Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oskar Gross

Born in Austria in 1871 and died in Chicago in 1963, Oskar Gross had a large presence in the P&C and the Chicago art world. His paintings can be found in the Union League Club's collection, the Art Institute, and at the Vanderpoel Memorial Collection in Beverly. He won the club's Gold Medal award in 1926. His paintings at the Union League Club and at the Vanderpoel are especially nice. The P&C has no less than six of his portraits, including portraits of fellow members Otto Hake and Alfred Muenzenthaler.

According to the Union League's catalogue, Gross studied in Vienna at the Imperial Royal Academy of Fine Arts and graduated with honors in 1896; he went on to study more in Munich and Paris before coming to the United States in 1903 at the suggestion of Daniel Burham and Louis Sullivan. Gross first found work as a muralist, including this mural in the National Farmers' Bank in Owatonna, Minnesota, designed by Louis Sullivan and a mural in the Bank of Dwight in Dwight, Illinois. Gross was also commissioned to do the architectural mosaic at 720 S. Dearborn Street, on the Second Franklin Building, built in 1912.

More images from that building can be found here

Gross turned to society portraiture in about 1910.

C.J. Bulliet, of the Chicago Daily News, wrote this profile of him in 1935.

After his death, Gross was cremated and his ashes were spread in Lincoln Park.


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