12:53 PM CDT, July 25, 2012
The famed John Singer Sargent portrait of the actor Joseph Jefferson III, currently owned by the financially strapped Players Club of New York, is on the block, New York Post columnist Michael Riedel reports today. According to Riedel, the painting is expected to raise more than $1 million.
It's also an opportunity, surely, for Chicago to bring home one of its favorite theatrical sons. Not only are the Joseph Jefferson Awards (Chicago's equivalent of the Tony Awards) named after the subject of the portrait, famous for his years of touring work in "Rip Van Winkle," but Jefferson was one of the city's first actors, first performing here as early as 1838, when Chicago was little more than a muddy frontier town.
Jefferson also spent much of his later life in Chicago, appearing here throughout the 1880s and 1890s, after having left New York to live and perform in Chicago, where (aptly enough) he was celebrated for his realistic and truthful work.
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