Tunis Ponsen

by Susan S. Weininger



35 Exhibition catalogs among his papers indicate he attended exhibitions of European modernists early in his career. For example, he kept copies of a catalog of an exhibition of American modernists called 4 Painters: Albers, Dreier, Drewes, Kelpe at the Arts Club of Chicago in 1937 and a 1931 catalog from the Chester Johnson Gallery of a Special Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, and Watercolors, all by European modernists.

36 For the Chicago Society of Artists, see Louise Dunn Yochim. Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists (Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979).

37 He taught. at the Blue Island Art Club and the Flossmoor Art Club, south suburban amateur groups which also had regular exhibitions. References in the Ponsen papers.

38 The 57th Street art colony was headquartered in buildings built for the World's Columbian Exposition. These structures were destroyed to make way for urban renewal in 1962. See "Art Colony Plays Swan Song," Hyde Park Herald, 9 May 1962.

39 Carbon copy of letter to Mrs. Berg, in which he also discusses plans for the upcoming retrospective exhibition at the Hackley Gallery, dated 9 June 1967, Ponsen papers.

40 Taped interview with Angenita Morris made by Pat Coffey, October 1992.

41 Morris-Coffey interview, October 1992.

42 In letters to Mrs. Berg (9 June 1967) and Mrs. Russell Damm (5 November 1967) of Muskegon, he makes a special point of kindly praising their work, Ponsen papers.


About the author:

Susan Weininger is Professor of Art History and Chair of the History, Art History and Philosophy Department at Roosevelt University. She has written, lectured and curated exhibitions on numerous Chicago art and artists, including Gertrude Abercrombie, Ivan Albright, Aaron Bohrod, Vin and Hazel Hannell, Herman Menzel, and Tunis Ponsen. She edited a group of essays published in Blockpoints: Annual Journal of the Mary and Leigh Block Gallery all relating to the exhibition "Thinking Modern: Painting in Chicago, 1910-40," (which she curated for the Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1992), which includes her '''Genuinely Alive, Sincere, and Competent': Kandinsky and Modernism in Chicago." She co-curated and co-wrote the catalogs for Chicago Painting: 1895-1945: The Bridges Collection (University of Illinois Press, 2005) and Chicago Modern: The Pursuit of the New at the Terra Museum in 2004.


Resource Library editor's note:

The above essay was reprinted, without illustrations, in Resource Library on December 22, 2005 with the permission of the author. If you have questions or comments regarding the essay, please contact Dr. Weininger directly at the Art, History and Philosophy Department at Roosevelt University through either this phone number or web address:

This essay was originally published in pages 18-35 of the catalogue published in connection with the exhibition The Lost Paintings of Tunis Ponsen organized in 1994 by the Muskegon Museum of Art. The exhibition was held at the Muskegon Museum of Art September 11 to November 27, 1994 and toured in 1994-1996 to six other museums including the Kalamazoo Museum of Art.

Resource Library wishes to extend appreciation to Mr. Art Martin of the Muskegon Museum of Art for help in contacting Dr.Weininger.

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