DELUXE SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY 100 COPIES. INSCRIBED BY MARC CHAGALL ("Pour Art Inst. Chicago, Marc Chagall, 1979") AND SIGNED BY WILLEM DE KOONING, IVAN ALBRIGHT, JOAN MIRÓ, AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE, FEATURING 100 COLOR REPRODUCTIONS OF THE ART INSTITUTE'S MOST FAMOUS WORKS.
Issued as part of the festivities surrounding the Art Institute’s 100th birthday in 1979, The Art of Institute of Chicago: 100 Masterpieces celebrates the museum’s 100 most beloved masterpieces and the artists behind these great works. In addition to the valuable signature pages, each on a separate preliminary page, this book contains beautiful color reproductions of 100 of the most magnificent works held by world-renown museum.
There was much fanfare surrounding the 100th anniversary of the Art Institute. In addition to this book’s publication, the institute was feted with a Centennial Birthday party and a month-long exhibition in March 1979 entitled "The Art Institute of Chicago: 100 Years".
David C. Hilliard, a life trustee who helped produce 100 Masterpieces , explains that the deluxe limited editions were sold, in large part, to buy an Indian sculpture for the Institute in honor of Board Chairman James Alsdorf and his wife Marilyn. (Devoted art fans themselves, the couple’s private collection of Indian and East Asian art helped academics and collectors contribute enormously to the scholarship surrounding this field.)
The process of getting the artists’ signatures had its difficulties – particularly when it came to approaching the more irascible ones like Georgia O’Keeffe, who was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Per Hilliard:
"There is a good story connected with the book. We sent a young man down to visit Georgia O'Keeffe and ask for her agreement to participate. Georgia could be prickly, so we chose as our envoy a young man whose father had given her the land on which she had her house and studio. And indeed he was given a warm reception and tour. When they parted, Georgia said she would sign... but then added "If you will tell me the location of my painting that I gave to the Art Institute, 'East River from the Shelton.'" We were overjoyed and asked the American Arts Department to let us see it. As Georgia knew, it had presumably been stolen years before, and a full search could not locate it. But she relented (I think she enjoyed her joke) and signed the books anyway!"
A rare and extraordinary work that powerfully encapsulates the growth and development of the Art Institute of Chicago, from a tiny academy to a “hub of the city’s artistic life” ( Encyclopedia of Chicago ). All the more desirable with the signature of five of the 20th century’s greatest artists.
Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978. Folio (10.5x14 inches; with box 12x15 inches), original burgundy morocco, watered silk endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in original box covered in matching morocco with gilt lion on front. Printed and bound by R.R. Donnelley & Sons at The Lakeside Press. Designed and composed by Rand McNally. A few spots of wear to box, otherwise fine.
A MAGNIFICENT PRODUCTION CELEBRATING ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT MUSEUMS, WITH LARGE SIGNATURES OF SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTISTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY.
Price: $5,300 .