The Skylight Club was organized around 1890 with the purpose of serving as a salon for intellectually inquisitive and culturally sophisticated men to gather and discuss the issues of the day. Initially, meetings were held in the studio of artist Donald Volk, located at 719 Hennepin Avenue. Donald Volk organized a school of fine arts which later became the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. When Donald Volk moved to New York, and the meeting place for the Skylight Club moved to the Miller Building located 118 Sixth Street South. The club was named The Skylight Club because the meetings rooms at 719 Hennepin Avenue and 118 Sixth Street South had a skylight. The Skylight Club only met in the Miller Building briefly before moving again to the offices of Hewitt and Brown, Architects at 716 Avenue South. When member Edwin H. Hewitt built a new building at Twelfth Street & Second Avenue South, he provided accommodations for the Club. The club met there from 1920 until 1974, when the building changed ownership. From 1974 until 1976, the club met in one of the Pillsbury mansions on 24th Street South. In 1976 the Club moved to the Clubhouse of the American Association of University Women at 2115 Stevens Avenue. This mansion was the former home of Edward C. Gale, a founding member of the club. By 1985 the club had 171 members. Meetings were typically held on the third Wednesday of each month from September through May. Meetings usually included a guest speaker. The Club did not elect officers nor did it have a formal written constitution.
Founding members: John Scott Bradstreet, interior designer; Edward Chenery Gale, attorney; Burritt "Burt" Harwood, Harwood Foundation, U. of New Mexico; Herbert Putnam, Librarian of the United States Congress; Harry Perry Robinson, journalist for the London Times; Walter Checkley Tiffany, attorney and magazine editor; Douglas Volk, founder of Minneapolis School of Art; Edward S. Chevalier Waters; (also listed as Stantley S. Waters), librarian of the Minnesota State Bar Association Library; William Channing Whitney, architect.
Members included: Judge Lindsay G. Arthur; James Ford Bell; Prof. Richard D. Burton; Clarence Chaney; George Perrigo Conger, author,
Synthetic Naturalism; John Crosby;William C. Edgar; Dr. Burnside Foster; Edward C. Gale; Cass Gilbert; Roy D. Herrick; Edwin Hewitt, architect, St. Mark's Episcopal Church; William H. Hinkle; Jim Kimbrough, Director, Minneapolis Public Library; Col. Harry A. Leonhauser; Scott Long, editorial cartoonist,
Minneapolis Tribune; Arthur Naftalin, Mayor of Minneapolis; Al Nier, physicist, U. of Minnesota; Philip W. Pillsbury; Dr. Marion B. Shutter; John R. Vanderlip; Charles L. Wells; Dr. Frank Westbrook, Dean of U. of Minnesota Medical School; Dr. S. Marx White, Professor, U. of Minnesota Medical School; Judge Charles A. Willard.
Description of the Collection
Collection consists primarily of membership lists, speaker lists, balance sheets, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. The collection also includes photographs (including photographs of some of the founding members), audio cassettes, video cassettes, several copies of a published history of The Skylight Club, and original editorial cartoons by Scott Long.
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