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SAIC Time Machine

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Marion M. Mullin’s 1940s scrapbook

by Shannon Torii
All images courtesy of Kathy Mikutis

[slideshow id=time-machine]

The grades on Marion M. Mullsin’s SAIC report cards were handwritten in careful cursive with black ink.

Her acceptance letters from SAIC and the University of Chicago, her class schedules, ceremonial memorabilia, memos, news clippings, photographs, and watercolors were neatly secured on the black pages of her scrapbook, but the glue keeping order in the book is aged and memories are beginning to fall out.

She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1942 with a degree in Art Education. Eleven years after her death, her records, which she collected in a scrapbook, were sold to Kathy Mikutis for two dollars at a Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in the corner of a strip mall in Wood Dale, Illinois. Forty to fifty of her paintings were sold at auctions in Chicago and eBay for around seventy-five dollars each.

Mullins taught art at parochial schools for many years. She died on Friday, March 13, 1998, at the age of 78 after being ill for several months.

Kevin Daniel has one of Mullin’s paintings. It’s a watercolor and gouache painting of a woman holding herbs, walking alongside a farmhouse on an overcast day. He was surprised at the survival of Marion’s scrapbook. “I really enjoy including personal information in my biographies [that accompany the paintings],” Daniel said. “That is the stuff that never gets preserved.”

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