Palette chisel academy - clu

DEFINITION

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Academy was founded in 1895 to foster growth in the visual arts, provide a place for serious artists to work, and enrich the community with programs of art education, appreciation and exhibitions. Its supportive organization was the Palette & Chisel Club. In recent times, the support of the Norris Foundation, the McCormick Foundation and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, plus a dedicated staff, volunteers and the advocacy of nationally and internationally recognized artists have helped the Academy to realize this mission and to expand services and programs. Founding members were evening students at the Art Institute of Chicago, who wanted to paint from the model under daylight, which was rather difficult since most of them worked six days a week and the Art Institute did not offer Sunday programs. Charles J. Mulligan, a member of this group, was an assistant to sculptor Lorado Taft. He was able to persuade Taft to rent the fledgling organization part of his seventh floor studio in the old Athenaeum Building on Van Buren Street in Chicago. Taft was in the habit of maintaining large, ostentatious studios - more to impress prospective clients than from need for such space. Within a short time, the Palette & Chisel membership multiplied. By 1920 the group needed a new home. In 1921, they purchased the turn-of-the-century mansion that houses the organization today. Early supporters of the organization included: Charlie Russell, Alphonse Mucha, William Merritt Chase and George Bellows. Though largely a group of amateurs, the Palette & Chisel quickly began to produce artists with their own singular vision. Walter Ufer, Victor Higgins, and E. Martin Hennings began their art careers at the Palette & Chisel and later became famous in the West as painters in the Taos School. The first woman member, Ruth Van Sickle Ford, was accepted in 1961. A contemporary survey of members would include artist Richard Schmid, who served as president of the Palette & Chisel from 1986-1989; watercolorist Irving Shapiro, former chairman of the Education Committee; marine painter Charles Vickery; super-realist George Fischer; sculptors Margot McMahon and Patrick McKearnon; well-known Chicago artist Walter Parke; and art instructor Bill Parks. Source: Palette & Chisel Academy website www.paletteandchisel.org/p&c/p&c_history.htm

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