The Mattress Factory is a research and development lab for artists. As a museum of contemporary art, it commissions new site-specific works, presents them to the widest possible audience and maintains selected individual installations in a growing - and distinctive - permanent collection. The Mattress Factory's physical and organizational environments have developed out of and responded to a central focus in the creative process.
1975: Barbara Luderowski acquires 500 Sampsonia Way, formerly an abandoned Stearns & Foster warehouse built at the turn of the century.
1977: The Mattress Factory becomes a legal non-profit educational/cultural corporation with a board of directors.
1982: The first exhibition of installations opens on May 8, featuring site-specific work by Athena Tacha, Michael Olijnyk and Diane Samuels.
1986: The Mattress Factory purchases three more buildings - one at 1414 Monterey Street that becomes a new gallery space, and two on North Taylor Street that become artist residences.
1990: The museum purchases an empty lot at 505 Jacksonia Street, as well as the adjacent lot. 505 Jacksonia becomes a parking space for museum visitors, while the adjacent lot becomes a garden installation by artist Winifred Lutz in 1993.
1994: The Mattress Factory becomes the first museum in the United States to exhibit work by artist Damien Hirst.
2001: The museum's Education Department is established.
2003: Two row houses on Jacksonia Way are creatively adapted as a new wing for administrative offices and an education studio.
2009: The estate of Greer Lankton bequests It’s all about ME, Not You to the Mattress Factory, and it is permanently installed.
2013: Trace of Memory opens as the inaugural exhibition in the museum's 516 Sampsonia Way gallery.
Since its inception, the Mattress Factory has supported more than 600 artists-in-residence.
There are 17 permanent installations on continuous display, including important works by James Turrell, Bill Woodrow, Allan Wexler, William Anastasi, Dove Bradshaw, Jene Highstein, Rolf Julius, Yayoi Kusama, Winifred Lutz, Greer Lankton, Vanessa Sica & Chris Kasabach, and Monica M. Bock, Mary Carlisle, Cathy Lynn Gasser, Melissa Goldstein, Sandrine Sheon and Catherine Smith (collaboration).
Click here to view a timeline of the Mattress Factory's first 35-years.