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Antiquarian Society

The Antiquarian Society continues a tradition begun well over a century ago to provide funding for acquisitions to the museum’s departments of American Art and European Decorative Arts.

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.

Mrs. John T. Golitz

Vice President
Mrs. James N. Bay

Mrs. Byron C. Karzas

Assistant Secretary
Mrs. Richard M. Norton

Ms. Suzanne Hammond

Assistant Treasurer
Mrs. William R. Tobey

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

Mrs. Kurt Mancillas

Mrs. James T. Glerum
Mrs. J. Kevin McCool

Mrs. David C. Hilliard

Mrs. Suzanne Hammond (chair)

Mrs. Keene Addington
Mrs. Gordon Lang, Jr.
Mrs. Fred A. Krehbiel
Mrs. John W. Madigan
Mrs. Thomas E. O’Neill III

Mrs. Richard J. L. Senior (chair)

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.

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia
Tuesday, October 11
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
Nichols Board of Trustees Suite

Introduction to The Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor
Tuesday, December 13
Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
Jonathan Tavares, associate curator of arms and armor, The Art Institute of Chicago

The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman: Making it Modern
Tuesday, January 10 


Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
Margi Hofer, vice president and director, New York Historical Society, New York

Donné par l’Empereur: Napoleon and the Politics of Gift Giving by the Imperial Household, 1804–1814
Tuesday, February 14
Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
Sylvain Cordier, curator of early decorative arts, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Early American Glass in Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 14

Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
Mary Mills, historic glass specialist, Cultural Resources, Philadelphia Metro

Fabergé: Jeweler to the Russian Imperial Court
Tuesday, April 11
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
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

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.