.

Located in an 1888 brick storefront building in Chicago’s Lincoln Park/DePaul neighborhood, the collection was the home of artist and alum Roger Brown (BFA 1968, MFA 1970) from 1974 to 1996, when it became an SAIC house museum, archive, and place for explorations and studies.

The collection is preserved the way Brown installed it, as his “Artists’ Museum of Chicago.” It 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 2,000 objects in it and the artists who made them, and new research being conducted by Study Collection staff, the SAIC community, and visiting scholars.

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The Roger Brown Study Collection 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.

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