Monday, June 3, 2019

June 3, 1893 -- Art Institute Receives Henry Field Collection
June 3, 1893 – In a deed of trust filed on this date Mrs. Henry Field gives the custody and care of the “entire gallery of oil paintings collected by her husband during the last twenty years of his life,” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 4, 1893] a collection valued at $300,000.  The collection includes works by Corot, Millet, Rousseau, Delacroix, and Constable and many other artists of the Barbizon school. The Tribune observes, “The collection will be a valuable addition to the treasures of the Art Institute and a fitting memorial for the man who spent many years in getting together that which is conceded by some critics to be one of the great private galleries of oil paintings in the country.”  One condition of the gift is that the works must be displayed in a room set aside for them, one that “will contain no other exhibit and must be made perfectly fire proof.” Trustees appointed by Mrs. Field to head the trust governing the collection include Byron Lathrop, Marshall Field, Owen F. Aldis, Albert A. Sprague, and Martin Ryerson.  Mrs. Field, undoubtedly inspired by the impressive display of the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company at the World's Columbian Exposition, hired Louis Comfort Tiffany to design the gallery in which her husband's collection would be displayed.  A rendering of the room is shown above.

June 3, 1921–Marie Curie, on her first trip to the United States, visits Chicago for two hours and is “besieged by newspaper men and women anxious to get her ideas on the fashions, the war, radium, woman suffrage, the political situation.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 4, 1921] All Curie, the winner of two Nobel Prizes in Physics, wants to discuss, though, is Lake Michigan.  The Tribune reports, “To her the engineering feat of reversing the flow of the Chicago river to dispose of the city’s sewage was a problem far more interesting than a comparison of American styles with French creations.”  By nightfall she is off to Colorado with a topographical map of the western states in hand, a gift of Mrs. W. Lee Lewis of Northwestern University.

June 3, 1933 – A receiver is appointed to collect the income from the White City amusement park at Sixty-Third Street and South Park Avenue, until delinquent taxes of $75,535 are paid in full.  This is the end for the great fun fair that began in 1905 in what is now the Greater Grand Crossing area of the city’s south side.  Only the roller rink remains at the end of 1933, and that closes in 1949.  Today’s Parkway Gardens stands where the park once attracted patrons from all over the city, lured by its bright lights and promise of fun-filled evenings.  There were at least two dozen amusement parks in the United States that carried the “White City” label, a name that comes directly from the great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  The photos show the original amusement park and Parkway Gardens that stands in its place today.

June 3, 1950 – Foundation work begins for a 1.5 million dollar church that will stand on Madison Street on the former site of the La Salle Theater. The new church and friary of the Franciscan Fathers will replace the 1875 St. Peter’s Church that stood at 816 North Clark Street. The new church, designed by Vitzthum and Burns, will have seating for 1,550 in the main section with two chapels providing 500 more seats. An Arvid Strauss sculpture of Christ and the cross will grace the Madison Street entrance 50 feet above the street.

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