The Art Institute now houses the collections of the Harding Museum. The collection includes many coats of armor, weapons, and models of ships.
I loved that collection as a child. It was housed in a great castle of a mansion in the south side of Chicago.
The museum was eventually closed and the old mansion demolished. The trustees of the Museum closed the Museum, paid themselves substantial salaries, and were selling off the collection.
The State of Illinois sued. My father in law, Judge George Schaller, heard the case and told me a lot about the case. He said he would put a stop to it, and ultimately the museum closed down and the collection was transferred to the Art Institute. I saw some of the exhibits at the Art Institute today.
"George F. Harding, Jr. (1868-1939) was a prominent Chicago businessman and political figure with a passion for collecting fine art and artifacts. Between the world wars he assembled one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the U.S. and housed it in a purpose-built castle that was a Chicago landmark until its destruction in 1965. The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) rescued Harding's collection from storage in 1982, and Harding's arms and armour have since become one of the museum's most popular attractions."
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