PostHeaderIcon Imagists 5, Cubs 0

wrigley fieldThe Cubs opened their 2010 season at Wrigley Field yesterday afternoon. But more than a half-century ago, 5 unknown Chicago artists, who would go on to international notoriety as members of the “Hairy Who” and the Chicago Imagist school, were, unbeknownst to one another at the time, all in the friendly confines on Opening Day, 1954.

Karl Wirsum was a grandstand vendor. Art Green was seated in a box seat on the third base line. It was Suellen Rocca’s first baseball game and Gladys Nilsson (Jim Nutt’s wife) was standing on the nearby El platform at Addison.

The score is lost to history but the one fact recorded for journalistic posterity involved Jim Nutt. Nutt was seated in the bleachers and caught a Hank Sauer home run ball. Twelve years later, these artists had their magic moment, bursting onto the local and later international art scene with the inaugural “Hairy Who” show (curated by Don Baum) at the Hyde Park Art Center, then at 5236 South Blackstone Avenue.  As for the Cubs, they are still waiting for their magic,World Series moment 56 years later.

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