"Lost" film found in the Kartemquin Archives

A potentially new "lost" documentary - in pristine condition - has been found in the Kartemquin Archives: Public Art in Chicago, directed by Kartemquin Collective member Teena Webb circa 1973-74.


The film shares similar footage to Kartemquin's 1974 documentary Viva La Causa, about muralists in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, and was initially assumed to be a new print of that film. But in a new post on the KTQ Archives blog, archivist Lyra Hill describes how closer examination revealed the print to be of a "completely different film that nobody remembered."


As Hill states, "It's still a mystery as to where Public Art in Chicago originates. The prevailing theory is that it's a personal project of Teena Webb's, made in conjunction with Viva La Causa - or perhaps a collaboration with the Public Works Commission of Chicago."


We are now investigating these leads and welcome any assistance anyone involved in the film may have in tracking down the story behind Public Art in Chicago! Get in touch at info@kartemquin.com.


The KTQ Archives contain film, videotape, paper archives and ephemera relating to every Kartemquin film made since 1966. The project to inspect, catalogue and restore the archives is being funded in part by a generous grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. Follow the KTQ Archives blog for more updates from the process.