“Knowledge and Wonder” by Kerry James Marshall (Chicago Public Library / Facebook)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has dropped plans to sell a city-owned mural by local artist Kerry James Marshall. A Nov. 15 auction was expected to bring in more than $10 million for a major makeover at a library.

A new mural at the Chicago Cultural Center honors 20 women, past and present, who contributed to the cultural life of the city. “Chicago Tonight” was on site throughout the creation of the work, the largest to date by Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall.

“Past Times,” 1997. (Courtesy of the MCA)

From his studio in Bronzeville, Kerry James Marshall creates large-scale canvases that are prized in museums around the world. A 1997 winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant, Marshall spoke with “Chicago Tonight” at the opening of his career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Twelve years ago he earned a “genius” grant for his creative vision. Since then, Kerry James Marshall has produced waves of art for an international audience, all from his cluttered studio in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood.