Shifting Grounds: Block 21 and Chicago's MCA

Melding history, art, and technology, Pamela Bannos has once again succeeded in creating a unique, thought-provoking, web-based presentation. Titled Shifting Grounds: Block 21 and Chicago’s MCA , the project combines maps, newspapers, images and archival materials from local repositories (including the Newberry) to explore the history of the grounds on which the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago now stands.

Rich in history and art, the 112-page site includes four fascinating sections for anyone interested in Chicago: the history of Chicago through the Fire; Cap Streeter and the development of Streeterville; the armory years; and the history of the MCA.

The Columbia Chronicle and Chicago Magazine have interesting articles about the website, the origin of the project and its relationship to the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibit “The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology.”

Pamela Bannos is the Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Department of Art Theory and Practice, at Northwestern University. Her previous project, Hidden Truths: The Chicago City Cemetery & Lincoln Park is also a “must” for Chicago historians and genealogists.

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