Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1, 1942 -- Art Institute Gets a Cezanne

December 1, 1942 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that its owner, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, has given the Art Institute of Chicago “nine distinguished examples of the French modern school, paintings which are part of his well known collection.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, December 1, 1942] The most important of the paintings is Cezanne’s “The Bathers.” The collection also includes a Degas, “Two Dancers,” and Dufy’s “Nice.”  Daniel Catton Rich, the director of fine arts at the museum, says, “Col. McCormick’s gift is of great importance to the Art Institute.  The splendid Cezanne is one of the painter’s extremely rare figure compositions and fills a niche left vacant so far in the museum where Cezanne’s representation has been limited to landscape and still life. Due to the generosity of collectors of modern painting like Mrs. Potter Palmer, Mrs. L. L. Coburn, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Worcester and Col. McCormick, Chicago’s art museum now leads the world in great French painting of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

December 1, 1891 – The World’s Columbian Exposition formally assumes possession of the Inter-State Industrial Exposition Building, the impressive building that sits on the lot where the Art Institute of Chicago stands today.  The move makes way for progress on the building of the new art museum although there is still no guarantee that the new building will be constructed.  The move also leaves the Academy of Sciences without a place for its collection, which has been held in the Exposition building since 1875.  The University of Chicago has offered space for the academy on its campus, but the directors of the Academy of Sciences have rejected the offer, saying that it will take the specimens too far from the center of the city.  The above photo shows the Inter-State Industrial Exposition Building and Michigan Avenue in 1890.

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