Roger Brown (artist)
|Birth name||James Roger Brown|
|Born||December 10, 1941
|Died||November 22, 1997
|Training||School of the Art Institute of Chicago|
Roger Brown (1941-1997) was an American artist and painter. Often associated with the Chicago Imagist school, he was internationally known for his distinctive painting style and shrewd social commentaries on politics, religion, and art.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Influences
- 3 Collecting
- 4 Education
- 5 Early career
- 6 Mid-career
- 7 Later career
- 8 Exhibitions
- 9 Homes
- 10 Personal life
- 11 Public Collections:97–98
- 12 Solo Exhibitions
- 13 Group Exhibitions
- 14 Publications
- 15 Notes
- 16 External links
Roger Brown was born on December 10, 1941, and raised in Hamilton and Opelika, Alabama. He was described in his formative years as a creative child, an inclination his parents are said to have encouraged. Brown took art classes from second to ninth grade, and won first prize in a statewide poster competition in tenth grade.
After high school Brown left the South. Although he lived much of his adult life elsewhere, he maintained his connection to the region both in his artwork and research, and later with his plan to purchase the “Rock House” in Beulah, Alabama.
During childhood Brown was close with his grandparents, especially his great-grandmother, Mammy. This experience instilled an early interest in his family’s origins, later inspiring extensive research into his family’s genealogy. This research was expressed artistically in a number of paintings that track family relationships, most notably “Autobiography in the Shape of Alabama (Mammyʼs Door)” and in references to Elvis Presley, who was a distant cousin.
His upbringing in the southern United States also led to a deep interest in the material culture of the South, especially in folk art and hand made, functional objects. From his adolescent and teen years he took influences from the aesthetics of comics, theatre, architecture and interiors and streamlined Art Deco and machine-age design. Additionally, the influence of his religious upbringing in the independent, fundamentalist Church of Christ was formative and lasting.
While attending the School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC) 1962-1970, Brown was introduced to a range of art historical periods and genres, gravitating to Pre-Renaissance Italian art, Surrealism, American artists Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and Georgia O’Keeffe, and the tribal art of many cultures. Painter Ray Yoshida and art historian Whitney Halstead, both professors at SAIC, also greatly influenced Brown’s practice. Both included folk, popular, and self-taught art within the scope of their teaching, genres which Brown sustained enthusiastic interest in throughout his life. Other influences stemming from Brown’s SAIC days include the legendary Maxwell Street market, antique and thrift stores, and amusement parks.
Travel was also a source for inspiration and subject matter throughout Brown’s artistic career; experiences throughout the U.S.—where he took frequent road trips—and in Mexico, Europe, Russia, and Africa found expression in both his paintings and in his collections.
Brown became known as an astute and intuitive collector, a practice he began during childhood. His collections inspired much of his work throughout his thirty-odd year career. His Chicago collection is preserved, as he left it, at the Roger Brown Study Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The RBSC archive contains materials from Brown’s collections from homes in New Buffalo, MI, and La Conchita, CA.
Collected art and objects functioned as important source materials for Brown’s work and were an integral part of his practice and discipline. Collecting was a pursuit shared by many of his Chicago colleagues, and reflected a collecting sensibility in Chicago. Brown didn’t claimed to be a curator, but felt that objects would gravitate towards like objects, establishing visual and associative dialogues along the way. Brown’s collection includes the work of many of his friends and colleagues including Ray Yoshida, Karl Wirsum, Barbara Rossi, Jim Nutt, Don Baum, and Christina Ramberg, among others. Brown collected works by a vast array of self taught artists including 36 works by Joseph Yoakum, a major work by Henry Darger, birdhouse cathedrals by Aldo Piacenza, hand painted text works by Jesse Howard, and many others. Artworks and objects from outside America reflect Brown’s travels and aesthetic interests. These include Yoruba twin figures, Baule masks, Guerrero masks, Hopi katsina, molas, and many other objects from very diverse locations and traditions.
The display of these objects was influenced by Chicago Imagist artist Ray Yoshida’s display technique, utilizing simple white shelves densely populated with wide ranging objects. It is notable that Brown displayed all of the objects in his collection as holding equal value no matter their background or provenance. Today this democratic treatment of objects is continued at the RBSC, with each object treated as a museum artifact.
After graduating from high school in 1960 Brown attended David Lipscomb College in Nashville, TN, where he briefly pursued his interest in entering the ministry. In the fall of 1962 Brown moved to Chicago where he took classes at the American Academy of Art before enrolling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). His first experience at SAIC was brief, and in 1963 he returned to the American Academy of Art, where he completed a commercial design program in 1964. He then returned to SAIC as a full-time student from 1965-1970, where he committed to a fine art focus that would lead to his prolific career over the next three decades. In 1968 Brown received his Bachelor of Fine Art and in 1970 he was awarded his Master of Fine Art, both from SAIC. With his MFA Brown also received Edward L. Ryerson Traveling Fellowship, which supported travels throughout Europe and Egypt, where he collected objects, images, and inspiration.
Brown developed a mature visual vocabulary in the late 1960s, with visual themes including silhouetted figures, nocturnal cityscapes, and theatre facades and interiors. Encouraged by Yoshida and Halsted, Brown and his colleagues began to look to the work of self-taught artists, visiting Joseph Yoakum, Aldo Piacenza, William Dawson, Lee Godie, and others. Brown became an ardent champion for the validity of such works as equal or superior to works from the mainstream. Exploring and documenting art environments and the vernacular landscape became an ongoing pursuit.
Brown’s first solo exhibit at Phyllis Kind Gallery (Chicago, 1971) began his 26 year representation at PKG in Chicago (beginning in 1970) and New York (beginning in 1975). Although affiliated with the Chicago Imagist school throughout his career, Brown’s work evolved beyond the indeterminate definition of that “school.” In the early 1970s he received acclaim for his paintings of stylized landscapes and cityscapes as stark backdrops for aspects of contemporary life as well as the “Disasters” series (1972), paintings of exploding buildings, followed by a procession of iconic, flat-patterned landscapes.
Brown’s critical acclaim grew in the 1970s and 80s. He became known for responding to 20th century life through works that addressed a range of subjects and issues, including: natural, architectural and urban landscapes, the dichotomy of nature and culture, disasters of all types, current and political events, social, religious, and popular culture, autobiographical, personal, and sexual issues, the art world in many guises, cosmology, mortality, history, mythology, transformation, transportation, and the weather. He used the weather as an allegorical backdrop for the larger physical and metaphysical forces that dwarf the human endeavor.
In addition to painting and printmaking, Brown’s mediums eventually included sculpture of found, assembled, and painted objects, theatre and opera sets, and mosaic murals. In 1979 he designed sets for the Chicago Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte.” 
Early on, Brown, along with many of his colleagues, was recognized by curator Don Baum, who organized spirited “Chicago School” exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center from 1966 to1971. Brown’s work was shown there in the group exhibition “False Image” (1968, 69). From these early HPAC exhibitions, a loosely associated group of artists became known as Chicago Imagists, a term coined by art critic Franz Schulz (1972). They did not form a group, adopt the name, or have a shared ideology, but they did work independently of New York contemporary art trends and incorporated imagery from popular culture into their works, although less cerebrally than New York Pop artists.
In the late 1980s Brown adapted his work and collecting disciplines to Southern California, moving into a home and studio (designed by Stanley Tigerman) in La Conchita, in 1993. Still addressing a broad range of subjects in his works, Brown created condensed, serial works that focused on California experiences, including a series of ominous cloud-scapes, paintings of rose trees and shrubs; a series of Virtual Still Life object paintings—27 paintings with projecting shelves holding ceramic objects—; and metaphorical explorations of Bonsai, his final sequence.
In 1991 Brown created two Italian glass mosaic murals entitled: “Arts and Sciences of the Ancient World: The Flight of Daedalus” and “Icarus and Arts and Sciences of the Modern World: La Salle Corridor with Holding Pattern.” These were installed on the façade and in the lobby of the Ahmanson Commercial Development Company, a subsidiary of Home Savings of America, at 120 North LaSalle St., Chicago. His second large scale mural was the "City of the Big Shoulders" commissioned by The Equitable for the NBC building at Cityfront Center, Chicago and located in the west lobby of the 455 North Columbus Building. His third (untitled) mosaic mural is a tribute to the African burial ground, discovered during the excavation for the Foley Square Federal Building at 290 Broadway, New York City, dedicated in 1995. In September 1997 the mosaic mural “Hull House, Cook County, Howard Brown: A Tradition of Helping,” designed by Brown, was dedicated at the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago.
Brown’s exhibition history is extensive. He was represented by the Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago and New York, and his work was shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries around the country and abroad. Major retrospectives of his work were mounted at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in 1980, and at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 1987. He is represented in many major museum collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, High Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Brown owned homes, studios, and gardens in Chicago, Illinois; New Buffalo, Michigan; and La Conchita, California. He was in the process of developing his final home and studio in Beulah, Alabama at the time of his death. The School of the Art Institute Chicago became the primary repository for Brown’s personal, professional, and artistic effects. SAIC operates his New Buffalo, MI retreat as a residency facility for SAIC faculty and staff. His Chicago collection was formalized into the Roger Brown Study Collection, a house museum, archive, and special collection in 1997.
In 1974 Brown purchased a storefront in Chicago at 1926 North Halsted Street, which became his first home, studio, and collection environment. This home is owned by the School of the Art Institute Chicago and is maintained as the Roger Brown Study Collection, a house museum and special collection, serving SAIC as an academic resource, and is open to the public by appointment.
Brown commissioned his partner, architect George Veronda, to design a home and studio for a Lake Michigan dunes property he purchased in New Buffalo, Michigan. The Veronda Pavilion, a residence, and the Roger Brown Studio and Guest House were completed in 1979. Throughout the 1980s Brown divided his time between Chicago and New Buffalo, where he assembled a second collection of art and objects, and developed a garden.
The pavilion and studio/guest house are steel and glass modernist structures tucked into a secluded dunes landscape between the Galien River and a beachfront road. Parallels can be drawn between Veronda’s design these buildings and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (Plano, IL, 1950). The Pavilion and Guest House contain furnishings designed by Veronda, as well as Brown;s collection, including works by contemporary artists, tribal sculpture and textiles, works by folk and self-taught artists, and examples of Brown’s own work.
Brown’s Michigan home and studio provided him with a new source of inspiration not previously available to him in the city: nature and a continually changing landscape. Here is where Brown first began experimenting with landscape design, surrounding the buildings with a swath of native grasses and flowers, and later planting several hundred rose shrubs. He also installed sculptures including a large sheet metal cross, reproduction Roman busts, sundry architectural ornaments, sculptures by “Joe the Welder”, and other objects.
In 1995 Brown gave his New Buffalo property to SAIC with the intention that it serve as a retreat for SAIC faculty and staff. The Studio, Pavilion and Guest House have been used since 1996 by SAIC faculty and full time staff, who may apply for two-week residencies through the faculty enrichment and sabbatical programs.
In Spring 2007 SAIC’s Historic Landscape Studio class (offered through SAIC’s Historic Preservation graduate program), taught by Carol Yetken, undertook a project to research the landscape history of New Buffalo property, and create a preservation plan. The New Buffalo facility is used by SAIC faculty and staff year-round and is not open to the public.
In the late 1980s Brown searched for a place to live on the west coast. He found property in the beach town of La Conchita, north of Ventura, with a Spartan “Royal Mansion” trailer. In 1993 home and studio, designed by architect Stanley Tigerman, was completed. Though he originally planned to live in the trailer and build a studio alongside it, in the final plans the trailer served as a guest house. The architecture for the main home studio structure, which he referred to as the “Temple of Painting,” was conceived as part barn, part basilica, with a Romanesque clerestory, corrugated roof, and stucco painted a deep salmon-pink, inspired by the color of the La Purisima Mission in nearby Lompoc. An important feature of the La Conchita house — and one that was specifically stipulated by Brown in all of his homes — was the presence of a large expanse of white walls on which he could display his collection.
As with his other homes, Brown filled this house and garden with collected objects — well over 1,500 in total by the time he bequeathed the estate to SAIC — referred to in scholarly material as his La Conchita Collection. The breadth of objects included was comparable to his other collections, with everything from formal paintings to African objects to everyday objects. However the La Conchita collection can be seen to reflect his California environment, featuring an extensive array of nearly 500 ceramic objects featuring objects by amateurs, regional factory-made wares, and Mexican wares by families or studios. The contents and direction of this collection was guided both by Brown’s own exploration of the environment and by the network of friends and colleagues he established in California, namely his friend Lisa Cathcart, Director of Casa Dolores, Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico.
Brown bequeathed the La Conchita home and collection to SAIC in 1997. The house has since been sold, and much of the collection has been archived. Brown’s Spartan trailer now resides at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, California (along with a collection of similar mobile residences). In addition to Brown’s original furnishings and decor, the Spartan now also showcases a series of models depicting different views of the trailer made by artist, SAIC Associate Professor and RBSC Curator Nicholas Lowe. Surrounding the trailer in its new location is a reconstruction of part of Brown’s La Conchita garden. Portions of Brown’s La Conchita garden are also replicated at Casa Dolores.
In 1997 Brown was in the process of developing a fourth home/studio/collection environment in an 1870s stone house in Beulah, Alabama, with the vision of “coming full circle” and have his Alabama home. This house, known as the Rock House, was only 15 miles from his parents’ home in Alabama. Brown first documented the Rock House on super-8 film as a child. Upon purchasing the Rock House as an adult, Brown sent all the furnishings––the beginnings of another collection––of rugs, quilts, and examples of his own work to his brother Greg Brown, for installation into the house.
Brown died on November 22, 1997. The project was completed by his parents and brother, and opened as the Roger Brown Rock House Museum in 1999. The family added to Brown’s collection of objects for the Alabama house after his death, contributing personal artifacts and family memorabilia.
In 1972 Brown met architect George Veronda (1941-1984) and the two formed a strong artistic and personal relationship. Veronda was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1983 and died in 1984.
Roger Brown died on November 22, 1997, and was survived by his parents, James and Mary Elizabeth Brown and his brother Greg Brown.
- Akron Museum of Art, Akron, OH
- The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
- Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
- Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
- Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
- Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, CA
- Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
- Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
- Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, AL
- Museum Boymans, Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
- National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- Nelson Atkins Museum of Fine Art, Kansas City, MO
- Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY
- Lowe Art Museum Coral Gables,Florida
- 2014 Roger Brown: His American Icons, Hughes Gallery, Sydney, Australia, March 22 - April 14
- 2013, Roger Brown, DC Moore Gallery, New York City, NY, January 8 - February 2
- 2012 Roger Brown: This Boy’s Own Story, Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, August 24 – November 10
- 2012 Dual exhibition, Roger Brown: Major Paintings, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, IL and Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL, September 7 - October 27
- 2012 Roger Brown: Urban Traumas and Natural Disasters, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO, September 17 – November 13
- 2011 Roger Brown: Calif. U.S.A., curated by Nicholas Lowe, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL, June 20 – October 3
- 2011 roger brown: urban traumas and natural disasters, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO, September 17 - November 13
- 2009 Roger Brown: Early Work, Major Paintings and Constructions, 1968-1980, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, IL, March 27 – May 16
- 2009 Roger Brown, Art Works: Chicago A Progressive Corporate Exhibition of Chicago Artists, Metropolitan Capital Bank, Chicago, IL
- 2008 Roger Brown: The American Landscape, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY, May 1 – June 13
- 2007-2008 Roger Brown: Southern Exposure, curated by Sidney Lawrence, The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, AL, October 6, 2007 – January 5, 2008. Traveled to: The Katzen Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington, DC, February 5 - March 22, 2008; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, University of New Orleans, LA, April 19 – July 31, 2008
- 2006 Roger Brown: The Last Paintings, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, IL, April 21 – June 17
- 2005 Roger Brown: From the Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC, February 1 – April 15
- 2005 Jesse Howard and Roger Brown: Now Read On, H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, August 6 – September 17
- 2005 Jesse Howard and Roger Brown: Now Read On, Betty Rymer Gallery, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, October 14 – November 18
- 2004-2005 Roger Brown Paintings, Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY, December 3, 2004 – January 15
- 2004 Roger Brown: A Different Dimension, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, AL, April 10 – June 6. Traveled to: Chicago Cultural Center, IL, July 17 – September 26
- 2004 Roger Brown: Selections from the Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, IN, October 15 – December 26
- 2003 Roger Brown, Chicago Imagist: Selected Works from the Roger Brown Study Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN, April – June 1
- 2001 Roger Brown: Great Lakes Selections from the Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
- 2001 Recollections and Observations: The Prints of Roger Brown, curated by Richard A. Born, Joel and Carole Bernstein Gallery, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, IL, July 14 – September 2
- 1999 Roger Brown Paintings from the SAIC Collection, The University Club of Chicago, IL
- 1997 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL, September 19
- 1996 Roger Brown: California Dreamin', Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
- 1996 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL, February 2 - March 5
- 1995 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, April 1 - May 6
- 1994 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL, April 8 - May 6
- 1992 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, March 28 - April 28
- 1991 Roger Brown: New Paintings, Dean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee, WI, January 25 - March 9
- 1991 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL, April 12 - May 7
- 1991 Who is Roger Brown?: A Tribute to Roger Brown Performance Series, Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library and Arts Center, The Opelika Arts Association, Opelika, AL, October 18 - November 8
- 1990 Roger Brown: Recent Work, David Heath Gallery, Atlanta, GA, March 7 - April 20
- 1989 Roger Brown: Recent Painting, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, September 16 - October 11
- 1987-88 Roger Brown: A Retrospective, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., August 12 - October 18. Traveled to: La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA, November 20, 1987 - January 10, 1988; Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, February 11 - March 27; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA, April 28 - June 12
- 1986-87 Roger Brown: Recent Paintings, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA, November 25, 1986 - January 3, 1987
- 1986 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL
- 1985 Roger Brown, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX, June 18 - July 10
- 1985 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, September 14
- 1984-85 Roger Brown: A Selected Retrospective, Nexus Gallery, Atlanta, GA, May 3 - June 10. Traveled to: University of Florida, Tampa, FL; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
- 1984 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY
- 1983 Roger Brown, Asher/Faure Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, September 17 - October 16
- 1982 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, September 14
- 1981 Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, April 14
- 1981 Roger Brown: Recent Paintings, Mayor Gallery, London, England, November 24 - December 18
- 1981 Roger Brown Retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, February 14 - April 12
- 1980 Roger Brown, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Montgomery, AL, October 5 - November 23. Traveled to: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, December 12, 1980 - January 19, 1981; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, April 13 - May 12
- 1979 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL, March 2
- 1979 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, September 18
- 1977 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, September 20
- 1975 Roger Brown, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY, October 3
- 1974 Roger Brown, Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris, France, September 26 - October 31
- 2012 First 50, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, May 12 - August 19
- 2012 Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, June 30 - September 23
- 2012 Afterimage, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL, September 14 - November 15
- 2011-2014 U.S. Embassy, office of Ambassador Matthew Bryza, Baku, Azerbaijan
- 2011-2012 The Art of Collecting, The Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI, November 25, 2011 - January 8, 2012
- 2011 Painthing on the Move: Chicago Imagists 1966-1973, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, October 11 - November 26
- 2010-2012: Go Figure! and Extreme Makeover: A Fresh Look at the Cantor's Contemporary Collection, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Standford University, Stanford, CA, September 1, 2010 - August 5, 2012
- 2010-2011 Figures in Chicago Imagism, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, August 26, 2010 - January 29, 2011
- 2010-2011 Touch And Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence, SAIC Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010 - February 12, 2011
- 2010 Chicago Imagism(s), Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, November 16 - December 17
- 2009 Trees, DC Moore Gallery, New York City, NY, June 11 - August 7
- 2009 INTENSE, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, IL, September 11 - October 31
- 2008 ReSource, Cressman Center for Visual Arts Gallery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, January 18 - February 16
- 2008 Evening Light, DC Moore Gallery, New York City, NY, September 8–27
- 2007 Dreamland: American Explorations Into Surrealism, Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA, January 17 - March 25
- 2006 FULL FRONTAL: the Dirty, Lewd, Erotic show, Corbett vs Dempsey Gallery, Chicago, IL, July 14 - August 29
- 2005 Jesse Howard & Roger Brown -> Now Read On, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas Art Institute, Kansas City, MO, August 6 - September 17. Traveled to Betty Rymer Gallery, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, October 14 - November 18
- 2004 That 70s show: the Age of Pluralism in Chicago, Northern Indiana Arts Association, Munster, IN, June 6 - July 11
- 2003 Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Comics in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, April 12 - June 29. Traveled to The Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University ,Columbus, OH; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway
- 2002 Surf Culture: the Art History of Surfing, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA, July 28 - October 6. Traveled to: The Contemporary Museum of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI; The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
- 2002 Art in the 'Toon Age, Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, September 3 - November 3
- 2001-2006 Jellies: Living Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA
- 2001 Steel and Flesh, Indiana University Northwest INU Gallery for Contemporary Art, Gary, IN
- 2001 Roger Brown: Great Lakes Selections from the Collection of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
- 2001 SUBLIMATED CONFLICTS: Contentious Categories within the Roger Brown Collection, 1926 Exhibitions Studies Space, Chicago, IL
- 2000-2001 Beyond the Mountains: Contemporary American Landscape Painting, New York. Traveled to: Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC; Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI; Polk Art Museum, Lakeland, FL; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Fort Wayne  Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN; Lyman Allyn Museum of Art at Connecticut College, New London, CT.
- 2000 Bizarro World!, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL
- 2000 E2K Elvisions 2000, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL, March 8–25
- 2000 Jumpin' Backflash: Original Imagist Artwork, 1966-1969, Northern Indiana Arts Association, Munster, IN, January 3 - April 3. Traveled to Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL.
- 1998 Roger Brown and Friends in the Nineties, Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, Davidson, NC. Traveled to the University of Alabama-Birmingham, January 22 - March 8
- 1997 30 Hairy: A Celebration of 30 years of Contemporary Art Brought to you by Phyllis Kind, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL
- 1997 The Chicago Imagists: Then to Now, Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL, March 14 - April 12
- 1997 Grins: Humor & Whimsy in Contemporary Art, Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA, September 11–28
- 1997 Alabama Roots: A Showcase of Excellence, The Business Center of Alabama, Mobile, AL, February 7 - June 7
- 1997 4x4 Painters Choose Painter, Herron Gallery, Herron School of Art and Design, INdianapolis, ID, February 14 - March 21
- 1997 A Singular Vision: Prints from Landfall Press, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, February 6 - May 6
- 1997 All Figural: Many Media, Contemporary Art from the Kamm Collection, California State University, Northridge, CA, February 3 - March 8
- 1996 Art in Chicago: 1945-1995, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, November 16
- 1996 Second Sight: Modern Printmaking in Chicago, Mary & Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, September 27 - December 8
- 1996 Dealer's Choice: 25 Chicago Dealers Bring Their Art to Indiana, Northern Indiana Arts Association, Munster, IL
- 1996 Paintings*Sculpture*Ceramics, Prospectus Art Gallery, Chicago, IL, March 1 - April 26
- 1995 Allegorical Landscape, Suburban Fine Arts Center, Highland Park, IL
- 1995 Alabama Impact: Contemporary Artists with Alabama Ties, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL, March 11 - May 7. Traveled to: Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL, July 2 - September
- 1995 American Art Today: Night Paintings, Florida International University, Miami, FL, January 29 - February 18
- 1995 Phyllis Kind Gallery Revisited, The Foster Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
- 1994-1995 Chicago Imagism: A 25 Year Survey, Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, IA, December 4 - February 12
- 1994-1995 The Iceman Cometh: A Fine Arts Look at the Game of Hockey, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, December 1 - March 15
- 1994-1995 A Passionate Perspective: Francis and June Spiezer Collection of Art, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL, October 28 - January 8
- 1994 The Parkshore Penthouse Apartments presents a Panoramic View of Fine Art from the Phyllis Kind Gallery, The Parkshore Penthouse Apartments, Chicago, IL, January 28
- 1994 Thirty Something: A 30th Anniversary Celebration, Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL, March 13 - April 17
- 1994 Annual Exhibition of Artist Members, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- 1994 Vividly Told: Contemporary Southern Narrative Painting, Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA, August 14
- 1993-1994 Chicago Art Invitational, Union League Club, Chicago, IL
- 1993 Imagery: Incongruous Juxtapositions, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago, IL, May 10 - June 14
- 1992-1993 Parallel Visions: Modern Artists and Outsider Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 18 - December 31. Traveled to Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Setagaya, Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
- 1992-1993 Mind and Beast: Contemporary Artists and the Animal Kingdom, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI, April - August. Traveled to The Art Museum of South Texas at Corpus Cristi, Corpus Cristi, TX; The Tucson Museum of Art, Tuscon, AZ; The Canton Art Institute, Canton, OH; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN.
- 1992 The Chicago Imagists: Art With An Edge, Lands End Gallery, Dodgeville, WI
- 1992 Face to Face: Self Portraits by Chicago Artists, The Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL, February 23 - April 11
- 1992 500 Years Since Columbus, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, January 24 - March 9
- 1992 My Father's House Has Many Mansions, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City, NY
- 1992 From America's Studio: Twelve Contemporary Masters, The Art Institute, Chicago, IL, May 10 - June 14
- 1992 Group Show, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
- 1992 From America's Studio: Twelve Contemporary Masters, The Art Institute, Chicago, IL, May 10 - June 14
- 1991-1994 The Realm of the Coin, Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, November - December 13. Traveled to Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX; Fullerton Museum Center, Fullerton, CA; Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY; Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, IL; Salina Art Center, Salina, KS; Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC.
- 1991-1993 Spirited Visions: Portraits of Chicago Artist by Patty Carroll, The State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, IL, September 20 - November 1
- 1991 Group Exhibition, Landfall Press, Chicago, IL
- 1991 Revelations: Artists Look at Religions, The School of the Art Institute Chicago, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL, September 6 - October 4
- 1991 The Art of Advocacy, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
- 1991 Vital Signs: Art in and About Atlanta, The New Nexus Gallery, Nexus Contemporary Art Center (changed to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in 2000), Atlanta, GA
- 1989-1990 Rain of Talent: Umbrella Art, Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PA. Traveled to the American Craft Museum, New York City, NY; Gallery 400, Chicago, IL.
- 2012 Roger Brown: This Boy’s Own Story (exh. cat.), Chicago, IL: School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- 2010 Brown, Roger, Nicholas Lowe, Lisa Stone, Christine Atha, and Dana Boutin. Roger Brown:</ref> Calif. U.S.A. (exh. cat.), Chicago, IL: School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- 2008 Storr, Robert. “The American Landscape,” Roger Brown: The American Landscape (exh. cat.), New York, NY: DC Moore Gallery.
- 2007 Lawrence, Sidney, Lisa Stone, and Lee Gray. Roger Brown: Southern Exposure (exh. cat.), Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press.
- 2005 Howard, Jesse, Roger Brown, Lisa Stone, and Raechell Smith. Jesse Howard and Roger Brown: Now Read On (exh. cat.), Kansas City, MO: UMKC Center for Creative Studies.
- 2004 Brown, Roger, Dennis Adrian, and Lisa Stone. Roger Brown: A Different Dimension (exh. cat.), Montgomery, Alabama: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
- 1998 Adrian, Dennis. A Selection of Works on Paper and Other Materials from the Roger Brown Study Collection of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Press.
- 1998 Nesbit, Perry. Roger Brown and Friends in the Nineties (exh. cat.), Davidson, NC: Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College.
- 1990 Gedo, Mary Mathews. “An Autobiography in the Shape of Alabama: The Art of Roger Brown.” In Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art, ed. Howard Risatti, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp. 276–89.
- 1987 Lawrence, Sidney and John Yau. Roger Brown (exh. cat.), New York: George Braziller in association with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution.
- 1985 Adrian, Dennis. “Roger Brown and the Chicago Context: An Appreciation,” reprinted in Sight Out of Mind: Essays and Criticism on Art, Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press.
- 1980 Cowart, Jack. Currents 6: Roger Brown (exh. brochure), St. Louis: St. Louis Art Museum. Reprinted in Roger Brown. Matrix/Berkeley 35 (exh. brochure), Berkeley, CA: University Art Museum.
- 1980 Kahan, Mitchell Douglas with contributions by Dennis Adrian and Russell Bowman. Roger Brown (exh. cat.), Montgomery, Alabama: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
- 1980 Keefe, Katherine Lee. “A Conversation,” Some Recent Art from Chicago (exh. cat.), Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Ackland Art Museum.
- Stone, Lisa (2013). Roger Brown: Biography. Chicago: School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- Brown, Roger (1997). Autobiography in the Shape of Alabama II: Transcription. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago: self published by Roger Brown.
- Lawrence, Sidney (2007). Roger Brown: Southern Exposure. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press. ISBN 978-0-8173-5469-5.
- Lawrence, Sidney (1987). Roger Brown. New York: George Braziller, Inc. ISBN 0-8076-1178-6.
- Huebner, Jeff (06 Nov 2003). "Roger Brown's Last Wish". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Stone, Lisa (2004). Roger Brown's Artists' Museum: Objects, Collections, Environments. Alabama: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
- Kahan, Mitchell Douglas (1980). Roger Brown. Montgomery, AL: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 0-89280-0420-9 Check
- "Roger Brown Biography". DC Moore Gallery. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- Lowe, Nicholas (30 June 2010). Roger Brown: Calif U.S.A. Chicago, IL: School of the Art Institute Chicago.
- Lowe, Nicholas (2010). Roger Brown: Calif U.S.A. Chicago: School of the Art Institute of Chicago. ISBN 978-0-9828798-0-1.
- "Roger Brown, Artist". School of the Art Institute Chicago. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Collected from artwork sites by Roger Brown Study Collection staff (2014). Roger Brown Public Murals. Chicago, IL.
- Smith, Roberta. "Roger Brown, 55, Leading Chicago Imagist Painter, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Stone, Lisa and Kate Pollasch (2012). Roger Brown's Gifts and Bequests to SAIC - a chronology. Chicago: School of the Art Institute Chicago.
- Stone, Lisa (2013). Roger Brown's Artists' Museums: Objects, Collections, Environment. Chicago: School of the Art Institute Chicago.
- Stone, Lisa. "Roger Brown in New Buffalo, Michigan". School of the Art Institute Chicago. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Stone, Lisa. "Roger Brown in La Conchita, California". School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Huebner, Jeff (3 November 2003). "Roger Brown's Last Wish". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Pernell, Crystal. "Press Release: Roger Brown: Calif U.S.A.". Hyde Park Art Center. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Lowe, Nicholas. "The Spartan Trailer is Reunited with part of its Garden". School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Roger Brown". DC Moore Gallery. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Stone, Lisa. "The Roger Brown Memorial Rock House Museum, Beulah, Alabama". School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Brown, Roger (1994). For George. Chicago: Private Arts Press.
- Jesse Howard & Roger Brown : Now Read On. Kansas City, Mo.: UMKC Center for Creative Studies. 2005. ISBN 0-914489-23-2.
- Storr, Robert (2008). Roger Brown: The American Landscape. New York: DC Moore Gallery.
- "Roger Brown". Art Net. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "MCA History Overview 1980". Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "Jesse Howard & Roger Brown: Now Read On". FNews Magazine. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- That '70s Show: The Age of Pluralism in Chicago. Northern Indiana Arts Association. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "Pre 2003: Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art". Northwestern University. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Revelations: Artists Look at Religions. The School. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Atlanta Contemporary Art Center: History". Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "CURRENTS: Expressions of Whimsy in the Humble Umbrella". New York Times. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Artists Take on the Umbrella". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
- Roger Brown Study Collection
- Full biography from The Art Institute of Chicago
- The Roger Brown Memorial Rock House
- Google Street View Roger Brown Study Collection, 1926 N. Halstead, Chicago