For The MacArthur Foundation, we created an art program that supports and reflects the foundation’s mission: fostering creativity, sustainability, and individual empowerment.

In 1990 the MacArthur Foundation expanded its art collecting activities in response to a facility renovation in its Chicago headquarters. But rather than just decorating the building’s walls, the foundation developed an art program that supports and critically reflects on the foundation’s larger mission: fostering human creativity, the generation of new ideas, the role of the individual in democratic societies, and sustainable practices globally.

Dawoud Bey

Pamela Wilson Ryckman, Wave (Sunami) in MacArthur Foundation collection

Textile in MacArthur Lobby

Zhang Huan, To Raise the Water Level of a Fish Pond

MacArthur Foundation Report 1996

From 1995-2010,  Burns  continued on this course, acquiring relevant new artworks, managing and periodically reinstalling the collection, and conducting educational programs for employees, increasing their understanding and appreciation. With a focus on international perspectives, and the ways globalization is affecting contemporary cultural practices, Burns also organized film screenings, panel discussions and presentations by artists, curators and theorists.

Examples of relevant programs include: Border, Michal Rovner’s film about the Israeli/Palestinian border with a discussion led by Rashid Khalidi, an expert in Middle East Affiars at the University of Chicago; The Art of Cuba; Beauty in Art; India: The Transmission of Culture Through Photographs, a discussion with Dr. Homi Bhabha from the University of Chicago; and talks by individual artists including Shazia Sikander, Kerry James Marshall and Janine Antoni.

The Artworld is Flat: Globalism - Crisis & Opportunity

Symposium C6 repositioned Art Chicago, MMPI’s newest property, onto the leading edge of the international cultural scene.

The inaugural Symposium C6 explored how the forces of globalism are challenging traditional cultural hierarchies, redistributing capital, creating powerful collaborations, and generating new hybrid cultural practices. It took place April 26-28, 2007 at the Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry in Chicago’s Millennium Park and was produced by Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

David Buckland Cape Farewell

Peter Sellers

Creative TIme: Doug Aitken

David Buckland

Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park, Chicago

Creative Time with Cai Guo-Qiang

Creative Time

Victoria and Stephen Burks

Erika Dalya Muhammad

C6 featured keynotes, presentations, panel discussions, and performances by an international group of innovative and socially engaged artists, entrepreneurs, technologists, writers, designers, curators, patrons, and collectors. Topics discussed during the three-day conference included Green World: Art for a Sustainable Ecological Consciousness; New Capital(s): Hegemony and Resistance in the Global Cultural Economy; and No Borders Here? Cultural Hybrids, Nomads and Refugees.

Conference highlights included a keynote by Peter Sellars, world-renowned theatre director and professor of World Arts and Culture at U.C.L.A.; a private screening of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s film Strange Culture; and a special closing presentation by award-winning playwright, actress and MacArthur Foundation fellow Anna Deavere Smith.

Harris Associates LLP, a privately owned investment firm in Chicago, hired Victoria Burns to revise and upgrade the firm’s art collecting program in anticipation of a period of change in the organization’s financial environment and corporate culture.

Timed to coincide with a major renovation of the corporate headquarters, Burns recommended the company focus on collecting both emerging and established artists whose work represented quality, creative vision and a sense of strength and stability.

Alex Prager and Yoan Capote in Harris Lobby

Los Carpinteros

Liam Everett, Harris Boardroom

Ann Hamilton, Reflections

Patrick Wilson

The collection’s centerpiece is a three hundred year old Sumba limestone disc, considered a mark of wealth and social prestige on the Indonesian archipelago, and passed from generation to generation as a symbol of clan longevity and power.

Carlos and Jason Sanchez

Richard Misrach and Nancy Spero

Frank Egloff after Atget

Robbins & Associates LLC offers accounting and consulting services. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. Alex Prager's work activates the office space with its scale and subject matter.

Alex Prager, Crowd #8 (City Hall)