Chicago Portage, 65 H x 68 W

Embroidery and heat transfers on satin, velvet and brocade, stitched.

The story of Marquette and Joliet's historic 1673 exploration of Wisconsin and Illinois, is embroidered and surrounds early Lake Michigan maps.  The French explorers used a faster way for the return part of their journey to the northern part of Lake Michigan.  They carried the canoes across a portage from the Des Plaines River to the Chicago River and returned via Lake Michigan, instead of paddling up the Mississippi to the Wisconsin River, and portaging to the Fox. The outer embroidery is from Joliet's journal.

Il n'y auroit qu'une seignee a faire, coupant demye lieue de prairie seulement, pour entrer du fond du lac des Ilinois dans la riviere de St. Louis
(It would only be necessary to make a canal, by cutting through but half a league of prairie, to pass from the foot of the lake of the Illinois to the river Saint Louis.)

Chicago Portage historical info link (external link)