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Spring Is In The Air!

In the Garden painting by Nina Kickbusch Griffin

It is officially time to celebrate the coming of spring… and finally, some much needed warmer weather. This beautiful oil painting titled In the Garden with its brightly colored scene of three girls watering their flowers is a perfect way to welcome the days to come. It was created by Nina Kickbusch Griffin for the 1937 All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts exhibition at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The Society would later present the award-winning painting to The Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School (ISSCS) where it would be displayed for several years before making its way to The Museum.

Located in Normal from 1865 to 1979, the ISSCS was originally established to care for those children orphaned by veterans serving in the Civil War. Later, children of veterans from all wars would reside there. Mrs. Griffin's brightly-painted scene would be warmly welcomed by the children and staff at the ISSCS and serve to alleviate some of the daily stresses that may have occurred.

Mrs. Charles R. Dalrymple founded the All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts with the slogan, “An original work of art by an artist of Illinois in every school and home of Illinois." That vision is the reason In the Garden made its way to the ISSCS.

The McLean County Museum of History maintains a sizeable collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures representing McLean County and this painting is indicative of the importance preserving such cultural artifacts is to maintaining our community's history.

Click through the slide show below to see the painting