Founded in 1877 as the Chicago Society of Decorative Art, the Antiquarian Society originally sought to help impoverished women master the skills of an honorable trade, particularly by training women artists and artisans in the applied arts. with the aid of teachers in drawing, painting, and needlework, the early Antiquarians embarked on improving the quality of women’s work and creating a market for it. Admiration for the resultant handiwork was so great that the society was invited to occupy rooms at the newly organized Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1888, Mrs. Mary E. Pode purchased the society’s entire stock of art objects and assumed all financial responsibilities for it. Later that year, a motion was made to allocate a portion of the accumulated funds for the purchase of a collection to donate to the Art Institute. On April 7, 1891, a proposal was sent to the board “that the money now in the treasury ... be applied to the purchase of articles pertaining to the Industrial Arts, such as pottery, china, embroideries, laces, etc., to be presented to the Art Institute and marked in such a way that credit should be given to the society for the gift.”
On November 10, 1894, the society was renamed Antiquarians of the Art Institute to more accurately reflect the future purpose of the organization. In 1908, the board decided to further alter the name to the Antiquarian Society of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Antiquarian Society of today, having played an important role in fostering the early collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and subsequently assuring its continued growth through donations of funds for acquisitions, maintains the tradition of support through the continuing generosity of its members.
Membership in the Antiquarian Society is by invitation.
President Mrs. John T. Golitz
Vice President Mrs. James N. Bay
Secretary Mrs. Byron C. Karzas
Assistant Secretary Mrs. Richard M. Norton
Treasurer Ms. Suzanne Hammond
Assistant Treasurer Mrs. William R. Tobey
Directors Mrs. William Adams IV Mrs. Stephen Babington Mrs. Chandler Bigelow III Mrs. Elizabeth Clark Mrs. Dwight M. Cleveland Mrs. Peter W. Elmer Mrs. Victor Elting III Ms. Lili Gaubin Mrs. Michael Gordon Mrs. W. Bruce Johnson Mrs. Thomas Eric Kilcollin Mrs. James Walter Kyle Mrs. Gordon Lang, Jr. Mrs. David Maher Mrs. John H. McDermott Mrs. Richard H. Nicolaides Mrs. James H. Schink
President's Council Mrs. James A. Alsdorf Mrs. John A. Bross Mrs. Edward Hines Mrs. William R. Jentes Mrs. Philip S. J. Moriarty Mrs. John K. Notz, Jr. Mrs. Richard J. L. Senior Mrs. Thomas J. Tausché
Membership Mrs. Kurt Mancillas (chair)
Programs/Workshops Mrs. J. Kevin McCool (chair)
Historian Mrs. David C. Hilliard
Finance Mrs. Suzanne Hammond (chair)
Purchasing Mrs. Keene Addington Mrs. Gordon Lang, Jr. Ms. Lili Gaubin Mrs. Arthur L. Kelly Mrs. Fred A. Krehbiel Mrs. John W. Madigan Mrs. Thomas E. O’Neill III
Nominating Mrs. Richard J. L. Senior (chair)
Hospitality Marcia Hines (chair)
The following events are restricted to members of the Antiquarian Society and their guests. Unless noted, monthly programs begin with a lecture at 11:00, followed by a lunch at noon.
Lecture/Lunch From Renowned to Obscure: New Discoveries in American Decorative Arts Tuesday, October 10 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Brady S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford
Annual Meeting/Lunch Tuesday, November 14 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
Lecture/Lunch Fabergé Tuesday, December 12 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Dr. Wilfried Zeisler, curator of Russian and 19th-century art, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, Washington, D.C.
Lecture/Lunch Past and Present: Steuben and American Glass in the 1920s Tuesday, January 9 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Benjamin Colman, associate curator of decorative arts, Detroit Institute of Art
Lecture/Lunch Male Adornment and Renaissance Jewelry in Jacobean England and the Discovery of Cheapside Hoard Tuesday, February 13 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Natasha Awais-Dean, historian and author
Lecture/Lunch Wealth and Ambition and Taste: Painted Furniture and Interiors in Early 19th Century Philadelphia Tuesday, March 13 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Alexandra Kirtley, Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Lecture/Lunch Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving Tuesday, April 3 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite David Esterly, historian, author, and carver
Annual Spring Luncheon Program to be announced Tuesday, April 24 10:45 The Casino, 195 East Delaware Place
Lecture/Afternoon Tea Looking Back, Looking Forward: Collecting American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago Tuesday, May 15 2:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Sarah Kelly Oehler, Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago
All of the lecture/luncheon programs take place at the Art Institute of Chicago in the Nichols Board of Trustees Suite, on the second floor of the Modern Wing. The Spring Luncheon on April 24 will take place at the Casino, 195 East Delaware Place, in Chicago.