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Chicago history: Rediscovering the art of the much-demonized Chicago wheeler-dealer Charles Tyson Yerkes

In the fall of 2003, Sebastian Smee, the art critic of the Daily Telegraph in London, described a mid-19th century painting by British artist J. M. W. Turner as “an almost unbelievable vision of swirling blue, orange and white light thrusting through fog.”  His colleague, Rachel Campbell-Johnston of The Times of London, wrote that the…

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Essay: The Angel in the Back Pew

“Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”  The voices of dozens of big-name African-American entertainers sang for joy in the song that came on when I started my car.  It was the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, a 1992 performance of the Messiah as channeled through the full range of African-American music — gospel, soul, blues,…

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