Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Dan Graham (American, b. 1942)

Bedroom Dining Room Model House, 1967

Chromogenic development prints

Sheet: 37 3/4 x 27 5/8 in. (95.9 x 70.2 cm); Frame: 38 7/8 x 28 7/8 in. (98.7 x 73.3 cm)

Gerald S. Elliott Collection

These two images depict a carefully decorated bedroom and dining room of a model home in Staten Island, New Jersey. As in model homes today, building developers perceived the decor, with its gold scroll wallpaper, wood furniture and olive green chairs, as an idealized interior that would entice buyers. Dan Graham began his career in the 1960s as a photographer who documented suburban housing developments. He was interested in the way tract homes were being marketed as highly individual when, in fact, there were few choices that people could make to customize their homes. Graham also viewed the rise in the amount of suburban housing as a social phenomenon that needed to be examined by looking at the details of the architecture and its interiors.