Selected Works from the Vanderpoel Art Collection

The Vanderpoel Art Museum, located in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago’s far South Side, has a collection of 600 artworks representing 400 artists from the late 19th and early 20th century. These artists largely donated their work to the art association that founded the museum, with good reason. They had something in common—drawing instructor John H. Vanderpoel.

John Vanderpoel (1857–1911) was a celebrated teacher at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as an easel painter and muralist. His classic art instruction book, The Human Figure, is still used today. During his 30-year tenure at the school, he was hailed as the finest drawing instructor in the United States.

Today, Sidney and Grace Hamper oversee the collection. “It’s a passion for us,” said Sidney during an interview for WTTW, Chicago’s PBS station. “I think it’s meaningful work… We have the sense that we belong to a great network of art,” Grace adds.

She describes the artwork they care for: “The artists were impressionists and post-impressionists. They gave their spin to American life, and therefore we see how they lived and what was important to them.” Please visit WTTW to see the entire segment about the museum.