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Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

South Michigan Avenue, 111, Chicago
In 1866, a group of 35 artists founded the Chicago Academy of Design in a studio on Dearborn Street, with the intent to run a free school with its own art gallery. The organization was modeled after European art academies, such as the Royal Academy, with Academicians and Associate Academicians. The Academy's charter was granted in March 1867. When the Great Chicago Fire destroyed the building in 1871 the Academy was thrown into debt. Attempts to continue despite the loss by using rented facilities failed. By 1878, the Academy was $10,000 in debt. Members tried to rescue the ailing institution by making deals with local businessmen, before some finally abandoned it in 1879 to found a new organization, named the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. When the Chicago Academy of Design went bankrupt the same year, the new Chicago Academy of Fine Arts bought its assets at auction. In 1882, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts changed its name to the current Art Institute of Chicago and elected as its first president the banker and philanthropist Charles L. Hutchinson. 

Source: www.artic.edu