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A Strange and Picturesque Country

Prints from the permanent collection by Earl Howell Reed.

After working first as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune and then as a grain broker on the Chicago stock exchange for 20 years, Earl Howell Reed (1863-1931) retired in 1910 and devoted himself to “The Dunes” in his art and writings. Now known as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, “The Dunes,” is over 15,000 acres on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Reed wrote and illustrated books devoted to the beautiful landscapes, abundant wildlife and the colorful characters who lived there. Because of this, he was instrumental in drawing national attention to the area that aided in the preservation of this important and fragile ecosystem.

Reed was born in 1863 in Geneva, Illinois. Although a largely self-taught artist, he was a founding member and the first president of the Chicago Society of Etchers, wrote a respected manual on etching techniques, and was a member of the Chicago Society of Artists. His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

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