Last Thursday, at an upstairs party room at Harry Caray's restaurant in downtown Chicago, the Thomas Kinkade Studios unveiled a portrait of Wrigley Field, completed in the style of the late artist (Thomas Kinkade passed away two years ago, in April 2012). The artist's brother, Pat, has taken on some of Thomas' work, and this one was specifically commissioned by MLB:
"We are exceptionally proud to have been chosen by Major League Baseball to create a piece of art on such an iconic place in baseball history," said Pat Kinkade. "We celebrate this great ballpark and the great traditions of yesterday; traditions that are our very roots, and which remind us of all that is great about our lives. It’s those memories that enable us to dare to dream, and risk new and better tomorrows. Baseball is a part of our past reminding us of all that was once good and could be again."
The painting, which you can see above, depicts Wrigley Field as it might have looked on Opening Day 1939, as the Cubs began the defense of their previous year's National League pennant. How do we know this? Because there are a number of Easter eggs in the painting, including a car (lower left in the image above) that bears a license plate that says "ILLINOIS 39", with the plate number "88 1988", commemorating another event in Wrigley history (the first night game).
The marquee is shown in its original aqua-blue color (it was painted red in 1965), and there are a number of other nice detailed touches in the painting that truly capture the historic flavor of Wrigley, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
You can buy this painting in several different formats, ranging from a $29 poster (22 x 28 inches) to a matted "limited edition" artwork for $600. It's available at three local galleries/art stores: European Imports, 7900 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, Flax Art & Framing, 32 E. Adams Street, Chicago and Masterpiece Framing, 109 S. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, or online at this link.
I think I'm going to get one of those posters, for sure. It's pretty cool.