"The Labor Portraits," Rebecca Purcell with J. Morgan Puett/Mildred's Lane. Courtesy of Mildred’s Lane and Rebecca Purcell. Photo: Jeffrey Jenkins.

Coming to Chicago as a film student at SAIC, J. Morgan Puett made small film sketches, while her research into costume thrust her into deeper curiosities around clothing and dwelling, eventually leading her to an established career as an innovator in the fashion industry. In the next chapter of an evolving and emergent story, Puett fabricated immersive installations in museums and other sites around the world that brought a reality to our sensory and imaginative connection to cloth and other material objects.

Puett returns again to her Chicago inspiration, this time to the Jane Addams Hull-House and Addams’s Labor Museum endeavor with John Dewey, who also saw growth and creativity as a dialogue between doing and reflecting. Puett’s installation engages this history to present a deep reflection on the doings of Mildred’s Lane—her art-as-life practice going on twenty years—through films, photography, costumes, and belongings, creating a period room that transgresses time and place.

Read more about Puett and Mildred’s Lane here.