Franke Reading Room

The Franke Reading Room, the original Ryerson Library, was designed in 1900 by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, the architects of the 1893 building on Michigan Avenue.  It was restored to its original design and finishes in 1994 by Vinci|Hamp Architects and today serves as the main workspace for readers.

Works of art from the Art Institute’s permanent collection hang in the American Renaissance space and temporary exhibitions highlight aspects of the Libraries’ collections. For a more virtual experience of the Reading Room, explore the Google Art Project.

The names of sixteen significant writers on the history of art and architecture circle the Reading Room in the entablature area below the skylight.

WORKS OF ART IN THE READING ROOM
(revised 3/24/2016) (Numbers refer to room plan below)

  1. William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Alice, 1892 Oil on canvas, Gift of Ernest A. Hamill, 1893.7
  2. Louis Messidor Lebon Petitot (1794-1862) Pierre François Leonard Fontaine, c. 1839 Plaster painted to look like bronze, 1988.276
  3. Louis Messidor Lebon Petitot (1794-1862) Charles Percier, c. 1838 Plaster painted to look like bronze, 1988.275
  4. Wilson H. Irvine (1869-1936) Autumn, c. 1914 Oil on canvas, Friends of American Art Collection, 1915.558
  5. Louis Betts (1873-1961) Martin Antoine Ryerson, c. 1913 Oil on canvas, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1183
  6. Leopold Gould Seyffert (1887-1956) Myself, 1925 Oil on canvas, Gift of Percy B. Eckhart, 1925.1509
  7. Marcel François Loyau (1895-1936) Edward H. Bennett, Sr., c. 1927 Bronze, Edward H. Bennett Collection. Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Bennett, Jr., 1995
  8. Paul Trebilcock (1902-1981) Portrait of a Painter, 1928 Oil on canvas, Mr. And Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase PrizeFund, 1928.228
  9. Albin Polasek (1879-1965) Charles W. Hawthorne, 1917 Bronze, Frank G. Logan Fund, 1918.30
  10. Guy Carleton Wiggins (1883-1962) Snow-Crowned Hills, c. 1920/24 Oil on canvas, Walter H. Schulze Memorial Collection, 1924.918
  11. Jo Davidson (1883-1952) Dr. Frank W. Gunsaulus, c. 1911 Bronze, 1959.20
  12. Rudolph F. Ingerle (1879-1950) Swappin' Grounds, c. 1928 Oil on canvas, Friends of American Art Collection, 1928.523
  13. Albin Polasek (1879-1965) Howard Shaw, 1920 Bronze, Gift of Mrs. Howard Shaw, 1926.587
  14. Chiurazzi and De Angelis Foundry, Naples, Italy. Seleucus Nicator of Syria, late 19th century copy of an original from the Valla of the Papryi, Herculaneum. Gift H.N. Higinbotham, 1893.118
  15. Chiurazzi and De Angelis Foundry, Naples, Italy. Scipio Africanus, late 19th century copy of an original from the Valla of the Papryi, Herculaneum. Gift H.N. Higinbotham, 1893.123
  16. Sir William Hamo Thornycroft (1850-1925) Teucer, Brother of Ajax, 1884, cast 1891 Bronze, Gift of George A. Armour, 1891.80
  17. Louis Henri Sullivan (1856-1924) for Holabird and Roche. Fragment of the Gage Building facade, 1898-1900 Cast iron, Gift of Dubin, Dubin and Black in memory of Henry and Anne Dubin, 1964.424
  18. Chiurazzi and De Angelis Foundry, Naples, Italy. Bust of Sulla. late 19th century copy of a Roman original, found in Herculaneum. Gift H.N. Higinbotham, 1893.127
  19. Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962) Norman Rice, 1953 Painted plaster, Gift of Susan Lewis.
  20. Chiurazzi and De Angelis Foundry, Naples, Italy. Heraclitus, late 19th century copy of a Roman original. Gift H.N. Higinbotham, 1893.128
  21. Oliver Dennett Grover (1861-1927) June Morning, Lake Orta, 1913 Oil on canvas, Friends of American Art Collection, 1913.789
  22. Julia Bracken Wendt (1871-1942) Edward B. Butler, 1918 Bronze, Art Institute of Chicago Purchase Fund, 1920.245
  23. Edward Willis Redfield (1869-1965) Centre Bridge, 1904 Oil on canvas, W. Moses Willner Fund, 1905.152
  24. Albin Polasek (1879-1965) Frank G. Logan, before 1920 Bronze, Gift of the artist, 1920.36
  25. Harihara, Plaster cast painted to imitate stone, from the French Colonial display at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893 Gift of Robert Allerton, 1932.925 (Original now in National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh)
  26. Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930) Albin Polasek, 1917 Oil on canvas, Friends of American Art Collection, 1917.266
  27. Albin Polasek (1879-1965) Charles L. Hutchinson, c. 1921 Bronze, 1921.125
  28. Will Barnet (1911- ) Homage to Leger – With K.K., 1982 Oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Y. Hutchinson 2002.634
  29. Leon Kroll (1884-1974) Leo Ornstein at the Piano, 1918 Oil on canvas, Friends of American Art Collection, 1919.874
  30. Richard E. Miller (1875-1943) Sunlight, c. 1913 Oil on canvas, Friends of American Art Collection, 1915.557
  31. Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930) Selectmen of Provincetown, c. 1924 Oil on fabric on pulp board, Friends of American Art Collection, 1924.952
  32. Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851-1929) Springtime and Love, c. 1878 Oil on canvas, A.A. Munger Collection, 190l.429
  33. Bennett, Parsons & Frost (1922-1938) A Century of Progress / Chicago World’s Fair Centennial Celebration: General Circulation Plan, Ink and graphite on linen, red ink contour lines on verso. Gift of Edward H. Bennett, Jr. to Burnham Library, 1953, 1991.202.
  34. A. F. Nyholm (1866-1927) (after Anders Zorn) Daniel H. Burnham, Oil on canvas, 1987.251
  35. Anders Leonard Zorn (1860-1920) Mrs. Potter Palmer, 1893 Oil on canvas, Potter Palmer Collection, 1922.450
  36. John Donoghue (1853-1903) Young Sophocles Leading the Chorus of Victory after the Battle of Salamis, modeled 1885, cast 1911 Bronze, Gift of Robert Allerton, 1911.583

Reading Room Works of Art Diagram