• Don Baum, Chinatown, 1980, mixed media: wood, crushed metal cans, rulers, cut, glued and assembled, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Koffler, 1984.157.1

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.

Luce Object 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

On View
Not on view.
14 1/2 x 14 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.8 x 37.5 x 23.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Koffler

Mediums Description
mixed media: wood, crushed metal cans, rulers, cut, glued and assembled
  • Architecture – domestic – house
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

mixed media: wood/assembled, rubber, fabric, metal, rope and paper

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ca. 1850-1890
carved softwood with traces of paint and stain and metal
ca. 1950-1964
gold and silver aluminum foil, cardboard, found objects
ca. 1970s-1980s
wood, paint, glitter, paper, and metal