Claude Monet, Water Lily Pond. 1900. © The Art Institute of Chicago

Monet and Chicago

SEPTEMBER 5, 2020 – JUNE 14, 2021

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

When Monet’s paintings first appeared alongside his contemporaries’ in a Chicago gallery in 1888, he was singled out for praise by the press. And when his works were shown in the city again as part of the last Inter-State Industrial Exposition in Chicago (also known as the “American Salon”) in 1890, they not only captured the eye of local collectors – they ignited a collective passion.

In 1891, Bertha and Potter Palmer acquired some 20 paintings by Monet – including several from the Stacks of Wheat series – a fraction of the 90 canvases they would come to own. That year, Martin A. Ryerson, who served as a trustee and eventual vice-president of the Art Institute, bought his first of many paintings by the artist. The singular relationship between Chicago and the French painter is the subject of an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, which hosted Monet’s first solo exhibition in a museum in the United States in 1895 and now boasts the largest collection of Monets outside of France.

Read about this exhibition in our interview with Art Institute curator Gloria Groom.