Can you say: Monet?

Updated: Jan 1, 2018

"This world is but a canvas to our imagination."

-Henry David Thoreau

I love art.

I've made it a point to visit any art museum when I am traveling and I am lucky to have gone to some of the best museums around the world. So, when I was provided a chance for a private tour of the art collection at the Union League Club of Chicago, I jumped on the opportunity.

The Union League is a 140 year-old private social club in the heart of Chicago. The Club prides itself on: community, country and culture. At the end of this blog, you can find additional information on the Union League Club.

A few weeks ago, Art Director Dr. Sally Metzler, provided me and a friend with a tour of their collection and to say it was spectacular is an understatement.

This was such a treat for us because we had 1:1 time to ask questions, get a deeper understanding of the collection and spend some time walking unattended through the Clubhouse.

With over 800 works, there was not enough time to see every piece, but we did receive a wonderfully highlighted tour. Everywhere you turn, in the 16 story clubhouse, the walls are filled with beautiful art. The collection features a range of art movements, styles, and subjects, from traditional to contemporary art, and it includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs, and decorative arts. Apparently, at some point, the Club was named by the Chicago Tribune “The Other Art Institute of Chicago.” I can understand why… The above is a work by renowned American artist, Roger Brown - Chicago Taking a Beating, 1989.

Below are a few pieces that I was able to snap along the way.

Vera Klement - Woman at the Window, 1965

(Left - right)

William Conger - "Eagle City", 1972

Ray Yoshida - "Learned Limbed Ladder", 1981

Pauline Palmer (1867-1938) "In The Open"

Miscellaneous works

Painting: Edward Henry Potthast (1857-1927) "In The Surf "

Sculpture: Gary Weisman - "Classical Torso", 1992

And most notably, the Union League is lucky enough to have an original Monet (pictured right). This beautiful piece was purchased for a whopping $500.00 (which I understand was significant amount of money during that time) but is now worth more than Dr. Metzler could share. Monet’s Trees in Blossom was painted before his time in the gardens in Giverny. It’s a truly beautiful piece and a clear highlight of the collection.

Dr. Metzler has a wonderful group of docents who are happy to provide groups with a tour of the collection, by reservation only. To book your tour, click here!

Do you know of any other hidden gems in the city? If so, let me know and we can check it out together!

Questions about the collection? Contact Dr. Sally Metlzer at curator@ULCC.ORG.

History of The Union League of Chicago:

For nearly 140 years, the Union League Club of Chicago has upheld the sacred obligations of citizenship, promoted honesty and efficiency in government, supported cultural institutions and the beautification of the city and supported our nation’s military and their families. More.

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