Century of Progress #8
14 x 20 inches
Provenance: Angenita Morris, niece of the artist
This is a scene from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair which was also known as the Century of Progress Exhibition. The gigantic red sphere depicted in this watercolor is the back view of the floating Swift’s Open Air Amphitheater. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented free concerts on a daily basis during the Fair. In the background can be seen the entrance to the Streets of Paris Exhibit which was built to resemble the side of a steam ship.
Tunis Ponsen was one of the five official artists of the Chicago World’s Fair.
Angenita Morris was the sole heir to Ponsen’s estate at the time of his death in 1968.
As this watercolor has been in storage for the past eighty years, the colors are fresh and bright. There is no foxing or sun-staining, but the edges are a bit rough. I assume any buyer would mat out the edges when framing this piece.
There is a small tear at the lower center of the paper.
Tunis Ponsen (1891-1968) began his formal art studies in 1924 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, although he had already been exhibiting his work for several years before then. He was particularly influenced by two prominent members of the faculty, namely Karl Buehr and Leon Kroll. Ponsen later studied with Charles Hawthorne and Richard Miller in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The work of Ponsen is generally characterized by bold colors, sweeping brushstrokes, and strong composition. His most popular subjects were urban scenes (often Chicago), country landscapes (Michigan and Illinois in particular), and harbor scenes (especially Gloucester and Chicago).
The work of Tunis Ponsen was exhibited in hundreds of exhibitions during his lifetime. There were exhibitions of his work at some thirty four museums across the country. Ponsen won numerous awards and sold many of his paintings.