The I Due Art 4 You Museum

The I Due Art 4 You Museum was established in Chicago during the late 1940's by a group of artists and bohemians after the exhibit "Twentieth Century Art from the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago,"( Oct. 20-DEC 18, 1949) . Since the individuals involved subscribed to the anti-art, anti-elitist and chaotic ideology of the Dadaists movement, everyone involved used pseudonyms names or initials thus prohibiting any type official history or recognition.

When I had my exhibit, "Four Found Women's Scrapbook", at the Artemisia Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in May of 1990, I received a phone call from Madame S. Harry who was interested in the Dadaist genre of my imagery. Madame and I subsequently met and had infinite marathon conversation. They were extended talks due to Madame's decaying deafness which definitely extended conversation time. Although somewhat vague in specifics, Madame S. revealed her participation with a group of highly creative and spirited individuals whose art was political street performance and collages. They established The I Due Art 4 You Museum. The museum was located in the Loop disguised as a newspaper stand. Each member would work the stand selling newspapers and magazines inserting into the dailies his/her art and political beliefs. Madame S. never mentioned specific names -- she called museum members My Fellow Comrade Tom or Comrade Jane or My Kindred Soul . Recently, I rediscovered a small package of notes that I had taken (and forgot about) from various interviews with Madame S. (1990-1996) which the museum plans to publish in the year 2000 in celebration for the ground breaking for the official museum site (Fundraising has already begun).

Unfortunately Madame S. Harry died suddenly of pneumonia in 1996 at the age of one hundred. As a tribute to her indomitable spirit, Madame's husband Richard daughter Beatrice and grandchildren Bruce (who is often missing) and Theodore S. Harry have decided to revitalize the museum and donate the family's personal collection of Pop Alreadymades. The executors of Madame's estate are planning a traveling exhibit, catalogue and CD ROM for the spring or fall of 1999-2000. The museum has commissioned local artist James Kahn, a personal friend of Madame S.' grandchild Bruce, to paint a portrait which will grace the entrance of the museum's lobby. Madame S. would have been so pleased.



Helene Smith-Romer, Chicago, Illinois @1998-99