Wrightwood 659 Collaborator Jonathon David Katz Awarded Prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

Wrightwood 659 recently congratulated its friend, curator, and collaborator, Jonathan David Katz on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s announcement of a $5M award for the proposal “Dispossessions in the Americas: The Extraction of Bodies, Land, and Heritage from La Conquista to the Present.” Dr. Katz will work with an interdisciplinary team of his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania on this three-year project. The grant is part of Mellon’s “Just Futures Initiative,” (#JustFutures) its program to support visionary, unconventional, experimental, and groundbreaking projects to address the long-existing fault lines of racism, inequality, and injustice.  In this collaborative research project, Dr. Katz and his colleagues intend to document territorial, embodied and cultural heritage dispossessions in the Americas—through the mechanisms of deceit, disease, and violence—from 1492 to the present, and to outline how the restoration of land, embodiments and cultural values can recover histories and promote restorative justice.

Wrightwood 659 has expressed enthusiastic support for this project and will partner with Dr. Katz and his team to contribute to the realization of their ambitious goals.

Jonathan Katz has been a frequent collaborator, curator, consultant and muse to Wrightwood 659 as this new art exhibition space launched in Chicago. He was the curator of Art AIDS America Chicago, mounted at the temporary Alphawood Gallery.  His monumental 2019 exhibition About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and new Queer Art commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion by documenting the state of contemporary queer art and artists.  He is currently curating an exhibition to examine the innovative legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin Building in Buffalo, New York, which will form a major part of a larger Wrightwood 659 presentation in the fall, 2021, focused on historic preservation and works by important Chicago architects.  Katz is also working with Wrightwood 659 on several other projects, each of which will further the art space’s commitment to presenting socially engaged and challenging art and artists to Chicago and the world.

Wrightwood 659 is private, non-collecting institution devoted to socially engaged art and architecture.  For more information, visit