Help refurbish key piece of art by shopping in Lake Bluff

Lake Bluff History Museum
The historic mural created by Marguerite Kreutzberg is approximately 14-feet tall and 4-feet wide. The Lake Bluff History Museum is raising funds for its restoration and re-hanging in the Lake. (Lake Bluff History Museum)

“Third Thursday’s” in charming downtown Lake Bluff is offering more than just deals and extended shopping hours.

The event which kicked off last month is helping to raise funds for the restoration of a historic piece of art that once hung above the fireplace in the East Elementary School, a former historic landmark constructed in 1895.

In 1923 Lake Bluff artist Marguerite Gribi Kreutzberg was commissioned to paint “The Meeting of Marquette and Joliet,” which was displayed in the school in 1926. The mural depicts a meeting between missionary the Rev. Jacques Marquette, explorer Louis Joliet and local Native Americans on Lake Bluff’s north ravine in 1673.

The signature, tall, trapezoid-shaped piece was salvaged during the 2011 demolition of the elementary school which had been located at East Sheridan Place. East Elementary closed its doors in 2009 after a new school was built.

Third Thursday features special shopping and dining experiences at Lake Bluff businesses on the third Thursday of each month through September. Ten percent of the purchases made on these shopping days will be donated to the Lake Bluff History Museum to assist with mural refurbishing and re-installation.

The museum plans to restore the piece to its original condition which includes repairing some damage which occurred from its’ removal. A thorough cleaning of the oil-on-canvas work will also be done. It will be installed in Lake Bluff’s Village Hall board room, where residents can continue to enjoy the masterful work.

Officials estimate renovation costs and re-installation to be $12,500. Already about one-quarter of the goal has been raised, said Pam Russell, vice president of the museum board.

Re-installation of the mural is scheduled for September 20 to coincide with the 120th anniversary of the village incorporation.

Donations may be made by mailing a check to the museum at 127 East Scranton Avenue, Lake Bluff, Illinois, 60044. For more information call 847-482-1571.

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