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Mark Rogovin papers

Identifier: MSS 729

Scope and Contents

The Mark Rogovin papers include materials published and unpublished that document activities of the modern mural movement in Chicago during the 1970s and the activities of the Public Art Workshop, an organization active at the time in integrating art into community development through the creation of public murals.

Includes Rogovin's publication, a classic public art guide: "Mural Manual: How to Paint Murals for the Classroom, Community Center, and Street Corner". Includes newspaper articles on mural art, list of mural locations in Chicago, as well as ads and flyers for Public Art Workshop programs. Interviews with Mark Rogovin offer a window into the artist's personal thoughts on the development of U.S. modern mural movement, the balance of aesthetics and politics in art, and commentary on his own creative process. Accompanying these is a lecture by Siqueieros on the relationship of art to the people, and the artist to his country. A Rhode Island School of Design alumni bulletin containing an article written by Rogovin, in addition to a manuscript by José Renau, further underlines Siqueiros' belief on art as a transformative, democratic force.

Collection also includes administrative documents, event flyers and catalogs from The Peace Museum (Chicago), which Rogovin co-founded and directed for several years. Some material in the collection relate to the work and circle of friends of Rogovin's father, American documentary photographer, Milton Rogovin. This includes postcards of Milton Rogovin's photographs, photocopies of newspaper articles that focus on his role as a social documentarist, and photocopies of personal letters from members of Mexico's Taller Grafica Popular including Sarah Jimenez and Pablo O'Higgins.

This collection provides a sense of the dominant social conditions in these years as well as the impetus and motivations for the individual artists involved, and they help weave together a narrative in which not only is Mark Rogovin's relationship to mural painting explored, but also the complex interplay between the power of public art, the community, and the social conscience.


  • Creation: 1954-2007
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1970-1990


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections at the Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Mark Rogovin, artist and community activist, received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1968 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) in 1970. He is the author of "Mural Manual: How to Paint Murals for the Classroom, Community Center, and Street Corner". Rogovin studied with Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros and worked with him on the mural, "The March of Humanity". He co-founded the Public Art Workshop after graduating from the AIC. He also co-founded the Peace Museum in Chicago with Marjorie Craig Benton, former U.S. representative to UNICEF, in an era still permeated with tensions of the Vietnam War and Cold War. Rogovin's father, American photographer Milton Rogovin, once blacklisted for his association with the Communist Party USA, documented prominent social issues such as poverty and inequality. Milton Rogovin and wife, Anne, developed close friendships with several members of Mexico's Taller Grafica Popular.


.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


The Mark Rogovin papers document Rogovin's role in the modern mural movement, specifically in Chicago, as well as aspects of his role as a founder of Chicago's Peace Museum. The collection also gives insight to American social documentary photographer (Mark Rogovin's father) Milton Rogovin's relationship with members of Mexico's Taller Graphica Popular. The collection includes writings, news clippings, flyers, administrative records, press releases, and grant proposals. Of note are a series of letters to Milton Rogovin and his wife from prominent artists living in Mexico such as Sarah Jimenez and Pablo O'Higgins.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred from the Julian Samora Library at the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Norte Dame in 2019.

Processing Information

Chiayi Tsui and Tracy Grimm processed this collection in 2012 at the University of Norte Dame. The original collection identifier was MS.2009.2. Andrea McMillan imported the collection inventory in 2021.

Finding Aid for the Mark Rogovin papers.
4 Published And Cataloged
Andrea McMillan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA