Member News

September 23, 2019

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of our colleague, Chris Quinn.

Chris Quinn passed away on Wednesday September 18,2019 at 8:07 am at age fifty-eight at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria, IL after a valiant fight combatting congestive heart failure. 

The major love of Chris’ life was Ricker Library of Architecture and Art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was serving as interim head, as he had done on several previous occasions, until illness overcame him. Chris was devoted to Ricker’s welfare and improvement since he first stepped foot through its doors in 1986. He held a myriad of positions within Ricker Library before entering the tenure track in 1995. As a native of Champaign, IL and a history major, he was fascinated by history and especially local stories.  So, it seemed only natural that he would explore the area in which he resided to achieve promotion to Associate Professor in 2001. He based his research agenda on a series of useful articles on Nathan Clifford Ricker investigating Ricker’s role at the University of Illinois as a translator and educator. In addition, he published on the history of the Krannert Art Museum and analyzed the journals published by Schools of Architecture over the decade of 1987-1997 (published in Art Documentation, vol. 21:1 (2002): 36-42. These articles have proven to be seminal in their explanation and interpretation of visual culture at the University of Illinois.  In addition, he provided service to the profession, holding membership in the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS) and served on its research committee from 2001-2004 as well as ARLIS Midstates where he chaired the chapter from 1997-1998 and co-chaired its fall meeting held at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1995. Chris was also a member of the Association of Architecture School Librarians as well as the Society of Architectural Historians and the Illinois State Historical Society.

Of greater importance to Chris, however, was his mentoring of thirty graduate assistants over the course of the years that have gone on to hold key positions in major libraries.  In addition, a generation of undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Fine and Applied Arts can look back from their successful careers, wherever they may be, and remember the invaluable help Chris gave them to finish term papers, semester projects or solve research problems.  Chris simply gave his all and worked with them no matter how long or complicated the problem was.   Chris was equally resourceful and generous in assisting faculty, remembering their research interests and putting materials in their grateful hands.  Chris simply had one of the world’s kindest and sweetest dispositions.  And he was patience personified.  For me, working beside him for over twenty-five years was a joy and a privilege.  I know his loss will be felt deeply by all who knew him.

Jane Block, Prof. emerita

Ricker Library

Funeral Arrangements

On Tuesday October 8, 2019, a Visitation for Chris Quinn will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 710 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone: 217-442-2874. The following day, Wednesday, October 9, 2019, a 10 am mass will be held at Saint Matthew Catholic Parish, 1303 Lincolnshire Drive, Champaign, IL 61821, phone: 217-359-4224.

Lunch will be served after the service.  All are welcome.