U.S. premiere of Playboy Architecture exhibition at Elmhurst Art Museum

Elmhurst Art Museum proudly presents the U.S. debut of Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979, featuring an extensive collection of photographs, films, architectural models and more from Playboy magazine’s inception in 1953 through the 1970s. Curated by Professor Beatriz Colomina and Pep Aviles in collaboration with the Ph.D. program of the School of Architecture and the Media and Modernity program at Princeton University, the exhibition showcases how architecture and design played a role in creating the Playboy fantasy as well as how Playboy magazine came to influence the world of architecture and design. Playboy Architecture will be on view from May 7 – August 28, 2016.

Staged in the Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick House at Elmhurst Art Museum, the exhibition will feature detailed models of archetypal design projects such as the Playboy Townhouse and 'Big Bunny', the largest and most luxurious private aircraft in existence, designed for Hugh Hefner by Elmhurst resident Daniel Czubak. The exhibition is divided into sections devoted to themes explored in the magazine’s articles and images such as Playboy pads (including bedrooms and closets), cities, vehicles, music and the art of seduction. An archive of Playboy magazine issues from the period is also included.

Unique to this U.S. presentation, never-before-exhibited memorabilia from the personal collection of 1976 Playboy Bunny of the Year, Chicagoan Candace Jordan will be part of the exhibition, including her Bunny of the Year full costume, the pageant program and her trophy.

“Chicago's modern architecture and design influenced cities around the world,” said Jenny Gibbs, Elmhurst Art Museum Executive Director. “Chicago-based Playboy magazine played no small part in that by championing Chicago architects like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. We are excited to present Professor Beatriz Colomina's groundbreaking exhibition Playboy Architecture:1953-1979 in its only U.S. appearance, staged fittingly in Mies van der Rohe's McCormick House (1952). Colomina's research presents a stylish introduction to how Playboy cultivated a taste for modern architecture and design as part of the Playboy fantasy and the Gesamkunstwerk which became known as the ‘bachelor pad.’”

Elmhurst Art Museum’s presentation of Playboy Architecture 1953-1979 was designed by Cristóbal Amunátegui, a partner in Amunátegui Valdés Architects (Santiago, Chile). The exhibition was previously displayed in the Netherlands at Bureau Europa (Maastricht) in 2012. The U.S. debut of Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979 is made possible by Gigi and James Owens.


A robust roster of public programs will be presented over the summer, including talks by Professor Beatriz Colomina (Princeton) author of Domesticity at War, The Ghost of Mies; Professor Elizabeth Fraterrigo (Loyola), author of Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in America; and Candace Jordan, Chicago Tribune columnist and 1976 Playboy Bunny of the Year among others.

About Elmhurst Art Museum

Elmhurst Art Museum is located at 150 Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst (IL), 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by car or public transportation (Metra). The Museum is both an international destination for Mies van der Rohe scholars and fans and a regional center where people from Chicago and the western suburbs learn to see and think differently through the study of the art, architecture and design of our time.

The Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am – 5pm (7pm on Fridays). Admission is $8 ($7 for seniors) and free for students and children under the age of 18.

For more information, please call 630.834.0202 or visit elmhurstartmuseum.org

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