I was born and raised in the Chicago area. In the 60s, shopping trips to downtown Chicago were always exciting. My fondest memories are of visits to Marshall Fields & Company, a department store in the heart of Chicago.
For those not familiar with Marshall Fields & Company, it was a local institution. It sold high-end products in a multi-floor store (it was the third-largest department building in the world). Its building is an architectural treasure, built in the early 1900s. It is a national historical land site, often cited in discussions on Chicago’s famed architecture.
In 1975, Fields had its first flower show, which has continued ever since. It has scaled back in recent years, but the new owners, Macy’s, have continued filling some of the stores’ display windows with flowers.
The idea of creating paintings of display windows and including the reflections of the street scene on the windows started on a trip to Oslo, Norway. I ran across from a Salvation Army Thrift Shop, which was in a posh area of Oslo. Oslo Vintage was the beginning of my display windows paintings.
When visiting Chicago in 2015, I first spotted the flower show display windows. There was also a floor dedicated to the flower show, as well. It was amazing. Two of these paintings came from the 2015 displays windows.
In 2018, I returned to Chicago for the flower shop. They maintained the display windows but there no longer had a floor dedicated to the show. I was able to create a painting based on one of the display windows. I had plans to visit the 2022 show but recently read that after 46 years, the Chicago show has closed. I thank the wonderful people who designed, created, and cared for the flower show. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I will miss the show.