This is Day 19 of a 21-day series. More scoop on the who/what/why, here.
My grandparents changed apartments over the years, but from home to sweet home, one constant was the art.
The pieces they’d collected over the years followed them from place to place, and many of them would end up in a configuration my grandfather called a “picture wall,” something which came into style in the 1950s. Here’s a stunning shot of their first and best picture wall, which crept up a story and a half in my favorite of their apartments. The colors have shifted in the 50 or so years since the photo was taken, but the feel still comes through loud and strong.
They collected many pieces from local artists, and were champion supporters of a select few. John Averill, an art director (I think) at one of the agencies my gramps worked at, and Victor Ing, who worked beautifully both in oils and watercolor. (You can spot an Ing on the wall above my desk, the monkey hanging from a branch, as well as an Averill linoleum block print of a cat and butterfly.)
I never became the devotÃ©e I’m sure Gramps wished I’d become when he passed along his copy of Art of Today: Chicago, 1933, a book filled with plates of paintings by artists whom he knew and collected. I probably wasn’t even suitably impressed that he owned the originals of one or two pieces from the book. I’ve only ever really been moved by what I’ve been moved by, and that dark oil of the two ladies top row, center, sisters, I think, mostly freaked me out.
But maybe you are from Chicago, and collect the art of mid-Century Chicago artists. Or maybe you know someone who does. In either case, this would be a lovely book for you, I’m sure, and one we’ll let go of for a song. The right song, and postage.
Email the ‘tater: miz.tater AT gmail DOT com.