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 John Gale Reed  (1878 - 1949)

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Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: horse-racing genre, calligrapher

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John Gale Reed
An example of work by John Gale Reed
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter, calligrapher and carver, John Gale Reed is important to Illinois art history for his association with the Eagle's Nest Art Colony, for his painting of a county fair event of historical significance, and for the small carved figures now on permanent exhibit at the Chicago Historical Society Museum.

Reed was from an Illinois family that owned much land in Ogle County where they were very prominent as well as in Chicago's large art community. "The young Mr. Reed was an up and coming new member of the Ogle County's society elite." In 1898, the Chicago sculptor, Lorado Taft, founded the Eagle's Nest Art Colony , and John Reed dedicated his talent and energy to Taft. He assisted Taft "in realizing his dream of creating an art colony in the untouched wilderness of Ogle County, a place where artists could get away from the big cities and let their creative juices flow."

During this time, Reed painted a scene of a horserace held at the fair. It was a race attended by Taft and also an event linked to the Grand Opening of the Eagles Nest Colony.

The painting remained in the Reed family with Edwina Reed, daughter of the artist, until Edwina was placed in a nursing home. Since there were no other direct heirs of the artist, a cousin dispersed Edwina's possessions and gave the painting along with the artist's easel to a Chicago woman's whose last name was Popilchak.


Submitted December 2004 by Michael Popilchak, son of the recipient of the painting, who in turn, researched its provenance and provided this information. HIs sources include www.rootsweb.com/ilogle/daysvillecemetery.txt and Bertram Taft Smith, grandson of Lorado Taft.


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