seidelThis table setting with two candle holders and a serving dish, by Emory Seidel is up for auction soon.  If I had an extra grand or two–and the dining room table that would be needed for this, I’d be all over it.  Alas.

Another item of P&C ephemera I received recently from Frank Hensley was a copy of an old brochure. It is not dated, but it bears an acquisition stamp from the Art Institute’s Ryerson Library of July 3, 1952–thus, we have a date ante quem. T

The brochure is titled, “Our Aims And What We Offer.” Here it is:

The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts had its beginning in 1895, when a group of art students were considering the need of a place where they could study together and have the benefit of friendly criticisms and suggestions, but at the same time develop their own technique without let or hindrance. The validity of this idea is seen both in the long life of the organization and in the number of its members who have risen to high rank among the artists of America. Very few of he original group remain, but the principles they upheld are as virile today as when first advocated.

For experiment and practise the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts offers unique opportunities. The location on the “Near North Side” is in a district known as the center of the cultural activities of Chicago. The Academy building, which is owned by the organization, is a substantial structure of the residential type, remodeled for its purposes and containing one of the finest general studios in the country together with private studios and exhibition galleries.

Professional models are posed in the general studio every Tuesday and Thrusday evening throughout the year and on Sundays from November to April. Competent instructors give criticisms when requested. In the galleries general and individual exhibitions of works by members follow one another from month to month, providing opportunities for approach to the art buying public. Frequent social gatherings and lectures on art topics furnish occasions for fraternizing and entertaining friends.

To become an artist member of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts it is necessary to have had sufficient training or experience to produce works which are acceptable to the board of managers. To become a fellowship member it is necessary to show an appreciation of the fine arts and a desire to further the development of the graphic and plastic arts in particular. The membership is composed entirely of men.

Regular members, artist and fellowship, are eligible to vote and hold office. Their membership fee is $100 (on which terms can be arranged) and their dues $48 per annum, payable quarterly in advance.

In order to accommodate students, who later may become eligible for regular membership, we have a class of associate members. These pay an entry fee of $5, with the same dues as regular members. They have the use of the studio and other facilities of the Academy and can also take part in the exhibitions, but do not vote or hold office.

Among the former and present members of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts are:

Gustave Baumann, Joseph P. Birren*, C. Curry Bohm, Karl C. Brandner, Frank V. Dudley, Harry L. Engle, R. W. Grafton*, J. Jeffrey Grant, L. O. Griffith, Edward T. Grigware, Oskar Gross, Otto E. Hake, E. Martin Hennings, Victor Higgins, N.A., Othmar Hoffler, Frank Holme*, Edward Holslag*, Art Huhta, Henry Hutt, David Hunter*, Rudolph F. Ingerle, Wilson Irvine, A.N.A.*, Alfred Janssen*, Holger W. Jensen, Roy C. Keister, Troy Kinney, A.N.A.*, Carl R. Krafft, Fred T. Larson, Frank X. Leyendecker*, Ossip Linde, Andrew Loomis, Hardesty G. Maratta*, Leo A. Marzolo, Laurence Mazzanovich, Thomas G. Moses*, Frederick J. Mulhaupt, A.N.A.*, Charles J. Mulligan*, Karl Ouren, Edgar Payne, Albin Polasek, N.A., Frank W. Raymond, Trygve A. Rovelstad, Eugene Savage, N.A., Felix Schmidt, Sigurd Schou*, Emory P. Seidel, Glen C. Sheffer, John A. Spelman, N. P. Steinberg, Joseph Tomanek, James Topping, Audubon Tyler, Walter Ufer, N.A.*, J. Scott Williams, A.N.A., Ezra Winter, N.A. (*deceased).

Artists and students desiring to avail themselves of he advantages offered by membership in the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts are cordially invited to call any Tuesday or Thursday evening between seven and nine o’clock. This will give them an opportunity to meet some of our members and see our classes and exhibitions.

1012 North Dearborn Street

Originally from Nashville, C. Curry Bohm won the gold medal at the Palette and Chisel in 1931. He had studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and at the National Academy. He was one of the artists who early on discovered Brown County, Indiana, and he regularly made trips there to paint through the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Here are a few images of the man I have been able to find, as well as some images of his work:

I have a few of my favorite P&C artists saved as searches on  These beautiful pieces were in my mailbox this morning:

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It is not widely known that the P&C used to own a summer place in Fox Lake, Illlinois. Apparently it was quite grand–it accommodated up to seventy-five people. When the summer rolled around, the club closed down its studio sessions and members and their families relocated to the country for outdoor sketching, swimming and boating, campfires and sing-alongs.That the summer place was very rough to begin with, one can gather from this announcement in the June 1915 issue of the P&C newsletter:


Grand Opening Season 1915

Under the management of Moses and Cook

On Decoration Day, May the 30th, the doors of our palatial new summer hotel and sanitarium will be kicked open for business.

An entire new building, 8 large windows (real glass) that open and shut on hinges, 3 solid wood doors, also on hinges, front and back steps, fine sliver-proof dancing floor with a complete battery of piano and string music.

Sanitary kitchen, with all high-geared modern improvements, in separate building.

Private poker house 42 feet away from the main building with sound proof walls and trick tables. The domesticated may now sleep while the game goes on.

New “horse-shoe” diamond and modern garage.

Ideal location, on the highest hill in the Fox Lake country; unexcelled view, overlooking seven states and 163 counties.

Wonderful painting facilities.

All the comforts of home, including shade trees and pump; four elegant buildings in all.

No more canned milk; the management has made arrangements with a flock of neighboring cows to call on us every morning, and the management also announces that it has contracted to take the entire output of the largest egg and butter mine in the state for the entire season.

Come up and get fat,–an ideal place for the blind, the lame and the halt. Epizooty, abstractness and the charley horse successfully treated.
OPENING DATE, DECORATION DAY, May 30th. Palette and Chisel Club Special leaves Union Depot at 1:30 sharp.

Get in on the opening trip, and you’ll stick to the finish!!!

The windows had real glass. And the doors were on hinges. And the poker room was soundproofed. The place must have been something to see before all the “high-geared modern improvements.”

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Just found this Emory Seidel centerpiece up for auction. It’s 20 inches long.


AP photo from May 11, 1941, showing Ruth Van Sickle Ford, first woman member of the Palette and Chisel, one-time president and director of the Chicago Academy of Art, and renowned art teacher.

She painted the large portrait of the blonde girl that is hanging in the basement at the Palette and Chisel today. Here are a couple more examples of her work: 2014-04-05 10.07.25 am2014-04-05 10.07.41 am

We know Emory Seidel as a sculptor. Here he is designing a poster for Firestone Tires:
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A nice drawing by Frank Raymond, former member of the P&C. You might be familiar with his etching of the Tribune Tower that is hanging in the kitchen at 1012 Dearborn.

NMTF151Through May 11, there’s an exhibit of Walter Ufer’s work at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. Wish I had known of it earlier!