Frederick Frary Fursman, a native of El Paso, Illinois, initially studied art at Smith’s Academy in Chicago and then attended the Art Institute of Chicago’s school intermittently between 1901 and 1906... more
The M. Christine Schwartz Collection consists of paintings that represent the work of artists associated with Chicago between the mid-nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Included are landscapes, portraits, city views, still lifes, and figural works in a variety of academic and modernist styles, with particular emphasis on conservative impressionism.
The Story of the Collection
In 2007, Chris Schwartz purchased a group of thirty-six paintings by Chicago artists to prevent the collection from being dispersed out of state. With continued research, Chris realized that knowledge and appreciation of Chicago’s historical art and artists were in their infancy. As the collection grew, Chris was determined to share her enthusiasm for Chicago artists. She supported the digitization of primary source material in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, while also seeking a vehicle to expand the audience for Chicago art worldwide.
This virtual venue is designed to share the M. Christine Schwartz Collection with viewers around the globe. We offer a brief biographical sketch of each artist and a compact essay about each of the paintings. Also included are listings of past and present exhibitions in which works from the collection have been featured, and resources for learning more about Chicago’s historical art and artists.
Research on the works in the collection and the artists who created them continues. We seek documentation regarding the original titles, exact creation dates, and exhibition histories of many of the paintings, plus answers to specific questions, including:
- the current whereabouts of landscapes by William A. Harper painted at Eagle’s Nest in Oregon, Illinois
- the correct date and place of death of Indiana Gyberson
- the current whereabouts of E. Martin Hennings’s finished painting The Bridge (circa 1917), formerly at R. H. Love Galleries, Chicago
- the current whereabouts of Edgar Rupprecht’s finished painting The Diving Board (circa 1922)
- the identities of the sitters in the paintings by L. C. Earle, Frances Foy, and Arthur K. Houlberg
- further information about the early career and art training of James Bolivar Needham
Please contact us with your contributions of information, as well as your comments and questions.
The biographical sketches and brief essays were researched and written by Wendy Greenhouse, PhD, and edited by Phil Freshman (assisted by Susan C. Jones) and Beth Franken, with thanks to:
Susan Augustine, Jack Perry Brown, and staff, Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, Art Institute of Chicago
Francis DeCurtis, Collection Manager, Chicago History Museum
Bradley Erz, Registrar, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Illinois Historical Art Project
Peter Lundberg, Janus Galleries, Madison, Wisconsin
Bart Ryckbosch, Archives of the Art Institute of Chicago
Susan Weininger, Professor Emerita, Roosevelt University, Chicago
Elizabeth Whiting, Curator, Union League Club of Chicago
Richard Norton and Susan Klein-Bagdad, Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago
Rachel Perry, former Fine Arts Curator, Indiana State Museum
Steven M. Shape, Attorney, Jansson Shupe and Munger, provided trademark, copyright and internet law expertise.
Ome Lopez designed and developed the Web site. Michael Tropea photographed the paintings.