The stereotype holds that students at the University of Chicago spend a lot of time in the libraries, and particularly in the Regenstein Library, the campus’s towering Brutalist hulk. Not all that time, of course, is spent studying, as is documented by Quinn Dombrowski’s Flickr set of 714 photos of graffiti found around campus, almost all in the Reg. The photos, which have been linked to by a blog at the LA Times and Chicagoist, include poetry, vulgarity, drawings, diagrams, conversations, advice, and more, in all sorts of languages.
But Dombrowski’s Flickr isn’t the first attempt to document the campus’s graffiti. In 2004, item #80 on the list for the annual University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt directed teams to produce a copy of “Brain Farts: The Collected Works of the University of Chicago Bathroom Graffiti” (with bonus points for “an inset detailing the entirety of the ‘Grout Work’”). Michael “mitcho” Erlewine compiled the Pierce team’s entry and uploaded it to his website in PDF format. “Brain Farts” includes photos from bathrooms all over campus and three entire pages of grout puns. Recent alum Jacob Green also took a few graffiti photos around campus and posted them online under the title “Bathroom Politics.”
For more on graffiti on the South Side, see our feature from April 2008.