Chicago, Illinois, October 11, 2016 – Chicago-based Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. (www.audubonart.com) the venerable natural history art gallery known internationally for the works of John James Audubon and many renowned natural history artists, as well as a favorite of passersby for its magnificent Wrigley Building window displays of Audubon’s iconic images, is announcing it will be leaving North Michigan Avenue. After twenty years in the Wrigley Building, the gallery will move a few short blocks to 10 East Ohio Street within Chicago’s Michigan Avenue corridor to the beautifully restored Queen Anne-style Tree Studios Annex Building in the Tree Studios complex, one of the nation’s oldest surviving artists’ studios. The move also marks the end of an era for North Michigan Avenue’s businesses. For the last several years, Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. has been the only independent, solely owned business on Chicago’s premier shopping avenue.
“We are making history, again. After twenty glorious years in the Wrigley Building, we will be moving to a new, also historic location, the Tree Studios Annex,” said Joel Oppenheimer, president, Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. “The Wrigley Building achieved historic landmark status after we moved in, and our new space, which was built during the Arts and Crafts movement by Lambert Tree and his wife, Marshall Field’s daughter, Anna Field Tree, also has Chicago landmark status. Architecturally significant, the façade of the Ohio Street Annex Building is considered to be one of Chicago’s finest examples of the English Arts and Crafts style. Our goal from the beginning of our search was to find space in a historically significant building that aesthetically complements our passion for the arts and the works of the natural history artists that are the central focus of the gallery. The Tree Studios Annex does just that and more.” Oppenheimer added.
The gallery will occupy 3,225 square feet on three floors, including the ground floor and mezzanine of the building fronting Ohio Street, between State Street and Wabash Avenue. Commissioned by philanthropists Judge and Mrs. Lambert Tree, the Tree Studios were originally built between 1894 and 1913 as a home for Chicago artists and cultural life at the turn of the century. The Annex building that the Oppenheimer Gallery will occupy was designed in 1912 by architects Hill and Woltersdorf. Featuring original period woodwork, high ceilings, and dramatic north-facing windows overlooking a hidden courtyard garden, the building provides an oasis of tranquility in the midst of a vibrant retail corridor with abundant foot traffic.
“This is why historic restoration inspires us,” said Albert Friedman, Chairman of the Board of Friedman Properties. “Friedman Properties is delighted to welcome the Oppenheimer Gallery to Tree Studios. When we undertook the task of saving this landmark property, we committed to the City of Chicago not only to restore the structure, but that we would make every effort to attract the art community and honor the buildings’ original use as intended by the Trees. Thanks to the fine efforts of our Executive Vice President Bob Zimmerman, Joel and his team are moving in, and they’re a perfect fit. I have to believe that Judge and Mrs. Lambert Tree would be tickled to see art being breathed back into Tree Studios. It’s an important part of Chicago’s history.”
Oppenheimer, a foremost expert on the work of John James Audubon, authored THE BIRDS OF AMERICA: The Bien Chromolithographic Edition (W. W. Norton & Company) in 2013. As a gallery owner and businessman, he believes that the business must be proactive to continue to evolve in this current fast-paced, far-reaching retail environment. To better serve the needs of the gallery’s growing list of local, national, and international clients, he is aligning the gallery’s signature walk-in retail location alongside their state-of-the-art Web store, www.audubonart.com. The move provides the gallery with an aesthetic ambiance well suited to shopping for natural history art, their unparalleled museum-quality framing, and renowned art conservation services. Within easy reach of Michigan Avenue, it is also an excellent location for walk-in clientele that is convenient to major hotels and the city’s expressways.
About Joel Oppenheimer, Inc
Established in 1969, the fine art galleries of Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. in Chicago and Charleston offer a stunning array of natural history art from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, as well as fine art framing, and complete conservation and restoration services. Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. strives to provide collectors with an unsurpassed selection of the finest examples of prints and paintings from the golden age of natural history art including rare works by John James Audubon, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, Dr. Robert Thornton, John Gould, Basilius Besler, and many others. As a natural history art gallery, Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. is dedicated to the connoisseurship of collecting, preserving the art of natural history, and celebrating the magnificent contribution of the artist-explorers who produced an enduring pictorial record of the world’s flora and fauna.
About Friedman Properties
Friedman Properties, Ltd. owns, leases and manages a portfolio of 50+ buildings totaling over 4 million square feet including office, retail, residential, parking, event and hospitality space. Concentrated in Chicago’s River North neighborhood Friedman Properties’ buildings are among the city’s most storied landmarks.