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

Jun 17, 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

Through a newly commissioned body of work, including a large-scale textile installation, intricate embroideries, works on paper, sculptures, and a performance, Nelly Agassi conjures historical and imagined narratives from the architectural details of the Graham Foundation’s Madlener House. Built in 1901–02 for Albert F. and Elsa S. Madlener, the house was originally designed by architect Richard E. Schmidt, with designer Hugh M. G. Garden, and then renovated in the 1960s by architect Daniel Brenner to transform it into the Foundation’s headquarters. The culmination of Agassi’s 2019 Graham Foundation Fellowship, this exhibition explores erasure, preservation, identity, and architecture’s capacity to change.


Adolf Hitler’s makeover from rabble rouser to statesman coincided with a series of dramatic home renovations he undertook during the mid-1930s. This talk explores the powerful role of Hitler’s residences as propaganda and how they bolstered the myth of the Führer as a morally upstanding and refined man. The speaker also reflects on the challenges of writing a book about Hitler’s interior decorator, Gerdy Troost.

On the Rock: The Acropolis Interviews reveals the marble workers’ techniques, training, and roles within the restoration in the their own frank, deeply personal voices, as interviewed by Graham grantee Allyson Vieira.

The structure, texture, and materials of clothes have continuously informed Diane Simpson's sculptural practice. Inspired by former Women’s City Club of St Paul, designed by architect Magnus Jemne in 1931, Graham grantee Diane Simpson has designed her first costumes to be animated by two dancers. Simpson presents the development of this new project and a performance featuring the new works.

Nelly Agassi presents a new performance in her site specific installation, 'Spirit of the Waves' in collaboration with Ryan Packard and Peter Maunu.


Open earlier this month in Venice is Martin Puryear’s US Pavilion at the 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.

The the first major solo presentation of Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade in a US museum. The exhibition debuts three new works, including "Jogos dirigidos" ("Directed games"), a film commissioned by the MCA that presents a playful exchange between members of the deaf community in the northeast of Brazil.

This exhibition of Tuazon’s new and recent work investigates the relationship between art, architecture, and environmental concerns towards the prototyping of new passive solar architectural systems based on the pioneering work of inventor and architect Steve Baer.

This exhibtion explores how land ownership, landscape, and architectural design—from the mid-18th century to the present day—have defined our leisure activities.

The premier performance takes place at the former Fuller Manufacturing Building in Minneapolis. This new work is presented by FD13 residency for the arts.


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 63 new grantee projects represent diverse lines of inquiry engaging original ideas that advance our understanding of the designed environment.
read more

Congratulations to Brendan Fernandes, Martine Syms, Forensic Architecture, Sahra Motalebi, and Diane Simpson on their inclusion in the upcoming Whitney Biennial. In the exhibition, Fernandes will present an expanded version of The Master and Form, commissioned and first exhibited by the Graham Foundation in 2018.
read more


Colomina's new book proposes that the architecture of the early twentieth century was shaped by the dominant medical obsession of its time: tuberculosis and its primary diagnostic tool, the X-ray. If architectural discourse has from its beginning associated building and body, the body that it describes is the medical body, reconstructed by each new theory of health. Recently released by Lars Müller Publishers.

Los Angeles-based Craig Hodgetts occupies a unique position in contemporary architecture as both a central figure and tireless advocate of opportunities developed at its fringes; this collection positions his trenchant critical writings at the intersection of twenty-first-century architecture, technology, and media theory. Recently released from ORO Editions.

This publication retraces one of the most significant moments of the Italian Radical Design. A new English edition is available from NERO Editions. The project is produced in collaboration with SALT, Istanbul.

Through a narrative sequence of three chapters, the book highlights the significance of cities, networks, and territories within urban, regional, and continental geopolitics.

; ; Noah Purifoy’s Homage to Frank Gehry, 2000, Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture, Joshua Tree, CA. Photo: Sara R. Harris. From the 2019 individual grant to Sara R. Harris and Jesse Lerner for the film These Fragmentations Only Mean ...