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Mooney Foundation Collections

The Foundation is home to a vast collection of archival materials which document the work of John David Mooney from the 1970s to today. The Foundation's holdings include slides, photographs, drawings, models, plans, films, paper documents and digital images, all of which help to preserve the legacy of John David Mooney's art, as well as the decades of work produced by artists in the Mooney studios and exhibitions and events organized by the Foundation. The John David Mooney Foundation Collection also serves as a unique documentation of the arts in the Chicago area.

The Mooney Foundation Slide Collection contains over 100,000 color 35mm slides documenting over 40 years of work by John David Mooney. This collection comprehensively documents a majority of Mooney's sculptural works and light pieces, which have been installed and performed around the world. As many of Mooney's works have been temporary installations and are intentionally short-lived, the Foundation Slide Collection provides a unparalleled look at individual artistic works from the initial planning stages to the construction and performance of each piece.

The Mooney Foundation is currently processing and digitizing the Slide Collection in an effort produce accessible archival-quality images, as well as to ensure the long-term stability of the physical slides.

The Mooney Foundation Research Library, housed on the 3rd floor of the Foundation, contains over 3,000 non-fiction works relating to the humanities and beyond. Covering a wide range of disciplines, the Research Library has many rare and out-of-print editions concerning art, architecture, urban planning, history, religion and the environment. The Research Library also contains magazines, journals and other ephemera available for researcher use.

The Foundation also houses a small collection of 16mm and Super 8 films dating from the 1970s to the 1980s, which document several of the works produced by John David Mooney. The Mooney Foundation Film Collection provides an exciting look at a number of Mooney's most dynamic sculptural pieces, including "Continuous You," "Spring Flow," and "Indianapolis Mile." These films are not only a vital record of John David Mooney's art, but help to preserve the history of works produced in partnerships with important institutions, such as Purdue University, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Foundation is currently planning several preservation projects for individual films as well as constructing archival strategies to ensure the long-term care and accessibility of this collection as a whole.

The care and ensured preservation of the Mooney Foundation Collection is only made possible through the generosity of our donors.


If you are interested in learning more about current needs regarding the Foundation collection, internship opportunities for trained archivists or volunteering with the Foundation, contact Barbara Jones, Administrator at 

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