Enjoy the gallery several ways:
° Take a tour any day of the week. We can customize this to meet your needs.
° Invite us to do a slideshow tour at your group's meeting.


Who is Nettie J. McKinnon?

Nettie J. McKinnon was a District 102 principal from the fall of 1929 until the spring of 1960. During that time she served both Ogden Avenue School and Oak Avenue School, which housed the 7th and 8th grade students in the Ogden attendance area. During the 1929-1930 school year 7th and 8th graders sold magazines to the community at large, and the profits from those sales were used to purchase artwork for Oak Avenue School. An historical sidelight and testament to Nettie’s perseverance is that despite the stock market crash that started the Great Depression that October, she managed to have the students sell magazines and purchase art. Her campaign was to make art available to students as an everyday part of their lives. At the time of her retirement, she and the students had gathered about 125 pieces of art.

About the Nettie  J. McKinnon Art Gallery 

The Nettie J. McKinnon Art Collection was gathered by students at Oak Avenue School in LaGrange, Illinois,  between 1929 and 1960 under the guidance of their principal, Nettie McKinnon. Children participated in fundraising efforts and had an active role in  selecting the artwork.  The collection is comprised of more than 120 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and decorative art objects, and is valued at several million dollars. The majority of the works are by American artists, among them Hudson River School painters such as John Frederick and George Aldrich and major American Impressionist painters such as Edward Henry Potthast, John Henry Twatchman and John Singer Sargent.  Work by Frederick MacMonnies represents the finest of American sculptors, and works by international artists such as Russian-American artist Nicolai Fechin. Currently  on display at Park Junior High School in LaGrange,  the collection is integrated into school curriculum and tours are provided for children, parents and the community. 

In 2003, the District 102 Board of Education signed a 25-year agreement with the newly formed SaltCreek American Art Foundation, which provides educational programs and exhibitions to increase the awareness of American art and its contributions to society.  The foundation’s goal is to collect and preserve American art for this generation and the next. The SaltCreek American Art Foundation has made the collection viewable online at

For the purposes of this assignment, we explored ways in which District 102 and SaltCreek American Art Foundation might develop a more streamlined, comprehensive, and user-friendly online representation of the Nettie J. McKinnon Art Collection. We have summarized the challenges that these and other similar institutions face when developing an online collection; we have researched platform options and visited existing online collections; and we have compiled a glossary and annotated bibliography on the subject of online collections, particularly in small public institutions.

(Information on the history of the Nettie J. McKinnon Art Collection from District 102,, and SaltCreek American Art Foundation,

Where is the McKinnon Art Gallery?

The McKinnon Art Gallery is located in the heart of Park Jr. High School. Throughout the years, various pieces of art work has been shared throughout District 102. When the Salt Creek Foundation realized some of the art pieces in our collection, and decided to work together, in partnership, to assist fund the art gallery for the students and community to enjoy. They were able to gather all the art pieces and host them all in one location.

Request a Tour

Visitors are welcome to visit the gallery with a guided tour with an appointment, prior to their visit. Those wanting to visit the art gallery must complete the form below and request a tour date. Once submitted, you will receive communication within 1-2 days.

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Members of Oak School Class of 1969 visited the McKinnon Art Gallery as part of their reunion activities.