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Art Institute of Chicago awarded $250,000 by Luce Foundation

Image: Ephraim Brasher. Urn with cover, 1765/75.
Image: Ephraim Brasher. Urn with cover, 1765/75.
The Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of the Antiquarian Society.

The Luce Foundation's American Art Program has awarded a huge grant to the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of American Art to catalog a 224-page printed catalogue of silver pieces, according to a press release sent out today, May 13, by the museum's Department of Public Affairs.

Judith Barter, PhD, Field McCormick Chair and Curator, Department of American Art at the museum and responsible for the important 2013 exhibition, Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine, which used the silver to tell stories about eating, drinking, and entertaining in the early history of the United States said, “We are grateful to the Luce Foundation for their long-standing support of the Art Institute, and very much appreciate this generous grant. In our view, the history of American silver reveals the history of the nation itself.”

The Art Institute has one of the finest collections of American silver objects from 1700 to the present, but due to financial considerations has not been able to publish a complete list before. The grant allows not only for this publication, but the book will contain 300 beautiful color illustrations along with the history of each object.

Scheduled for completion by 2016, the initial print run of 1,300 will be available for purchase in the Art Institute’s Museum Shop, with international distribution through the museum’s publishing partner, Yale University Press. The project team will be led by Barter, who will serve as editor and work in concert with conservation professionals under Frank Zuccari, Grainger Executive Director of Conservation; the publications staff under Robert V. Sharp, Executive Director of Publications; and the information technology staff.