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 Ms. Elizabeth Clark Mrs. Chandler Bigelow Mrs. Charles F. Clarke, Jr. Mrs. Dwight M. Cleveland Mrs. David C. Hilliard Mrs. W. Bruce Johnson Mrs. Jerome Kahn Mrs. Thomas Eric Kilcollin Ms. Paulette Lloyd Mrs. Stanford D. Marks Mrs. Richard H. Nicolaides Mrs. Richard M. Norton Mrs. Thomas C. O’Neil Mrs. Hampden M. Swift Mrs. William C. Vance
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
Programs/Workshops Mrs. James T. Glerum Mrs. J. Kevin McCool
Historian Mrs. David C. Hilliard
Finance Mrs. Suzanne Hammond (chair)
Purchasing Mrs. Keene Addington Mrs. Gordon Lang, Jr. 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 Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia Tuesday, October 11 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Dennis Carr, Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of Decorative Arts and Scuplture, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Annual Meeting/Lunch Tuesday, November 8 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
Lecture/Lunch Introduction to The Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor Tuesday, December 13 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Jonathan Tavares, associate curator of arms and armor, The Art Institute of Chicago
Lecture/Lunch The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman: Making it Modern Tuesday, January 10 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Margi Hofer, vice president and director, New York Historical Society, New York
Lecture/Lunch Donné par l’Empereur: Napoleon and the Politics of Gift Giving by the Imperial Household, 1804–1814 Tuesday, February 14 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Sylvain Cordier, curator of early decorative arts, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Lecture/Lunch Early American Glass in Philadelphia Tuesday, March 14 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Mary Mills, historic glass specialist, Cultural Resources, Philadelphia Metro
Lecture/Lunch Fabergé: Jeweler to the Russian Imperial Court Tuesday, April 11 11:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Nicholas B. A. Nicholson, Senior Vice President, Division Head of American and European Furniture and Decorative Arts at Freeman’s, America’s oldest auction house
Annual Spring Luncheon Rooms for Today: Easy Living with Antiques Tuesday, April 25 10:30 The Casino, 195 East Delaware Place Suzanne Rheinstein, internationally recognized interior designer and owner of Hollyhock
Lecture/Afternoon Tea The Antiquarian Society: Celebrating 140 years Tuesday, May 16 2:00 Nichols Board of Trustees Suite Celia Hilliard, cultural historian and Antiquarian Society board member
All of the lecture/luncheon programs take place at the Art Institute of Chicago, except the Spring Luncheon, which occurs at the Casino.