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Chinatown

1980 Don Baum Born: Escanaba, Michigan 1922 Died: Evanston, Illinois 2008 mixed media: wood, crushed metal cans, rulers, cut, glued and assembled 14 1/2 x 14 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.8 x 37.5 x 23.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Koffler 1984.157.1 Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

“. . . Miyo was very important to me. I met her in Chicago . . . We had a real sympathetic relationship, which extended to . . . a feeling of admiration about each other’s work . . . It was a very close relationship, very important one.” Don Baum, Archives of American Art, 1986

Luce Center Label

Don Baum picked up discarded objects such as rulers and crushed cans while walking through Chicago’s Chinatown with artist Miyoko Ito. He then used these items to create Chinatown, a piece that is part of his Domus series. In medieval France, the domus was the basic social unit of the village, consisting of both the house and the peasant family residing under its roof. Baum captures a sense of place in Chinatown by including found objects that are traces of the community he portrays.

Keywords

Architecture - domestic - house

sculpture - assemblage

readymade - container

readymade - office supply

wood