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


Living Treasures
Innovando la Tradición—Kythzia Barrera and Diego Mier y Terán
Sep 30, 2023 (4:30pm)

Free; RSVP required

The documentaries in the Living Treasures series, led by the collective Innovando la Tradición, record the life stories and techniques of established potters from Oaxaca. Living Treasures highlights the memories and teachings of these storied potters—enabling the series to transcend individual stories to provide examples of the challenges that villages currently face and the strategies of resistance in response. Shown for the first time in the United States, the Living Treasures film screened at the Graham celebrates Doña Amelia who, at 95 years old, is the last traditional potter from Ixtlán de Juárez.

A conversation with Innovando la Tradición founders, Kythzia Barrera and Diego Mier y Terán will follow. Kythzia and Diego will talk about what they have learned by working with indigenous potters in Mexico, how it has shaped their practice and worldview, and their experience working in the interstices between design, community organizing, commerce and social practice. In describing the work of Innovando la Tradición, they write:

Clay is alive. We serve artisan communities by developing conditions for their well-being, agency and autonomy. We transform dominant narratives through contact with the soil. We generate care of our human, social and natural environment. We create bridges between the wisdom of the handmade and the world. We are and operate as a community. We learn and are transformed together. We maintain spaces for individual and collective creativity. We are proud of what we do. We are all clay.

This program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial: CAB 5: This is a Rehearsal.

Innovando la Tradición is a collective and multidisciplinary nonprofit that seeks to revitalize traditional pottery in Oaxaca, Mexico to bring visibility to the profound knowledge of this centuries-old craft. The organization positions pottery as a tool of economic stability, cultural development, an agent of social cohesion, and a source of inspiration in the construction of new paradigms for a more balanced relationship with the world. This mission is realized through workshops, courses, and skill exchanges to share the work of master potters and pass on the discipline to younger artisans.

Kythzia Barrera is an industrial designer, and cofounder of Innovando la Tradición and Colectivo 1050º, organizations that support the development of pottery communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. Barrera’s work strengthens the bridges between art, craft, and design to foster social and human change. Honesty and open disclosure from the conventional and privileged designers position shapes an essential part of Kythzia's creative leadership as Head of Innovando Tradición and dynamic CEO of Colectivo 1050º. She holds a master’s degree in social and sustainable design by The Design Academie Eindhoven, Netherlands; in addition to having completed postgraduate coursework in ceramics at the School of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland; and in crafts and design at Kyoto Institute of Technology. She previously served as sustainable design professor at Centro and Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico.

Diego Mier y Terán is cofounder and director of Innovando la Tradición and Colectivo 1050º and is interested in the social and ethical dimension of design and its power as an agent of change. He holds a master’s degree in type design from Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands. Terán teaches across many universities in Mexico and previously ran the Workshop of Utopias at the Universidad Iberoamericana which prepared students to challenge the conventions of contemporary society and design practice.

Image: On-site filming of the potter Doña Amelia for the Innovando la Tradición documentary series "Living Treasures," Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2023. Courtesy Innovando la Tradición. Photo: Adrián Gutiérrez


Judith Hamann
Lampo Performance Series
Oct 07, 2023 (7pm)

Reservations required; coming soon

Judith Hamann performs their Humming Suite, a concert-length program focused on cello and voice in different permutations, alongside companion pieces that explore similar musical territories.

“Humming traces a particular kind of interiority,” says Judith. There is an intimacy and vulnerability in a close-mouthed hum that teeters on the edge of audibility. In performance, bow stroke and breath often break, disturb, and interfere as much as they meld together. And it is not always clear where sounds are coming from, suggesting something like a form of ventriloquism. Taken together, the outcome is a collection of works of delicate balance and volatile fragility.

Judith Hamann (b.1983, Melbourne, Australia) is a composer and cellist, currently based in Berlin. Their work encompasses performance, electroacoustic composition, site-specific generative work, and microtonal systems in a process-based creative practice. Judith has performed widely, including at Tectonics (Glasgow, Adelaide, Athens), UnSound (New York City), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), Maerzmusik (Berlin), CTM (Berlin), the Venice Biennale Musica (Venice), Tokyo Experimental Festival (Tokyo), and Festival Aural (Mexico City). Collaborators include Marja Ahti, Joshua Bonnetta, Pascale Criton, Charles Curtis, Sarah Hennies, Yvette Janine Jackson, and Anike Joyce Sadiq. Judith’s work has been published by Blank Forms, Black Truffle, Another Timbre, and Longform Editions. Judith holds a D.M.A. from the University of California San Diego.

Since 2010, the Graham Foundation has partnered with Lampo to produce an international performance series held at the Madlener House. Lampo, founded in 1997, is a nonprofit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.

Lampo, established in 1997, supports artists working in new music, experimental sound and other interdisciplinary practices. The Chicago-based organization's core activity has been and remains its performance series. Rather than making programming decisions around tour schedules, Lampo invites selected artists to create and perform new work, and then the organization provides the space, resources and curatorial support to help them fulfill their vision. Lampo also organizes artist talks, lectures, screenings and workshops, and publishes written and recorded documents related to its series.

Photo: Martina Biagi



Ginger Nolan, “Black Capitalism and the City: African American Insurance and the Actuarial Imagination”
SAH | Places Prize Lecture
Oct 20, 2023 (5:30pm)

Free; RSVP required

In partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and Places Journal, the Graham is pleased to present a new lecture by architectural historian Ginger Nolan, the inaugural recipient of the SAH | Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment, a unique collaboration between SAH and Places that supports the production of a major work of public scholarship that considers the history of race and the built environment through a contemporary lens.

Nolan’s talk explores how African American-owned insurance companies negotiated the (often vexed) aims of pursuing financial gain while also trying to create more equitable cities. For most of the twentieth century, these insurance companies controlled more wealth than any other African American enterprise and played an outsize role in shaping cities and suburbs. In efforts to reverse the effects of redlining, disinvestment, and segregation, these companies used housing developments and corporate architecture—including the first and only African American skyscraper—to redress discriminatory forms of urbanism and racial stereotypes. The talk will evaluate the urban and architectural interventions of African American insurance companies, using the companies' office buildings, housing developments, and mortgage-lending practices to engage debates around Black capitalism and Black Marxism. While recent scholarship has focused on the biopolitical tendencies of the white-owned insurance industry, the history of African American insurance demands a more subtle analytical framework, as these companies’ efforts vacillated between the biofinancial logics of actuarial techniques and, on the other hand, strategies of care and contestation.

Following the talk, architectural historian Charles L. Davis II will moderate a discussion with Nolan. Davis is an associate professor of architectural history and criticism at the University of Texas at Austin and chair of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group.

SAH will host a reception at the Charnley-Persky House, located at 1365 N Astor St, immediately following the event.

This program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial: CAB 5: This is a Rehearsal.

Ginger Nolan is an assistant professor of architectural history and theory at the University of Southern California. Her research explores relationships between architecture, media technologies, race, and governmentality. She has published through the University of Minnesota Press the books Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Racial Science and Twentieth-Century Design (2021) and The Neocolonialism of the Global Village (2018). She is currently researching race, actuarial thought, and urbanism, focusing on the role of twentieth-century African American insurance companies in shaping cities and suburbs in the United States. Her work has been recognized by the the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Graham Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Terra Foundation. In 2013 Nolan was awarded the Carter Manny Writing Award by the Graham Foundation for her dissertation, “Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Techniques and Disciplines of Creativity, ca. 1880–1985.”

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

Founded at MIT and Berkeley in 1983, Places Journal is an independent, nonprofit journal of public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Bridging from the university to the profession to the public, Places features scholars, journalists, designers, and artists who are responding to the profound challenges of our time: environmental health and structural inequity, climate crisis, resource scarcity, human migration, rapid technological innovation, and the erosion of the public sphere.

Established in 2021, the SAH | Places Prize was envisioned by Charles L. Davis II, associate professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and cochair of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group. The winner of the SAH | Places Prize receives an honorarium to produce a major work of public scholarship to be presented as a public lecture through the Society of Architectural Historians and published in Places Journal.

SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group was established by the Society of Architectural Historians in 2019 to promote research activities that analyze the racial discourses of architectural history, past and present. The group aims to create a platform for existing and new scholarship in the field; to reach new publics for this work; and to develop mentorships and networking opportunities for graduate students and junior scholars.

Image: Construction site, Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Home Office Building, Los Angeles, ca.1948, designed by the office of Paul Williams. Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company records (Collection 1434). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 61, Folder 11




Summer Bookshop Sale
Jun 24, 2023 - Jun 25, 2023 (11am)

Visit the Graham Foundation Bookshop during a two-day sale to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bookshop, designed by Chicago-based designer Ania Jaworska and commissioned by the Graham Foundation in 2013. To mark the occasion, the bookshop will take over the Madlener House first-floor galleries, and all purchases will be 20% off with select titles discounted up to 50% off.

Saturday, June 24, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sunday, June 25, 12–5 p.m.

The Graham Foundation Bookshop offers a selection of publications produced by the Foundation's grantees and titles related to our public programming, as well as new, historically significant, and rare publications on architecture, urbanism, art, and related fields.

Advance registration not required 



Jared Brown and Regina Martinez
Jun 10, 2023 (2pm)

Reservations required

2 p.m.—Performance
3 p.m.—Closing Reception for A different kind of tender and the practice of overhealing

Jared Brown and Regina Martinez present a live score in response to Katherine Simóne Reynolds’ Graham Foundation Fellowship exhibition, A different kind of tender and the practice of overhealing.

Jared Brown is an interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago. In past work, Brown broadcasted audio and text based work through the radio (CENTRAL AIR RADIO, 88.5 FM) in live DJ sets and on social media. They consider themselves a data thief, understanding this role from John Akomfrah's description of the data thief as a figure that does not belong to the past or present. As a data thief, Brown makes archeological digs for fragments of Black American subculture, history, and technology. They repurpose these fragments in audio, text, and video to investigate the relationship between history, digital, immaterial space. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in video from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2016, Brown returned to Chicago to make and share work that directly relates to their personal history.

Regina Martinez is a sound centered artist based in Chicago. Her current experiments draw from an archive of infinitely personal recordings she relates to as soundmarks: her father’s hands cleaning dried beans, drumline rehearsal after school, her mother praying the rosary the night before her heart procedure, and the creak of the front gate to home. Each recorded moment becomes its own instrument, its own layer of composition, and a washing and wringing out of memory meant to be overheard like a poem again and again. She grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri where she was artistic director of the Pink House neighborhood art space for creative exchange with children and their families. She is co-creator of “the clothesline” monthly one-night audio-visual installation in St. Louis. More recently she was program manager for Threewalls in Chicago and received a master’s degree in sound arts & industries from Northwestern University.

Photo: Katherine Simóne Reynolds

For more information on the exhibition, A different kind of tender and the practice of overhealing, click here.


Unless otherwise noted,
all events take place at:

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place, Chicago

Gallery and Bookshop Hours
Wednesday–Saturday, 12–5 p.m.
Click here to register to visit



Events are held in the ballroom on the third floor which is only accessible by stairs.
The first floor of the Madlener House is accessible via an outdoor lift. Please call 312.787.4071 to make arrangements.