Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071

Nov 16, 2019

Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts fosters the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. The Graham realizes this vision through making project-based grants to individuals and organizations and producing exhibitions, events, and publications.


Current Exhibition

Mexico City-based architecture office Tatiana Bilbao Estudio creates an immersive installation that transforms a former domestic space to explore new forms of collectivity. The installation is activated by collaborative projects, on-site talks, and workshops throughout the run of the exhibition with Archeworks, Colectivo 1050º, Cultural ReProducers, Fieldwork Collaborative Projects, Stefan Gruber, Nance Klehm of Social Ecologies, Lurie Garden, MAS Context, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Sweet Water Foundation, The Weaving Mill, and Anna Martine Whitehead, among others.


Building upon 25 years of teaching the power of design to tackle social, cultural, and environmental challenges in Chicago, Archeworks—a free alternative school founded by Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox—hosts a conversation with local practitioners to define new opportunities around the idea of collectivity in the city. Join local practitioners for a discussion addressing topics close to the institution’s mission such as universal design and accessibility to community health, local food systems, and sustainable land use.

Twisting recycled fabrics into giant yarns, we will create a macro-weaving, using our bodies to create a multi-person-human-loom, transforming weaving into a participatory game that zooms in on the over-under of woven cloth. This workshop is recommended for children 5 and older.

Author and Midewin volunteer Arthur Pearson and Midewin Archaeologist, Tribal Liaison and Heritage Program Manager Joe Wheeler will share the history of Midewin and lead a conversation about prairie connections in the built and natural environments.

Against the backdrop of the escalating climate crisis, social inequity, and political polarization, the failures of governments or markets to provide even access to resources and opportunities is leading citizens worldwide to take matters into their own hands—self-organizing by pooling resources and claiming their collective right to the city. This talk asks many questions, including: What impact can commoning have on the bottom-up transformation of cities? And what agency do designers have in contributing to such commons transition?

Help create the creative community you'd like to be a part of—in conversation with curators, artists, arts administrators, and others. Making it What We Need is a generative workshop considering alternative models for living, making, and making a living as artists, led by Cultural ReProducers organizer Christa Donner. Non-parents are welcome to join the conversation, which will be relevant to anyone working toward a sustainable life in the arts.


Curated by Atelier Bow-Wow, this show investigates residential variations, inexpensive, space-saving innovations, hybrid typologies and common space through the lenses of gathering, learning, sharing and exchange.

A survey of the last ten years of work by the Chicago-based artist that examines her ongoing project that brings together the disciplines of painting, drawing, and architecture.

Artist Martin Puryear was selected by Madison Square Park Conservancy to represent the US at this year's Venice Biennale. Puryear worked closely with exhibition designers Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and curator Brooke Kamin Rapaport to create a unified experience of the works on view in the outdoor forecourt and within the galleries of the Pavilion. The Graham is excited to be a supporter of this new work.

This new exhibition unites the work of six designers and artists—Clara Porset, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Cynthia Sargent, and Sheila Hicks—who, inspired by local traditions and modern methods, as well as handcraft techniques and industrial processes, made work that reflected and contributed to Mexico’s rich artistic landscape at the height of the modern period.

An exhibition at R. M. Schindler's Kings Road House that reevaluates assumptions of binary thinking embedded in the history of the house, art and architectural discourses, and within contemporary culture by bringing together architects, artists, designers, and historical artifacts.


The Graham Foundation Bookshop offers a selection of publications produced by the Foundation's grantees, as well as titles related to its public programming and new, historically significant, and rare publications on architecture, urbanism, art, and related fields. Follow weekly arrivals and browse back stock here.


We are pleased to share the latest Graham grantees. These 54 new grantee projects tackle urgent contemporary questions, illuminate historic work with new perspective, promote experimental research, and support critical conversations in and around architecture.


This new book from Princeton Architectural Press explores the singular life and work of American architect Judith Davidson Chafee (1932–1998). Clarity of purpose drove Chafee to define her path in architecture as an unrepentant modernist, an environmental steward, a social justice advocate, and a woman in a male-dominated profession.

Devoted to the South Side's rich architecture and urban design, this book documents more than 60 architecturally significant places and spaces across this vibrant, but underappreciated, area of the city through text and new images by photographer Lee Bey.

First published in 1966, Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, widely considered the foundational text of postmodernism, has become an essential document in architectural theory and criticism. This new two-volume boxed set presents a facsimile of the original edition paired with a compendium of new scholarship on and around Venturi’s seminal treatise.

A collection of works and ideas produced by the architectural office Reiser + Umemoto, this publication traces thirty years of investigation into novel forms, techniques, and organizations, which continue to engage the flows of the built environment.

This book examines a 1975 collaborative design project led by NASA—to design massive human habitats in space—through several historical and contemporary architectural lenses.

The first graphic design text expressly of and for the twenty-first century. Synthesizing the pragmatic with the experimental, and a close understanding of design history with its extension through all contemporary means, the book builds on mid- to late-twentieth-century pedagogical models to convey advanced principles in an understandable form for students of all levels. Recently released from Inventory Press.

Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, from Unraveling Modern Living, digital collage, 2019; Kisho Kurakawa, Nakagin Capsule Tower Building, 1972, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Alamy Stock Photo.; Heinz Emigholz, still from Goff in the Desert (Goff in der Wüste): 2002–03. Copyright Heinz Emigholz and Filmgalerie 451.