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Gifts Beyond Measure: The Antiquarian Society and European Decorative Arts, 1987–2002

Vol. 28, no. 2
Fall 2002
Softcover $14.95
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In this special issue of Museum Studies, the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates the history and contributions of the Antiquarian Society, the museum's oldest auxiliary oganization. Since its founding in 1877, the group has purchased countless treasures for the museum's collections of American, Asian, European decorative, and textile arts. This splendid publication celebrates the society's 125th anniversary by showcasing 30 objects acquired by the Antiquarians for the Department of European Decorative Arts in the last 15 years. Beautifully reproduced in color, these works range from a sumptuously enameled, 18th-century tea set to fine Biedermeier furniture, elegant Wiener Werkstatte porcelain to sleek Art Deco silver.

Brief, lively entries by Ghenete Zelleke, curator of European decorative arts, explore the history and design of each object, while an introductory essay by Chicago historian Celia Hilliard illustrates and illuminates the early activites of the Antiquarian Society itself. Ideal for both seasoned experts and those newly interested in the decorative arts, Gifts Beyond Measure offers at once a considered look at remarkable objects and an important story of cultural philanthopy in Chicago.

Table of Contents:

Janis W. Notz, Ghenete Zelleke 
“Higher Things”: Remembering the Early Antiquarians 
Celia Hillard 
An Embarrassment of Riches: Fifteen Years of European Decorative Arts 
Ghenete Zelleke 
Presidents of the Antiquarian Society, 1877–2002 

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2003
8 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.; 96 pages; 84 illustrations
Softcover ISBN 0-86559-201-2