The first art acquisition in the early 1970s by Chicago businessman, philanthropist, and collector Richard H. Driehaus was a print by Jules Chéret, father of the artistic poster. During this period when the Driehaus Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts was formed, acquisitions focused primarily on posters of Belle Époque Paris by Chéret and his contemporaries, including Alphonse Mucha, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Henri Meunier, Jacques Villon, and others. Early acquisitions also included acclaimed American poster artists of the same era, including William H. Bradley and Louis John Rhead.
From that essential core, the collection has grown to include posters by such luminaries as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Eugène Grasset, as well as master works of design by Louis Majorelle, Édouard Colonna, Emilé Gallé, René Lalique, Josef Hoffmann, Herter Brothers, and John La Farge. In addition to these important holdings, the Driehaus Collection is one of the country’s leading private collections of works by preeminent American decorative designer Louis Comfort Tiffany.
In 2003, Mr. Driehaus founded the Driehaus Museum to publicly exhibit and preserve his collection. Today the Museum is a showcase for the late 19th and early 20th-century art and design of Europe and the United States, displayed against the magnificent backdrop of the meticulously restored Nickerson Mansion in Chicago.
Jacques Villon (French, 1875-1963)
Le Grillon, An American Bar (The Cricket), 1898-1899
51 x 36 1/2 (129.5 x 92.7 cm)
Acc. No. 158253
Photograph by John Faier, © Driehaus Museum, 2015