In 1907, Alphonse Mucha was in Chicago and was on friendly terms with the club. Mucha proposed teaching a class at the P&C, and in April 1907 the club

received a letter from Mucha in which he inquired regarding the possibility of organizing a class to meet in the club room four times a week during May, figure drawing and composition to be the subjects taught. After much discussion, in which it was suggested that 40 to 45 members would be necessary in the class, that no non-members of the club be admitted, that if non-members were admitted they be made to pay more than members, that there be a committee to pass on applicants to the class, that applicants not members of the club be required to join the club before joining the class, and that the classes be held evenings if practicable, a motion to appoint a committee to look into the matter was carried.

Members of the club were excited about having Mucha become their teacher–perhaps overexcited. Word of Mucha’s class was leaked to the press before a deal was made. In the end, Mucha wanted too much money. From the May 1907 minutes:

Petrtyl, of the special committee on the Mucha class reported that Mucha had written that his terms for a class of 40, with four lectures for the general public, would be about $1600 for the month. Irvine moved, seconded by Engle, that as it was obviously impossible for the Club to take up the proposition with the terms so high, the question to be laid on the table and someone instructed to write Mucha to that effect.

According to this inflation calculator, $1600 in 1907 is roughly the equivalent of $39,000 in today’s dollars. No wonder the class never happened.

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