Famous local artist Pauline Dohn Rudolph may have stopped painting when she moved to Winnetka in 1907, but her renowned works of art continue to find refuge in the village.
The Winnetka Historical Society recently acquired a second painting by Rudolph when the M. Christine Schwartz collection donated “The Seeker: I Sent My Soul Through the Invisible”.
The piece was completed in 1897, when Rudolph was living in Chicago, and is now on display at the North Shore Community Bank, 567 Lincoln Ave., in Winnetka.
“This is such a special and unique painting for our collection,” said Meagan McChesney, Curator of the Historical Society. “… When we received the donation, we really wanted to share it with the public, and the bank receives a lot more visitors. It’s also such a secure place and they really worked with us to handle it properly and make sure it was hanging somewhere people wouldn’t touch it.
McChesney said the historical society has already chosen a place to hang the painting upon his return, and that he will join another of Rudolph’s pieces, “Portrait of a Young Woman in a Chinese Dress,” in the collection of the organization.
According to a biography written by Maura Rogan for the Historical Society, Rudolph studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and then in Europe in the late 1800s. In 1893, she exhibited an oil painting at the Colombian World’s Fair in the city. She then took part in traveling exhibitions that introduced the fine arts to groups of women across the country.
Pauline married Franklin Rudolph in 1901 and they moved to 745 Sheridan Road in Winnetka in 1907. The couple had three children and Pauline stopped painting, according to the biography.
She has been involved in the community, teaching her craft to budding artists and serving on the board of directors of the Winnetka Public Library. Pauline lived in Winnetka until 1933 and died in California a year later at the age of 69.
In 1940, the Rudolph’s house, then rented, was largely destroyed by fire. Fortunately, Pauline’s paintings were safely stored in the basement and suffered only minor damage.
The M. Christine Schwartz Collection was founded by Chris Schwartz in 2007, when she purchased 36 paintings created by Chicago artists. His collection, which has grown, has been digitized and is shared with art lovers all over Schwartzcollection.com.
The collection contained two works by Pauline Dohn Rudolph, “The Seeker” and “A Village Belle”.
Dr Wendy Greenhouse wrote for the collection site: “The Researcher is perhaps the most ambitious easel painting in Pauline Dohn’s relatively brief career. This image of a young woman caught in a moment of serious reverie takes place outside, under the boughs of a pear tree, the fruitfulness of which echoes her own maturing femininity. She gazes into the distance, obviously oblivious to either the viewer or the surrounding landscape. “
The historical society thanked the Schwartz Collection for the donation – and the logistical help with the large 48-by-36-inch piece.
“The donor reached out and was really great,” said McChesney. “She was very helpful with recommendations on how to hang it in the bank. It arrived in a very secure manner. Everything was really seamless. It was really great and incredibly generous. It’s such a special painting – and much bigger than anything else we have in our collection.
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