A Daughter of the Middle Border
As Chicago possessed few clubs of any kind and had no common place of meeting for those who cultivated the fine arts, Taft's studio became, naturally, our center of esthetic exchange. Painting and sculpture were not greatly encouraged anywhere in the West, but Lorado and his brave colleagues, hardy frontiersmen of art, laughed in the face of all discouragement.
A group of us often lunched in what Taft called "the Beanery"--a noisy, sloppy little restaurant on Van Buren Street, where our lofty discussions of Grecian sculpture were punctuated by the crash of waiter-proof crockery, or smothered with the howl of slid chairs. However, no one greatly minded these barbarities. They were all a part of the game. If any of us felt particularly flush we dined, at sixty cents each, in the basement of a big department store a few doors further west; and when now and then some good "lay brother" like Melville Stone, or Franklin Head, invit