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Snap Gala 2015

The Photography Department’s sixth biennial Snap gala will take place on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

Once again this photo-filled benefit gala will include a live auction of photo sessions with internationally renowned artists and a chance to “get snapped” throughout the evening.

6:00 p.m. Cocktails and photographic activities in Terzo Piano

7:30 p.m. Dinner in Griffin Court

8:30 p.m. Live auction of one-of-a-kind photographic commissions by internationally renowned artists Roe Ethridge, David Hartt, Dayanita Singh, and Wolfgang Tillmans.

9:00 p.m. Dessert and after-dinner drinks

For more information, please contact

The Sixth photography benefit gala, attended by 280, people was a resounding success. With the assistance of our supports, we raised over a half million dollars for the Photography Gala Fund, which is the larges single source of acquisitions funding for photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

If you would like to still donate to this fund, you may mail a check care of the photography department to the Art Institute of Chicago at 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603. You support ensures that we will continue to be able to add key works from across photography’s history to the collection in years to come. Thank you.

Gala Co-Chairs

Susan Canmann
Pamela Phillips Weston

Presenting Sponsors

christie's logo

de Giulio

GCM Grosvenor

The Bluhm Family
The Harris Family Foundation, Caryn and King Harris
Robert Judelson
Betsy and Andy Rosenfield
The Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Foundation
Roger and Pam Phillips Weston


Carolyn S. Bucksbaum, Jacolyn and John Bucksbaum
Karen Frank
Anstiss and Ronald Krueck
Robin and Sandy Stuart


make it better logo

John and Judy Bross
Susan and Michael Canmann
Sidney and Sondra Berman Epstein
Katie Hazelwood and Todd Kaplan
Vicki Horwich
Beth and John Jostrand
Thomas E. Keim
Edward Phillipp
Harvey and Beth Plotnick
Maria and Bill Smithburg
Kenneth and Christine Tanaka
Elena Urschel
Dia S. and Edward S. Weil, Jr.
Marty and Danielle Zimmerman

Committee on Photography

Caryn Harris, Chair
Karen Frank, Vice-Chair

Michael Abrams
Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
John A. Bross
Kay Bucksbaum
Francie Corner
Sondra Berman Epstein
Vicki Horwich
Thomas E. Kelm
Anstiss Hammond Krueck
Howard M. McCue III
Harvey Plotnick
Betsy Rosenfield
Ellen Sandor
Richard L. Sandor
Ralph Segall
Brenda M. Shapiro
Alexander D. Stuart
Kenneth E. Tanaka
Robert A. Taub
Elena Urschel
Dia Weil
Pamela Phillips Weston
Helen Zell
Martin E. Zimmerman

All sponsors of September 18, 2015

This evening features one of the most exciting auction events in the city, offering one-of-a-kind photographic commissions by internationally renowned artists
Not able to make it to Snap? You can bid remotely via telephone or by downloading an absentee ballot. Contact us at to learn more.

David Hartt. Stray Light, 2011. HD video. © 2015 David Hartt. Courtesy the Artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago and David Nolan Gallery, New York.

David Hartt

David Hartt, a longtime Chicago 
artist now based in Philadelphia, has
 a brilliant solo exhibition, Interval, currently on view at the Art Institute. Interval shows off Hartt’s sophistication at explaining the meaning of place. Hartt can make us see and love 
a building (Johnson Publishing Company offices), a city (Montreal, Athens, Detroit)—or your own home.

David Hartt will make a unique 3- to 5-minute film based on a location of your choice.

Estimate: $15,000–$20,000

Final Product
The final product that the purchaser will receive is a 3- to 5-minute video with sound, titled Location. The video will be based on a location chosen by the artist following a conversation with the winning bidder. The video will be in an edition of 1 with 1 artist proof. The final video will be delivered as a digital file on a portable drive, and the artist will suggest an appropriate display method for the video.

Artist’s Terms and Conditions
The purchaser will provide the artist with several options for the location of the video. The purchaser will be responsible for the artist’s travel and accommodations costs to the mutually agreed upon location for a period of 1–4 days. The purchaser is responsible for production costs, estimated at $3,500. The artist will provide a certificate of authenticity upon completion of the work.

Donation courtesy of David Hartt.

Roe Ethridge. Deborah Muller with Tripod, 2008. Chromogenic print. © 2015 Roe Ethridge.

Roe Ethridge

A photograph by Roe Ethridge
is confoundingly seductive. His portraits and still lifes, in particular, are alluring, sumptuous, polished—yet also intriguingly odd. Ethridge shows worldwide with Andrew Kreps, Greengrassi, Petzel Capitain, Barbara Gladstone, and Gagosian galleries. The Art Institute bought his work in 2007, and it can also be found in the collections of MoMA, Tate Modern, and MOCA, among many other institutions.

Roe Ethridge will make a portrait of you or someone close to you—or a still life using personal objects.

Estimate: $30,000–$50,000

Final Product
The final product that the purchaser will receive is a portrait or still-life photograph. The final subject (person or object) will be determined following a conversation with the purchaser. The photograph will be a dye sublimation print in an edition of 5 with 2 artist proofs. The minimum dimension of the photograph will be 33 x 44 in.

Artist’s Terms and Conditions
The photographic session will take place at the artist’s studio, located in Brooklyn, New York. The purchaser will be responsible for all travel and accommodation costs. The purchaser is responsible for equipment rental and an assistant estimated at a maximum of $2,500 for one day. The purchaser is responsible for any arrangements or charges related to hair and makeup. The purchaser will be responsible for production, framing, and shipping costs, estimated at $1,500.

Donation courtesy of Roe Ethridge and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

Dayanita Singh. File Room, 2012. Pigment prints and teak. © Dayanita Singh. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London.

Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh’s work reflects on 
the ways in which we relate to the photographic image. Her recent series integrates handmade structures and photographs into mobile museums; her Museum of Photography (2013), for instance, features images of other photographs in everyday surroundings. Singh’s work has been shown in recent years at the Art Institute (2014); the Hayward Gallery, London (2013); and the Venice Biennale (2013), and is owned by museums and collectors the world over.

Dayanita Singh will make a unique structure containing three of her own photographs, each incorporating one of your family portraits.

Estimate: $35,000–$45,000

Final Product
The final product that the purchaser will receive is a unique museum/box holding three photographic works. To create these three images, the purchaser will provide a selection of personal or family portraits. Singh will then choose a single image and re-photograph it in different locations during her travels in India. The final object will be three black-and-white inkjet prints, housed in a handmade teak box measuring approximately 40 x 40 x 10 centimeters.

Artist’s Terms and Conditions
The purchaser is responsible for sending the artist a selection of personal or family portrait photographs, provided as digital high-resolution files. The artist will select a single image to be featured in the final product. The purchaser is responsible for production, framing, and shipping costs, estimated at $2,000.

Donation courtesy of Dayanita Singh and Frith Street Gallery, London.

Wolfgang Tillmans. Greifbar 19, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York; Maureen Paley, London; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin.

Wolfgang Tillmans

There is perhaps no contemporary art photographer more sought after today than Wolfgang Tillmans. The speaker at the Art Institute’s inaugural Hugh Edwards Lecture (June 2015), Tillmans is showing this year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Museum in Osaka; and David Zwirner. His European dealers, Daniel Buchholz (Berlin) and Maureen Paley (London), will soon join that list, and a retrospective is planned for 2017 by the Beyeler Foundation.

Share any private information you wish with Wolfgang Tillmans, and—in a donation unprecedented for him—he will make a large abstract photograph exclusively with you in mind.

Estimate: $90,000–$120,000

Final Product
The final product that the purchaser will receive is an abstract photograph. The purchaser is invited to reveal as much information about themselves to the artist as they wish. The photograph will be a unique chromogenic print in an artist’s frame. The final dimension of the work will be approximately 71 x 93 inches.

Artist’s Terms and Conditions
The purchaser will be responsible for production, framing, and shipping costs, estimated at $10,000.

Donation courtesy of Wolfgang Tillmans and David Zwirner, New York.

Conditions of Sale

Each lot will be offered for sale subject to the terms and conditions set forth below. By bidding at auction, the buyer and all bidders agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. These terms and conditions may be changed or supplemented as provided below.

  1. The Art Institute of Chicago (“AIC”) does not assume any risk, liability or responsibility for any items offered at this auction.
  2. The Photographer may have his or her own terms and conditions that he or she requires of a Buyer. To the extent that any such terms or conditions were available in advance of the auction, AIC has endeavored to post such terms and conditions on the website promoting the auction and/or make such terms and conditions available at the auction. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any such terms or conditions are a matter between the Photographer and the Buyer only and do not involve AIC.
  3. All sales are final and all items are sold “AS-IS, WHERE-IS, AND WITH ALL FAULTS.” AIC makes no guarantees, warranties or representations, express or implied, of any kind or nature, with respect to the items or any of Photographer’s terms or conditions. In no event shall AIC be responsible for the correctness, nor deemed to have made any representation or warranty of description, of Photographer’s terms or conditions or the value or condition of the property purchased at auction. No statement in any printed materials, on-line or made at the sale or in the bill of sale or invoice or elsewhere shall be deemed a warranty or representation or an assumption of liability on the part of AIC.
  4. The values of the items included in this auction were provided by the parties that donated the items for this event. AIC does not review or verify the accuracy of these values.
  5. Auction purchases are not treated as charitable contributions. As a result, AIC does not issue a charitable contribution receipt to auction purchasers.
  6. AIC, in its discretion, may offer additional lots that may not be referenced in the auction materials. Such additional lots shall be subject to these Conditions of Sale and to Photographer’s terms or conditions.
  7. Any item may be withdrawn from auction at any time prior to the offering of each lot without any liability. If a lot fails to meet its reserve price, AIC may cancel such sale without any liability.
  8. AIC has the sole right to settle disputed bids and to decide whether or not to re-offer the lot.
  9. The record of sale kept by AIC shall be conclusive in all respects.
  10. Payment must be made at the end of the auction. Personal checks and major credit cards are acceptable; cash will not be accepted. Photo sessions will not be scheduled until AIC has been paid in full.
  11. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to arrange with the Photographer a date for a photo session, such date not to be later than October 7, 2016, unless otherwise agreed to by both the Buyer and the Photographer.