Museum Records & Research

Museum Records & Research from Mills Art on Vimeo.

Museum Records & Research is home to Mills College Art Museum’s archive–a history of art in the Bay Area reaching back to 1925 (the year MCAM opened).

Within the cozy dimensions of our former cloakroom, MR&R staff maintains, updates and digitizes MCAM’s exhibition and accessions files, and makes them available to researchers for fresh consideration. As a site for inquiry, MR&R explores the connections between the historical record and contemporary art practice through exhibition programs and interpretive experiments. MR&R invites proposals based on materials found within the archive from interested collaborators.

Hours: Tues–Fri, 11:00 am–4:00 pm
Contact: Subject: Records & Research.


Sep 8, 2018



An exhibition of photos, notes, and leftover artifacts found deep within MCAM’s archives that would normally be labeled as irrelevant. These seemingly arbitrary relics give us a glimpse into the museum’s history as well as the lives of the people behind the institution itself. Curated by Chloe Champion, Eva Goldstein-Moore, and Carmen Wylie.



June 6–July 22, 2018


Marshall Elliott

Within MCAM’s collection areas, the locations of three prints dating back to the Renaissance are currently unknown. For The Ripped Image, artist Marshall Elliott projects digital images of these vanished prints, categorized as missing in the Museum’s object files, onto a motorized reflective pennant banner, abstracting the images into traces of light. Acknowledging the images as mnemonic copies of objects that were once available for study in person, the installation makes no effort to depict the original artworks. Instead, Elliott unfaithfully replicates them as source material for a light show that fills Museum Records & Research’s operating space.

Bio: Marshall Elliott received his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute and BA degrees in Film Studies and English Literature at the University of Colorado. He has exhibited at spaces such as the deYoung museum, The Headlands Center for the Arts, City Limits, and the Jules Maeght Gallery, and is an Affiliate Artist at the Headlands. He currently lives in Oakland.

March 31–May 27, 2018



CONTACT? looks at the threshold of the archive. Both the archive in its concept and Mills College Art Museum’s Museum Records + Research become the site of this installation. It is an installation with archival images and conceptual graves (plexi, pink wood). The archive becomes the mediator between time and history, author and influence, as Ellis Martin connects the contemporary queer to Sophie Calle’s The Graves, exhibited at MCAM in 1992, alongside her relationship to artist Hervé Guibert during the same period. Contact prods the relationships implicit in these two artist’s works, asking how close is close enough, asking how to be attentive when looking in.

JAN 17, 2017

A Window Into the Tower

A Window Into the Tower

A photographic print and slide projection installation of recent and historic images taken in and around the MCAM tower. Illuminating a hidden facet of the museum architecture, which has been covered over by the expansion of the art department, the tower window.

Slides pulled from the museum archive show the tower, as photographed by Imogen Cunningham in 1925 (shorty after the buildings completion). These are paired with contemporary photographs taken in the tower by Graduate Student Alex Hamilton in 2017.