Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Akpaleeapik and Tatega, from A Walk Midnight June 17, 1980, Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, photograph 11 x 14 inches

This past weekend, as I was digging through my old files, I came across a series of correspondences with Chicago’s Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art. Collections of my photographically based art are in the permanent collections of these two museums! For any artist, having their work in the collections of important museums is an incredible accomplishment. How is it that I did not remember this accomplishment?

Well, this was the end of 1981 and start of 1982. I was arranging to relocate from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, to work at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. This entailed several trips to Toronto for job interviews. Then, unraveling the complex and uncertain state my Canadian citizenship. Followed by arranging immigration and work-permit papers for my wife–which included many trips to the Canadian consulate in Minneapolis. Not to mention the birth of my daughter in early 1982, and her citizenship and immigration papers. Also, all of the paper work about moving a household to Canada, and making all of the arrangements by U-Haul. And all of this as I was working 60 hour work weeks!

It is not surprising that I forgot this correspondence. What is amazing is that I found the time to arrange for my art to be in these institutions. Boy, was I energetic!

I cannot help but wonder: if I had placed this information on my art resume 35 years ago, might not my artistic career have been much more successful? As they say, “better late than never.”

From A Walk Midnight June 17, 1980, Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, photograph 11 x 14 inches

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