Chicago Portage Lecture
October 21, 2018 

Ridge Historical Society is proud to host John Langer of the Friends of the Chicago Portage on Sunday, October 21, 2:00 p.m. for an enlightening presentation entitled: "The Origins of Chicago".

The Chicago Portage is located in the Portage Woods Forest Preserve on the west side of Harlem Avenue just north of the Stevenson Expressway. An unremarkable ditch, the Portage provided an easy connection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico by linking Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River, making the future site of Chicago a key point on the discovery and expansion of the New World by the Europeans. Explorers Jolliet and Marquette passed through the Portage in 1673.

The historical remnants of Chicago's origins are now mostly destroyed. The Chicago Portage is all that remains and is protected by National Historic Site status.

The presentation is about an hour and a half and will include a video and a Q&A.

Mr. Langer is a member of the Friends of the Chicago Portage and Historical Interpretive and tour guide for the Chicago Portage National Historical Site

Reservations are required: 773-881-1675, $5 members, $10 non-members.


Ethel Wirtshafter Exhibit
October 1 - November 19 

The art of Ethel Wirtshafter, 1909-2009, will be on display at Ridge Historical Society, Graver-Driscoll House, 10621 S. Seeley Avenue, October 1 - November 19, 2018. The exhibit is open 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 1 - 5 p.m. Thursdays, or by appointment with docent.

Wirtshafter created beautiful works in oil and batik. Her influences were broad, from the Pacific Northwest to Yugoslavia, from Africa to India. With her elongated human figures and flattened compositions it has been said her work is evocative of El Greco, Picasso, and Matisse. Her use of batik to create representational rather than abstract compositions is unique.

The exhibit includes a number of large pieces from her Elizabethan series as well some smaller pieces in striking Japanese style, a soft seascape, and a still life that is suggestive of 20th century cubists. Although her medium and subject choices varied, there is a distinctive style that identifies an Ethel Wirtshafter.

She was active in the Beverly/Morgan Park arts communities, serving as a board member of both the Beverly Arts Center and the Vanderpoel Art Association. As Director of the VAA she taught art to children and adults in the community for over 45 years.

On November 9, 2018, Mary Lenzini will present Ethel Wirtshafter, 1909-2009, An Artist's Life: A Century in the Making at the Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Avenue, Chicago.

For more information contact RHS at 773-881-1675,


Mary Lenzini Program
November 9 

On Friday, November 9, 7:00 p.m., Mary Lenzini will present Ethel Wirtshafter, 1909-2009, An Artist's Life: A Century in the Making at the Ridge Historical Society (10621 S. Seeley Avenue).

Lenzini is a Chicago-based artist, teacher, and curator. Like her subject, she has taught at the Vanderpoel Art Association and served on the Board of Trustees at the Vanderpoel Museum. She curated The 100th Anniversary of the Vanderpoel Museum Featuring Chicago Artists in the Collection," a 2014 Chicago Artists Month Exhibit, and presented her paper on the career of Wirtshafter at the 2015 Midwestern Women Artists Symposium held at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois.

Lenzini works in a variety of media, including oils and textiles. A native of Ohio, she graduated Ohio State University and has worked in New York City and New Orleans.

Enjoy a wine and cheese reception with the presenter.

Reservations are required, 773-881-1675 or $5 members, $10 non-members.

Ridge Historical Society

10621 S. Seeley Ave., Chicago