Gallery Spotlight: Hildt Gallery

Gallery Spotlights are posts about randomly selected* art venues in Chicago

Rina Steinberg

Art Institute of Chicago by E.J. Paprocki

Within the walls of the historic Tree Studios Complex is a charming family-owned gallery known as the Hildt Gallery, which specializes in 19th and early 20th century oil and watercolor paintings. Hildt Gallery originally opened in 1982 in Fort Wayne, Indiana but then moved to Chicago around 1990. When it first opened, the gallery primarily showcased antique European paintings but then progressed to including American artists, and within the last 5 years began to include much more contemporary art.

The selection of art at Hildt Gallery is quite refined in taste and possesses quality comparable to that of an art museum. “All our pieces are original and traditional art that stood the test of time. That is popular 100 years ago, today, and will be popular 100 years later. It’s not fashion art,” explains current owner, Jeremy Hildt.

The gallery features many European artists such as English landscape artist, Joseph Thors and French painter, Constantine Kluge. Among the multiple American artists featured is Chicago native, E.J. Paprocki, whose modern artwork includes everything from still-lifes to paintings of scenes in the city. There is more commonality between the artists shown at the gallery than just their style of painting and that is that they all are well-schooled or have an academic background.

The gallery stands by its paintings and even has a policy unique to Hildt Gallery. Customers who have ever bought a painting or plan on buying a painting have the ability to trade it back for equal or greater value, which isn’t common in most art galleries. Hildt notes that it is these distinctive elements of Hildt Gallery that give customers a sense of “comfort” when buying art, leading to the earning of the customers’ loyalty and trust for years to come.

Not only does Hildt Gallery sell paintings but they buy them too. Hildt says that he’s always keeping an eye out for antique paintings that would fare well in the gallery.

Hildt Gallery is located at 617 North State Street. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact 312.255.0005 or visit http://www.hildtgalleries.com

*Gallery spotlights are chosen based on a lottery, which we document by videotape, in order to be transparent and truly random. 10 were chosen out of a pool of 350.