Chicago was Leslie Ragan's first poster for the New York Central Lines, the railroad for which he would produce many of his iconic Art Deco images. With its great depth and combination of shadowy and luminous areas, this timeless view of Michigan Avenue skyscrapers under a towering thunderhead contains all the romance and grandeur of Ragan's mature style.
A product of the rural heartland, the Iowa-born Ragan was heavily influenced by the traditional American illustrative tradition of N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. Nonetheless he warmly embraced the skyscrapers of Chicago and New York as symbols of American progress. In Chicago, the City of the Big Shoulders is reborn as a Midwestern Athens.