The John H. Vanderpoel Art Gallery
Ridge Park, Illinois

The John H. Vanderpoel Art Gallery in Ridge Park
9625 S. Longwood Drive
(773) 779-0009
Open Wed 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Open during the summer only by appointment

Nine-acre Ridge Park, located in the Beverly community on the city's far south side, contains the only privately-run art gallery in the Chicago Park District system. The gallery houses hundreds of paintings, prints and sculpture, most created by American artists.

John H. Vanderpoel was a Dutch-born artist and resident of the Beverly community at the turn of the century. Recognized both as great teacher and artist, he taught for 30 years at The School of the Art Institute. So beloved was Vanderpoel that after his death in 1911 the community named a school and street after him. Over the years, individuals have donated to the Vanderpoel Art Association some 500 paintings, prints and works of sculpture, many of which were first exhibited in the Vanderpoel School. As space became an issue, an art gallery was proposed. In 1920, the community and art association petitioned the then Ridge Park Commission to build a gallery as part of its fieldhouse. John J. Hetherington designed the fieldhouse, which crews constructed between 1929 and 1932 with an art gallery in the south wing.

This article was reprinted from the "Advocate", the monthly newsletter of Friends of the Parks, which works to protect, preserve, and improve Chicago's parks. Please join by calling (312) 857-2757 or via

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© 2006 Nancy Lorance
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