N. C. Paulsen

b.–d.

Although virtually nothing is known about the artist, the building at the center of this painting—the oldest work in the Friedman collection—is the Interstate Industrial Exposition building, located where the Art Institute of Chicago now stands on South Michigan Avenue. It was Chicago's first convention center, constructed by W. W. Boyington in 1872, and designed to house annual displays of industrial manufactures. It also served as the site of Republican Convention in 1888 and was the first home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1886. The building was razed in 1892 to make way for the Art Institute. Paulsen depicts it in the center of the canvas—as witness and welcomer to the myriad ships and schooners assembling on the lake.

(If you know anything about the artist or can identify elements of the scene depicted, please contact us at the link below.)

Lisa Meyerowitz

 

Reference

For an aerial photo of the building and the Lake Michigan shoreline, see the online Encyclopedia of Chicago, Interstate Exposition Building on Michigan Ave., 1880s:

http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3516.html