Awwwww! The soon-to-be former Mayor Richard Daley is turning into a big ol’ cuddly teddy bear right before my eyes! Last week, I wondered aloud whether Mayor Daley’s support of the city’s museums and other fine art institutions was viewed as positively as his contributions to the theater community. I was subsequently referred to this blog post written by Gloria Groom, The David and Mary Winton Green Curator in the Department of Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture. Groom has nothing but praise for the Mayor, noting that “Daley has always been a big supporter of the Art Institute—coming to see exhibitions in the early hours before the public, attending openings, and always enthusing about the many projects we have underway. So selfishly, my reaction [to the news that he will not run for another term] is . . . Darn!”

She goes on to describe the Mayor’s delighted reaction to her “elevator pitch” to him of her upcoming exhibition exploring the relationship between avant-garde painting and the fashion industry during the Impressionist period. Read Ms. Groom’s commentary in full here. The exhibition she is planning sounds truly amazing, btw.

FYI: In case you missed it, The Atlantic’s website posted a long article last week assessing Daley’s legacy – read James Warren’s “The Daley Years” here.

Claudine Isé

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a writer and curator for the past decade, and currently serves as the Editor of the Art21 Blog. Claudine regularly writes for and Chicago magazine, and has also worked as an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. Before moving to Chicago in 2008, she worked at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH as associate curator of exhibitions, and at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as assistant curator of contemporary art, where she curated a number of Hammer Projects. She has Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.