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Old Northwest Territory Art Exhibit Collection

Art institute of Chicago


This collection includes a bound scrapbook as well as catalogs from the second, fourth, and fifth exhibitions. Lester Burbank Bridaham, Assistant Director and Public Relations Counsel (1947–51) for the Old Northwest Territory Art Exhibit at the Illinois State Fair, assembled the scrapbook, which contains press releases, numerous newspaper clippings, magazine articles, announcements of the competitions and instructions for entry, and exhibit catalogs. Open to professional artists in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the Old Northwest Territory Art Exhibit began as a juried show (1947–49) and became invitational (1950–51), with cash prizes awarded every year. While originally inviting oil painting, watercolors, prints, sculpture, and ceramics, by the second year exhibit organizers limited entries to oil painting, watercolors, and prints, though in 1950 drawings were also included. Jurors—Max Weber among them—were selected from around the country and from different areas of the arts: practicing artists, critics, teachers, curators, architects, and art historians.
View finding aid.
Collection access:Collections may be accessed in the Franke Reading Room of the Research Center at The Art Institute of Chicago, by appointment only. For further information, consult the FAQ.
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Contact the Ryerson and Burnham Art and Architecture Archives:(312) 857-7676archives@artic.edu
MEDIUM: One bound scrapbook and printed papers.
ART FORM: Archives (groupings)