Mies’s McCormick House Revealed: New Views

June 10 - August 26, 2018

This three-part exhibition provides background, context, and visibility to Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House on the occasion of restorations to its original façade, showing the building’s full exterior for the first time in nearly 25 years. 

The McCormick House (1952) is one of only three single-family homes built by Mies, one of the greatest architects of the 20th Century. The home is a rare and important example of his mature style, incorporating elements of his celebrated designs for the Farnsworth House and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive. The first gallery contains historical drawings, photographs, and models of the prefab prototype built in Elmhurst. Mies’s ‘dream home of tomorrow’ is showcased along with proposals for larger prefab developments in the western Chicagoland suburbs.

The second gallery of New Views is the only U.S. venue for the exhibition Glass Houses, which has traveled from São Paulo, Brazil. The international show contextualizes the McCormick House with iconic Mid-century homes from across North and South America: the Eames House (Case Study House #8), Philip Johnson’s Glass House, Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe, and Lina Bo Bardi’s Glass House—the original site of the exhibition.

The third and final gallery of New Views contains photographs by contemporary artists responding to reflections and transparency on the iconic glass walls designed by Mies, including works by Scott Fortino, Veronika Kellndorfer, Luisa Lambri, and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Described by a prefab advertisement used by Robert Hall McCormick III, “The glass wall doesn’t merely disclose a section of the outdoors but reveals to the expansive eye and spirit a constant weather-changing spectacle from the earth up, of plant and creature.” 

New Views is curated by Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History, Columbia University, with curatorial advisors Renato Anelli, Professor at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning - University of São Paulo; Sol Camacho, Cultural Director of Instituto Bardi/Casa de Vidro; and Ana Lúcia Ceravolo, Post-PhD researcher on Architectural Heritage at IAU USP.

The exhibition is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Explore Elmhurst Grant Program. Research support was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  

Press highlights:

Chicago Tribune “A less-is-more restoration of a Mies house expands our view of a little-known episode in the famed architect's career” by Blair Kamin
Chicago Architect “Elmhurst Art Museum McCormick House Renovations: Liberating a Little-Known Mies House” by Chelsea Ross 
 

Related Programs

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 1:00pm

Family Day

We invite you and your family to participate in hands-on art activities inspired by our exhibitions Mies’s McCormick House Revealed: New Views and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Untitled Film (Red).

Free with museum admission or current membership.

Saturday, July 7, 2018 - 1:30pm

Exhibition Tour

Join us for an in-depth look at the current exhibitions Mies’s McCormick House Revealed: New Views and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Untitled Film (Red).

Free with museum admission or current membership.

Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 1:30pm

Artist Talk

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle will give an artist talk about the inspirations behind his architectural intervention Untitled Film (Red).

Free with museum admission or current membership.

Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 1:30pm

Lecture

Michelangelo Sabatino and Serge Ambrose will present a talk entitled "Brick vs. Steel: Modern Architecture & Preservation in Chicago". The presentation will provide an in-depth discussion about modern domestic structures in Chicago and its suburbs.

Michelangelo Sabatino is the Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair and John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow at IIT's College of Architecture. 
Serge Ambrose trained as an architect and an engineer and is the Chair of Docomomo Chicago.

Free with museum admission or current membership.

Saturday, July 28, 2018 - 1:00pm

Family Day

We invite you and your family to participate in hands-on art activities inspired by the exhibition Mies’s McCormick House Revealed: New Views.

Free with museum admission or current membership.

Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 1:30pm

Lecture: Jonathan D. Solomon

Guest lecturer Jonathan D. Solomon from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will expand on ideas from EAM's current exhibition.

Free with museum admission or current membership.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 6:30pm

EAM/EPL Book Discussion | "The Glass Room," by Simon Mawer

Join us for a conversation about “The Glass Room”, New York Times bestseller novel and a short-list for the Man Booker Prize. The book tells a tale of a recently married couple, who commission a German architect to build a modern house in Czechoslovakia but have to flee it because of World War II. The fictional Landauer House is based on the Villa Tugendhat built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The modern masterpiece embodies a “less is more” design with a transparent glass room as its center. As the house changes hands, each new inhabitant falls under a spell from the extraordinary idealism and aura of the glass room.