Hutchinson, Charles Lawrence, 1854-1924

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Hutchinson was president of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1882-1924.

From the description of Charles L. Hutchinson papers, 1880-1924. (Chicago History Museum). WorldCat record id: 715307217

Chicago financier, trustee and philanthropist.

Charles Lawrence Hutchinson was born in 1854. In 1856 his family moved from Lynn, Massachusetts, to Chicago, where his father, Benjamin P. Hutchinson, became a successful grain merchant, meat-packer, and one of the founders of the Corn Exchange National Bank. Charles Hutchinson succeeded his father in business and in banking, and his wealth and prestige allowed him to become one of the city's leading cultural philanthropists. Because he was a man of wide interests with a strong sense of civic duty, Hutchinson's activities were not confined to finance but ranged over many aspects of Chicago life. Though his greatest enthusiasm was for art and the establishment and growth of the Art Institute, Hutchinson was president, board member, trustee and / or supporter of perhaps as many as seventy organizations and social institutions, orphanages, hospitals and schools. Among his numerous involvements, he served as president of the Chicago Board of Trade, director and chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the World's Columbian Exposition, trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, president of the Chicago Orphan Asylum, president of St. Paul's Universalist Church, vice-president of the Egypt Exploration Fund, president of the American Federation of the Arts, and treasurer of the Cliff Dwellers, of the Municipal Art League, and of the Chicago Sanitary District. Also, at the founding of the University of Chicago, in 1890 he was named a trustee of the new institution where he served as treasurer until his death. Of Hutchinson's lifelong work with social and cultural agencies, his involvement with the founding and development of the Art Institute was his most passionate activity. In 1879 he was a trustee of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and 3 years later when it was renamed the Art Institute he became president, an office he held for the rest of his life. He spent years searching for and acquiring works of art for the museum and for his personal collection as well, often traveling abroad on buying trips with his wife, Frances Kinsley Hutchinson, and sometimes with his friend and fellow-trustee of the University of Chicago, Martin A. Ryerson. Charles Hutchinson was regarded as one of Chicago's finest citizens, spending his life working and giving to bring culture and comfort to his city. He died in 1924, leaving no children.

From the description of Charles L. Hutchinson papers, 1868-1934. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 692210036

Charles Lawrence Hutchinson was born on March 7, 1854 in Lynn, Massachusetts to Benjamin P. and Sarah M. Ingalls Hutchinson. In 1856, the family moved to Chicago, where Hutchinson attended Chicago High School. He received an honorary A.M. from Tufts College in 1901 and from Harvard University in 1915.

Hutchinson began his career as a grain merchant. He later became a banker and then the vice president (and later president) of the Corn Exchange National Bank. His other appointments include director of Northern Trust Company, president of the Chicago Board of Trade, director and chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the World’s Columbian Exposition, president of the Art Institute of Chicago (from its beginning), trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, president of the Chicago Orphan Asylum, president of St. Paul’s Universalist Church, vice president of the Egypt Exploration Fund, and treasurer of Rush Medical College.

Hutchinson is perhaps best known as one of the original twenty-one Trustees of the University of Chicago, elected in 1890 after being selected by the American Baptist Education Society. He served in this capacity until his death. He was also treasurer for the University for the same time period.

Hutchinson married Frances Kinsley, the daughter of H.M. Kinsley, on May 26, 1881. The couple had two primary residences-a house at 232 E. Walton Place in Chicago, and another in Lake Geneva Wisconsin named “Wychwood.” Frances died in 1936 and this property was donated to the University.

Charles Lawrence Hutchinson died on October 7, 1924.

From the guide to the Hutchinson, Charles L. Postcards, 1905, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Charles Eliot Norton papers Houghton Library
creatorOf Hutchinson, Charles Lawrence, 1854-1924. Charles L. Hutchinson papers, 1868-1934. Newberry Library
creatorOf Hutchinson, Charles L. Postcards, 1905 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Hutchinson, Charles Lawrence, 1854-1924. Postcards, 1905 and undated. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Douglas Tilden Papers, 1860-1970 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Hutchinson, Charles Lawrence, 1854-1924. Charles L. Hutchinson papers, 1880-1924. Chicago History Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Addams, Jane, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith American Federation of Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Art Institute of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith Ayer, Edward Everett, 1841-1927. person
associatedWith Bacon, Francis H. (Francis Henry), 1856-1940. person
associatedWith Breasted, James Henry, 1865-1935. person
associatedWith Burnham, Daniel Hudson, 1846-1912. person
associatedWith Butler, Edward Burgess, 1853-1928. person
associatedWith Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919. person
associatedWith Fay, Charles Norman, b. 1848. person
associatedWith Foote, Charles B., 1846-1926, person
associatedWith Gardner, Isabella Stewart, 1840-1924. person
associatedWith Gunsaulus, Frank W. (Frank Wakeley), 1856-1921. person
associatedWith Howland, George, 1806-1892. person
associatedWith Hunt, William Holman, 1827-1910. person
associatedWith Hutchinson, Benjamin P. person
associatedWith Hutchinson, Frances Kinsley person
associatedWith Hutchinson, Frances Kinsley, 1857-1936. person
associatedWith Illinois College. corporateBody
associatedWith Illinois Merchants Trust Company (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865. person
associatedWith MacNeil, Hermon Atkins, 1866-1947. person
associatedWith McCormick, Chauncey, 1884- person
associatedWith McCormick, Cyrus H. (Cyrus Hall), 1859-1936. person
associatedWith McDowell, Mary E., 1854-1936. person
associatedWith McKinley High School (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Midwest Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Monroe, Harriet, 1860-1936. person
associatedWith Newberry Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908 person
associatedWith Ranger, Henry Ward, 1858-1916. person
associatedWith Root, John Wellborn, 1850-1891. person
associatedWith Taft, Lorado, 1860-1936. person
correspondedWith Tilden, Douglas, 1860-1935 person
associatedWith Universalist Church of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Volk, Leonard Wells, 1828-1895. person
associatedWith Willard, Samuel, 1824-1892. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Chicago (Ill.)
United States
Lake Geneva (Wis.)
Art museums
Banks and banking
Manuscripts, American
World War, 1914-1918


Birth 1854

Death 1924



Ark ID: w6rb7jpb

SNAC ID: 42412394