I can’t 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 Cather’s New York (p. 49). Maybe that will take you somewhere or jog someone else’s memory.
Diane Prenatt, Ph.D.
Professor of English
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.