Founded in 1879, the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is a public museum whose mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret works of art of the highest quality from across the globe for the inspiration and education of their visitors. The collection, which is consistently growing and evolving, comprises approximately 300,000 works of art from a variety of time periods and cultures. As the second largest art museum in the United States, the AIC receives over 1.5 million visitors from around the globe each year.

MILTON AVERY, LANKY NUDE, 1950. ESTIMATE 150,000 - 200,000.

The AIC is particularly renowned for its enduring commitment to American Art. The department includes more than 1,000 paintings and sculptures from the 18th century to 1950 and nearly 2,500 decorative art objects from the 17th century to the present. Strengths in the collection include the Alfred Stieglitz Collection and significant groups of work by John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, and Winslow Homer. Modernist holdings include iconic images by Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Edward Hopper.

The selection of five paintings sold by the AIC in Sotheby’s May 2016 American Art sale includes three strong examples of Milton Avery’s classic aesthetic—a highly original synthesis of realism and abstraction that has today earned him recognition as an important precursor to significant post-war abstractionists such as Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko.

MILTON AVERY, PINK COCK, 1950. ESTIMATE 500,000 - 700,000.