Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art records

Inclusive Dates: 
1915–1978

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

1 folder of material relating to the Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art, including yearbooks for 1915 and 1925; a 1977 letter from a librarian at the Art Institute of Chicago regarding folders of material relating to the Commission in the registrar’s office at the Art Institute and accompanied by a brief handwritten list of key dates in the Commission’s history; a 1945 list of works purchased by the Commission, their locations, and their cost; a typescript “Preliminary Report on the Status of Research into the Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art 1914–1947,” dated 1978, which includes a detailed history of the Commission and the results of a search for the artworks; and miscellaneous correspondence, including  copy of a 1985 finding aid for the Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art Records, 1914–1945, Art Institute of Chicago Institutional Archives.

Biographical Historical Note

The Chicago Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art was created by the Chicago City Council in 1914 at Mayor Carter H. Harrison Jr.'s behest. Its purpose was to support local artists by purchasing some of their paintings and sculptures, and then displaying these works in the public schools, city hall, and other municipal buildings of Chicago. The Commission purchased some 300 works of art before it was disbanded in 1945.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art Records, 1914-1945, Art Institute of Chicago Institutional Archives; Carter H. Harrison IV Papers, 1637-1953, Newberry Library.