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Dear Julie,
I did a little searching and found  a possible research crumb for you to
follow in the Art Institute of Chicagoıs digital catalog Renoir Paintings
and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Gloria Groom and Jill Shaw
(Art Institute of Chicago, 2014).  If nothing else, perhaps the 1954 essay
cited in the article will lead you to the source of the original quote.

³Bertha Honore Palmer and Potter Palmer² in Renoir Paintings and Drawings at
the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Gloria Groom and Jill Shaw (Art Institute
of Chicago, 2014), para 10.

https://publications.artic.edu/monet/reader/135446/section/138187/end

³Her impact on Chicago is such that years later, when a visitor remarked on
the cost of buying all the Renoirs in the gallery, the president of the Art
Institute could reply, ³In Chicago we donıt buy Renoirs.  We inherit them
from our grandmothers.² (22)

(22)  Daniel Catton Rich, ³Chauncey McCormick:  Some Recollections,² Art
Institute of Chicago Quarterly 48, 4 (Nov. 15, 1954), p. 66

****

Also, youıll find a mention of this saying in Kirsten M. Jensonıs 2007
dissertation, The American Salon: The Art Gallery at the Chicago Interstate
Industrial Exposition, 1873­1890, p 246 ­ 247.

³Aline Saarinen once remarked that Chicagoans had a tendency to by-pass New
York and look to Paris for their fashions, their food, and their art. (8)
Saarinenıs off-quoted remark is usually understood in the context of the
prevailing taste of Chicagoıs collectors for Frence art, and the taste of
their wives for Worth gowns.  It usually prefaces the equally oft-quoted
statement that Chicagoans ³donıt buy Renoirs, we inherit them from our
grandmothers² (9) ‹ a remark variously trotted out to demonstrate Chicagoıs
boastful and bourgeois nature, rather than its cosmopolitan perspective.²

(8) Aline B. Saarinen, The Proud Possessors:  The Lives, Times, and Tastes
of Some Adventurous American Art Collectors (New York:  Random House, 1958),
6.

(9) See, for example, Judith Barterıs introduction to American Arts at the
Art Institute of Chicago:  From the Colonial Times to World War I (New York:
Hudson Hills Press, 1998), 13-43.

Here is a link to page 247:

https://books.google.com/books?id=BJmw6-GVhz0C&pg=PA247&lpg=PA247&dq=We+don'
t+get+our+art+in+Chicago,+we+inherit+it&source=bl&ots=1cSS2crrUL&sig=NlNWhkn
dhoeYFzYphNtjqbVTV7A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwixk4eV_8zKAhUGKB4KHRKkD8IQ6AEIJTA
B#v=onepage&q=We%20don't%20get%20our%20art%20in%20Chicago%2C%20we%20inherit%
20it&f=false

Here is the link to the Proquest abstract on this dissertation:
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304888780


Best,
Nancy Picchi, a librarian on the loose



From:  5Bankstreet Listserv <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of
"Olin-Ammentorp, Julie" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  5Bankstreet Listserv <[log in to unmask]>
Date:  Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 8:48 AM
To:  5Bankstreet Listserv <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:  Re: [5BANKSTREET] source of "inheriting" art in Chicago?

Thanks so much, Diane! I never would have thought to look there (and I
actually have the book handy). I'll use Merrill's essay as my source! She
identifies it as "apocryphal," but as coming from a Yale historian, so
that's good enough for me in the context I'm working in.

I never fail to marvel at 5 Bank Street. I could have spent hours & hours
searching for this and not found it.

Best to all,
Julie

On Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 10:47 AM, Diane Prenatt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I canıt say I have the source for this quote, Julie, but Merrill Skaggs uses
> the anecdote in her essay on Cather and Cos Cob in Willa Catherıs New York (p.
> 49). Maybe that will take you somewhere or jog someone elseıs memory.
>  
> Diane
>  
> Diane Prenatt, Ph.D.
> Professor of English
> Marian University
>  
> From: 5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Olin-Ammentorp, Julie
> Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2016 9:56 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [5BANKSTREET] source of "inheriting" art in Chicago?
> 
>  
> 
> Dear 5 Bank Streeters,
> 
>  
> 
> I have a rather vague query which I'm hoping one of you might be able to help
> me with. I have a recollection of an anecdote, told probably at the Cather
> Seminar in Chicago in 2009 of an easterner who says to a cultured Chicagoan
> who possessed several beautiful artworks, "where did you get your wonderful
> art?", with the reply being, "We don't get our art in Chicago, we inherit
> it"--the point being that Chicago also had an artistic heritage.
> 
>  
> 
> I'm writing on East-West perceptions of American artistic culture, and (as you
> may guess), if I could find the source of this, it would make a lovely bit of
> support for the notion that the Midwest too "had culture" at the turn of the
> 20th century. If anyone has any clues, I would appreciate it.
> 
>  
> 
> Thank you!
> 
> Julie
>  
> -- 
> 
> Julie Olin-Ammentorp
> Dept. of English
> Le Moyne College
> 1419 Salt Springs Rd.
> Syracuse, NY 13214
> 
> 315-445-4429 <tel:315-445-4429>
> [log in to unmask]



-- 
Julie Olin-Ammentorp
Dept. of English
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13214
315-445-4429
[log in to unmask]