Celebrate 125 Years of the Art Institute of Chicago with WFMT! An Art-Inspired Morning of Music on Dec. 8

December 8, 2018, 7:00 am

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The Art Institute of Chicago as it appeared in 1900 (Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)
The Art Institute of Chicago as it appeared in 1900 (Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

It’s December 8, 1893 – The World’s Columbian Exposition just ended in Chicago, which saw an influx of people and made the Windy City a truly international destination. Imagine that you are on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street in downtown Chicago. Some modest buildings dot the skyline, and there’s a little hustle and bustle in the streets.

You look east and see open land – no Millennium Park with sprawling grounds – but you spot something new. A stately, classical Beaux-Arts building: the Art Institute of Chicago.

125 years later, soaring skyscrapers and even more city-dwellers populate Michigan Avenue, but the Art Institute still stands proudly and is considered one of the leading art museums in the world.

A program from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s opening reception performance in 1893 (From the collections of the Rosenthal Archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

On Saturday, December 8, 2018, Classical WFMT invites you to celebrate the Art Institute building’s 125th anniversary with an entire morning program dedicated to art-inspired music. Beginning at 7:00 am, host Maggie Clennon Reberg will sample music composed in 1893 and works that were influenced by the visual arts.

WFMT will also recreate the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concert from the Art Institute’s opening reception in 1893. Under the direction of its founder, Theodore Thomas, the CSO’s 1893 program included works by Schubert, Beethoven, Goldmark, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Dvořák (the monumental New World Symphony premiered at Carnegie Hall just days after the Art Institute’s opening!). Join us in the 10:00 am hour to hear modern recordings from this celebratory program.

In addition to listening to WFMT’s art-inspired morning program on Saturday, December 8, you can also join in on the celebration. The Art Institute welcomes everyone to the museum steps on Michigan Avenue at 10:00 am for a 125th anniversary photo that will recreate an iconic image from opening day in 1893.

WTTW, WFMT’s sister station, recently welcomed Art Institute president and director James Rondeau for an interview on Chicago Tonight to discuss the anniversary. Rondeau also reflected on the institution’s history and vision for the future.

WFMT is proud to celebrate the Art Institute of Chicago’s 125th anniversary – here’s to 125 more years of great art!

The Art Institute of Chicago. Michigan Avenue Entrance. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago. Edward Kemeys, Lions. Bronze with Green patina. Gift of Mrs. Henry Field, 1898.1a-b. The Art Institute of Chicago. The lions are the registered trademarks of the Art Institute of Chicago.