Sunday, January 28, 2007


Here is the front page of the January 1, 1915 ELECTION SPECIAL edition of the “Cowbell” – with campaign messages from each of the three candidates.
(when was the last time we had three candidates ? – when was the last time the P&C newsletter published campaign messages ?)

This was probably the high-water mark in P&C history.

Several now-famous painters were Artist Members – several Chicago civic leaders (including the President and Treasurer of the Art Institute) were Life Members and nineteen P&C members were juried into the 1915 Chicago Artists Show at the Art Institute, and 3 of them received awards.

One year late, the P&C would celebrate it’s 20th anniversary with a special exhibit at the Art Institute.

Concerning the three candidates – nothing has yet been found online except for Albert H. Ullrich – whose painting is shown above. (he may also have been the same Albert H. Ullrich, born the same year, who owned a jewelry business and bought Lord’s Drygoods store in Evanston.)

January 1, 1915 ELECTION SPECIAL


I wish to introduce to you the newer and complete R.V. Brown, the serious man of progressive endeavor. You who have known me as an advocate of frivolity, who have not been able to see behind my happy-go-lucky exterior, the man of earnest and generous purpose, attend one moment while I lay aside the modesty which makes me assume carelessness, and show you why I desire the office of President.

I have considered this matter thoroughly, and I hons4estly belie I am the one logical man to carry on the development of the Club from its present stage.

I believe in a protective tariff and that a larger and stronger associate membership means the life of the Club.

This is known as a “producing” club, and I am strongly in favor of many exhibits throughout the year, and I promise that, if elected, the paper upon our walls will only be visible to the human eye when one exhibit is being taken down and another is being put up.

The Cow Bell will appear with religious regularity, and a business administration possessing both dignity and pep, will be in evidence from start to finish.

Being a young man of unlimited wealth, and so situated that I can give the Club first consideration at all times, I contend that I am the logical candidate for the office of President. In taking this stand, I point with pride to my record for the year just ended, during which time I transformed the office of Librarian from a joke to a serious reality and have taken a prominent part in every other progressive movement during the year.

Regardless of these unassailable facts, there are at present certain members in this Club who are honestly and sincerely convinced that my election would not be timely; whereas the facts in the case are that my election will prove the greatest ”Godsend” that can possibly befall the Club at its current crisis.

Gentlemen, I stand on my record of the past year when I say that a vote for me means a vote for the welfare of the Club and a year of prosperity for us all. I trust that the many readers of The Cow Bell who are active voters will give this appeal their honest consideration and after the smoke of battle has cleared away will be able to shake hands with themselves and say “I SEEN MY DUTY AND I DONE IT.”


The Administration that I will give the Club, if I am elected, will favor educational lines. It seems to me that the most vital things about the Club, the object for which it was organized is to give the members an opportunity to study and work from the living model, to give exhibitions and to talk over those given here and elsewhere -- to give the ambitious student the social surroundings that are necessary to make an artist out of a draughtsman.

I should try to improve these conditions and bring about a better acquaintance with the materials we have to work with by asking the members to put their knowledge in a concrete form so that it may be referred to in the clubrooms. A committee might also be appointed advantageously , to whom members may go for advice or instruction during study hours.

A continuous round of exhibitions is of great advantage to the members, but these should be so arranged as not to interfere seriously with the lighting arrangements of the evening work.

I do not believe the Club should be burdened with the custom of giving each associate member a picture. I feel that the associates would much prefer to spend more social evenings with us and get more knowledge of pictures and how they are painted, and get better acquainted with the painters.


This being the third time that I have been nominated for President, and being determined to be elected this year, I believe I should issue a very frank statement. In the two previous elections I have, as you know, remained apathetic because on both occasions, I have been opposed by better men I was unwilling this time to become a candidate until I found who my opponents would be. I think well of them both, but I think better of the Club and its welfare. I urge all my former supporters to rally for this time I with them heart and soul.

In asking to be elected your president, I point to my record not alone because I have held successfully every other office in the Club, nor because as Chairman of the Outing Committee, the camp, for the first time in its history, not only paid all expenses, but actually paid back into the Club treasury a substantial dividend, nor do I ask to be elected because since I first became an active member, seven or eight years back, I have been one of the most active, or alone because I am the logical candidate, but for all of these reasons and those others which modesty keeps me from mentioning.

There’s so much tongue-in-cheek going on here– it’s hard to tell what issues were at stake.

Ullrich seems to be the most serious – but he lacks a sense of humor and his English is the worst.

Who would you vote for ?

Note: Here's the P&C artists who got into the Chicago Artists Show of 1915:
Wilson Irvine (Clyde M. Carr prize)
Carl Krafft (Englewood Women's Club trophy)
Victor Higgins (purchased by Municipal Art Gallery)
Arvid Nyholm (Municipal Art League prize for portraiture)
Frank Dudley (a former member at this time)
Alfred Jannson
J.Jeffrey Grant
J.H. Carlsen
Louis Oscar Griffith
Rudolph Ingerle
Sam Kennedy
Joseph Kleitsch
Edgar Payne
Walter Ufer
Albert Ullrich
Theide (etching)
Harry Engle
Jimmy Dulin (sculpture)
Emory Seidel


Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Ullrich was the donor of the money for the gold medal prize. His portrait, done in conte crayon, hangs in the second floor bathroom. His photo is also found in the post called "Two Evenings A Week For Art." The article calls him a "suburban department store head."

His photo is dead likeness of the drawing at the club.

January 28, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Sometime between 1916 and 1922 (when the Cowbell resumed publication) the bylaws were changed -- to create a nominating committee to present an approved slate for each election.

As was noted in a Cowbell of 1924, once this happened, the entire slate of candidates was a sure bet to be the list of officers and directors printed in the next edition.

So I'm doubting that Cowbell would ever again feature campaign pitches from competing candidates.

Until .. maybe ... now ---- since the revised by-laws of 2004 removed that role of the nominating committee.

March 24, 2007  

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