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Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art
Northwestern University

1967 Sheridan Road
Evanston, Illinois

Phone: 847-491-4000 --

Statement of Purpose:

The Block Museum is the fine arts museum at Northwestern University. It presents historically significant thematic exhibitions that allow visitors to explore new ideas and research in the visual arts. The Block's newly expanded facility, presently under construction, will reopen in September 2000 with multiple exhibition spaces, an auditorium, print, drawing, photography study center, classroom and library.

Highlights & Collections:

The museum's renowned sculpture garden, containing monumental bronzes represent the work of some of this century's most important modernist artists, will not be on view during construction. The sculptures will be covered for protection during the construction process.

During the 1999-2000 academic year, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum is undertaking an exciting expansion project which will triple the present size of the facility. Public hours of operation are suspended, however the Block Museum will continue to present an variety of educational programs available to students, faculty, members, and the general public. These programs will be hosted in alternative campus venues. The Block will reopen in the fall of 2000 with an array of special events. The opening exhibition will be Drawing is Another Kind of Language: Recent American Drawings from a New York Private Collection.

Please visit the museum's web site at for information on the permanent collection or for details about programs for the coming year. Administrative staff offices are temporarily relocated to 1521 Chicago Avenue in downtown Evanston. Business hours are 8:30 - 5:00, Monday through Friday.

Major Collections: The permanent collection of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum consists of over 2000 works of art on paper, and monumental sculptures installed in a landscaped garden. The museum houses works from the 13th century to the present. It includes drawings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, prints of all types from the modern period including engravings, etchings, linocuts, woodcuts, lithographs and serigraphs, as well as other print media.

The core of the collection contains holdings of Northern and German prints from the medieval to the modern age, 18th and 19th century European and American prints and drawings, American Regionalist and WPA prints of the 1920's to the 1940's, Chicago School art from 1935 to the present and examples of major modern and contemporary art movements. A group of 110 drawings in the early Prairie School style of Frank Lloyd Wright Oak Park Studio associates, Walter Burly Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin, offer a rich research complement to the Museum's other works on paper.

Major Research Fields: As a university museum with a commitment to the University's pursuit of scholarly discourse and interdisciplinary understanding in all spheres of advanced study, the Museum provides not only an exposure to the art of the past and present, but a forum for new ideas. As an active teaching facility, the museum integrates its activities with those of other departments and programs at the University.

In furtherance of these goals, the Museum is charged with the preservation, exhibition and interpretation of the collection. The Block Museum organizes original exhibitions that delve into unexplored themes and periods of art. It fosters unique research related to artists and art movements which have not been fully explored. It will organize and bring to campus, scholarly exhibitions and interpretive programs that facilitate discussion and cross-disciplinary study of this research. The Museum will also publish its scholarly efforts in exhibition catalogues and other publications.



Admission & Directions:

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. The Museum is located on the Arts Circle on the south end of campus, just off of Sheridan Road.


Key Personnel:

David Mickenberg, Director

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