This is a 6×6 study of one of the many historic homes in West Chicago, Illinois. This small city has many architectural gems. So many painting subjects from which to choose!
According to the Friends of West Chicago City Museum,
This brick Italianate style home with distinctive tower at 216 Arbor Avenue was built around 1869. Reverend Isaac Smith, a Congregational minister who was accused of drowning his wife, was brought to trial for murder and acquitted. Smith received a life insurance payment of $6,000, which most likely financed the house construction. He lived in the house but one year. Charles E. Norris, a local undertaker, and his family later bought the home and members of the family occupied it for almost 40 years.
In the process of making and sharing this painting, I have met and learned about some of the other owners of the house. I love that a dialogue can be started and memories triggered by a painting such as this. And, as they say, “If walls could talk!” It is fun to imagine the many things a house of this age sees over the course of its years.
This painting is a part of the series West Chicago/Meeting Place, which will be on exhibit at Gallery 200 in West Chicago during the month of August.