Tag Archives: Frances Glessner Lee

Examining Evidence: This Week in Crime Unseen Programming

Please join us this week as we host two programs examining the very nature of physical evidence and how this evidence allows people to return again and again to the scenes of violent crimes. Both events, which run in conjunction with our current exhibition, Crime Unseen, are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, November 30 at 6p.m.
Video Playlist: The Evidence Show(s)
Featuring work by:
Steve Matheson
Jessie Stead
Michael Bell-Smith
Noah Klersfeld
Steve Reinke
Jacob Ciocci

In criminal cases, physical evidence is paramount, offering tangible proof of a violent crime. Before becoming evidence, however these things were just things and these places were just places. The perpetrators were just people, not criminals but strangers and neighbors. The work in this program considers the potential for everyday objects, ordinary surroundings and average people to become evidence of something beyond the familiar. Curated by Jesse MacLean.
@MoCP, 600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago


Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m.
Murder in a Nutshell: Corinne May Botz at the Glessner House
Corinne May Botz examines real-life crime scenes one step removed, photographing dollhouse “nutshell studies” created by criminologist and heiress Frances Glessner Lee that meticulously recreate unexplained deaths. These models, based on actual homicides, suicides and accidental deaths from the 1940s and ’50s, were created to train detectives to assess visual evidence. Botz will speak about her time photographing the grisly nutshells at Glessner’s childhood home, the Glessner House Museum.
@ Glessner House Museum, 1800 South Prairie Ave., Chicago

Crime Unseen: Upcoming Events

Corinne May Botz, Three Room Dwelling (gun in kitchen), 2004; Courtesy of the artist.

When it was invented, photography almost immediately became a tool for law enforcement, turning photographs into a seemingly infallible way to identify criminals, document evidence and solve crimes. Our current exhibition, Crime Unseen, looks into the ways that photography works–and doesn’t work–as an objective way to solve violent crime.

The following events will take place in conjunction with Crime Unseen, which runs through January 15, 2012:

Thursday, November 10: Exhibiting artist Deborah Luster will discuss her archive of contemporary and historic homicide sites in New Orleans–a city with a homicide rate nearly eight times the national average–creating a complex portrait of loss and remembrance. 6pm @ Ferguson Lecture Hall, 600 S. Michigan, 1st floor.

Tuesday, November 15: Acclaimed writer Luc Sante will examine criminal evidence captured within more than 100 unpublished photographs from the New York City Police Department’s 1930s files. 6 p.m. @ Hokin Lecture Hall, 623 S. Wabash, Room 109.

Thursday, December 1: Exhibiting artist Corinne May Botz will literally bring viewers to the home of her photography: the Glessner House, where criminologist and heiress Frances Glessner Lee created models based on actual homicides, suicides and accidental deaths in order to train detectives to assess visual evidence. 6 p.m. @ Glessner House Museum, 1800 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago.