You are here

About this program

With a permanent collection of 150 paintings, drawings and portraits, the McHenry County Historical Society is launching a fundraising initiative to restore and display artwork for its new exhibit, “Art of the Past: Discovering History through McHenry County Artists,” opening May 2021.

Whether due to age, damage, or improper storage or display, several pieces were donated to MCHS in need of restoration. The restoration is necessary to complete before going on exhibit. Some pieces merely need archival materials or framing, while others may need more extensive repairs.

By donating to the Adopt-an-Artwork program, you are directly supporting these restoration efforts. On this page you will find artworks selected for “adoption”. If you choose to donate the full restorative cost, you will receive:

  • “Adopt-an-Artwork” certificate.
  • Information packet on your selected artwork.
  • Before-and-after images once the restoration is complete.
  • Formal acknowledgment of your tax-deductible contribution.
  • You will be credited on the piece’s exhibit label.
  • A personalized invitation to the May 2021 exhibit opening.

Please know that you do not have to adopt an artwork on your own. You and your friends, family, or an organization you belong to may jointly adopt an artwork.

If you cannot decide on an artwork to adopt or cannot fund the whole cost, please consider donating to the General Art Restoration Fund.

Your donation will go towards the adoption of the highest priority piece. As a valued supporter of the McHenry County Historical Society & Museum, we thank you in advance for your commitment to preserving the permanent collection! For more information about the Adopt-an-Artwork Program contact Kira Stell at

How to Adopt an Artwork

  • Choose the artwork that you would like to adopt.
  • Click on the ADOPT NOW button and fill out your information
  • You will receive confirmation of your adoption.
  • An information packet will be mailed to you. This includes your adoption certificate, the condition report and treatment proposal, color prints of the artwork in its “before” state, and relevant background information on the piece.
  • Your adopted artwork will then be sent away for restoration. The curator will check in with you with an update once the piece has been restored.

Drawing of Old Courthouse, Woodstock Square, 1964

Artist Leota “Lee” Sturdy (1907-1984)
Pen & ink, color print
Gift of Audrey Walgenbach, 2006.223

ADOPTED in Memory of Norma Anderson. 

Fall landscape, 1900s

Artist George Schroeder (1886-1960)
Oil on canvas
Gift of William Stake, 1994.201

ADOPTED in Memory of Jack and Pearl Cooper.

Seascape, early 20th century

Artist Laura Kittle (1876-1965)
Watercolor on paper
Gift of Ardath Wingate, 1983.044

ADOPTED by Anonymous.

Painting of McHenry State Bank, 1966

Artist Marilyn Bacon
Oil on canvas
Gift of Tom Bolger, 2001.192

ADOPTED in Memory of Lillian Soderlund. 

Drawing of house (corner of Woodstock St. & Walkup Ave.) in Crystal Lake, 1964

Artist Robert Gray
Pen & ink, original
Gift of Bonnie Lembkey, 2006.227

ADOPTED in Memory of Brian & Stephanie Thompson. 

Winter landscape

Artist Kate Bloodgood (1854-1944)
Oil on canvas
Gift of Jo Oakley, 1988.103

ADOPTED by Susan & Kevin Zaleski.

Painting of Cold Springs Schoolhouse, 1975

Artist Ed Hammerstein (1928-1986)
Watercolor on paper
Gift of Carol Jean Smith, 2017.022

ADOPTED by Bob & Chris Frenz.

Flower Still Life, 1907

Artist Bertha Hubert (1876-1956)
Watercolor on paper
Gift of Raymond Osborn, 2001.002

ADOPTED by Pamela Moorhouse.

Autumn landscape, Buffalo Park, Algonquin, early 20th century

Artist Laura Kittle (1876-1965)
Watercolor on paper
Gift of Ardath Wingate, 1983.044

ADOPTED in Memory of Brian & Stephanie Thompson. 

Painting of Chester Goodman of McHenry, early 1900s

Artist Frederick Goodman (1876-1926)
Oil on linen canvas
Gift of Lily Banks, 1967.035

ADOPTED by Bob & Connie Murray.