Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Art Institute of Chicago

We spent my second day in Chicago at the AIC.  What a great museum!  The amount of well-known art in this place was incredible. 

We brought our lunch and sweated sat in the beautiful garden outside. 
stuff 050
The grand staircase installation by Jitish Kallat called Public Notice 3.stuff 053

After some quick looks around the first floor, we headed up to the Impressionist’s Wing.  Since my favorite period of time for art is the Impressionist and Post Impressionist, I was like a kid in a candy store running from painting to painting, gasping. 

A Sunday on La Grande Jette by Georges Seurat 
It is a giant painting!
Equestrienne by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
The Norton Simon Museum has the preliminary sketch for this in its collection.

Monet has been an overall favorite of mine for years, and the AIC is full of his paintings.  Several of the haystack series as well as the lily ponds are housed in the AIC.   

One of my favorite Van Gogh's – The Bedroom

We visited the modern art wing next.  I’m not a big fan of most modern art, but some pieces and some artist appeal to me. 
I do like some of Picasso’s earlier work like The Old Guitarist.  Henri Matisse is also a favorite of mine.  This is Daisies.

There were several pieces that I know of but don’t know too much about.  It was so interesting seeing them in person and learning a bit more about the artists.
American Gothic by Grant Wood.
The Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

I am so impressed with this museum.  Up until my visit, the Norton Simon in Pasadena and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris were the top two art museums I’ve visited due to their Impressionist’s collection.  I will have to add the Art Institute of Chicago to my list as well.

On a side note, when we left the museum I was amazed to see how many photographs I took of the art inside.  Why do I do that?  Photographs of this art is available online if I ever want to see it, and I’m certainly not going to to enlarge any of these photos to hang on the wall.  I guess it’s just because I am truly giddy when I see originals of the art that I have studied and love.  It’s silly really, but I just can’t help myself. 


  1. I went there too and loved that I recongnized so manyo fthe paintings. Made me feel so smart! We ate lunch at the museum. Super good food.

  2. @Jlo - Yes, so many great ones. You didn't mention the food in your list of "must visit" places! :)

  3. I love art museums! Too bad the summer crew (Kaish, Jonathon, Sabriah, Casey and Riley) have zero interest in going to the art musem : (. This inspired me though, so I am going to keep trying to get them to go!

  4. I almost always find an abusive relationship. Or if not actually abusive then one where the power relationship is profoundly unequal in Toulouse-Lautrec. There is a Watteau that I feel is where T-L draws a tradition. As to the rest, there is nothing much to say beyond the quicker there is a movement which causes all museum and gallery collections to be on permanent travel the better. Imagine that the collection at the Getty sat in Chicago and Chicago to NYC MYC to Dublin, Dublin to London, London to Paris Paris ..... Osaka to San Francisco.

  5. Geez, it would take me forever to walk up those stairs. I'm a very slow reader.

  6. @Becky - Yah I can imagine them not being too excited about spending their summer inside an art museum. I think most of them have children's areas. Maybe they'd like that.

  7. @Vince - Toulouse-Lautrec's subject matter so often was characters from Paris's nightlife. I'm sure that type of relationship was most common. Collections on permanent travel would be fantastic wouldn't it!

  8. @Mark - There were still three more staircases that I didn't photograph!

  9. We have the Getty's and the Pasadena museum on our summer/fall retiremtnt to do list.

  10. @Banker Chick - The Norton Simon is wonderful. Small, but full of great pieces plus a beautiful garden. The Getty is a gorgeous museum (take the archicture tour it's wonderful) but I find it lacking in the art that I enjoy.

  11. WoW! Cool paintings, cool art. I loved the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York much better than the MOMA...a bicycle wheel mounted on a stool is not museum-worthy art in my book.

    Looks like you had a great time!

  12. That's why I love the High Museum here in Atlanta. The first Saturday of every month is free for city residents with no time limit so up early and out the door and everytime is a new adventure!

  13. @Marey - Yes, great trip. We had a funny little "run in" with modern art at the AIC. As we walked through that wing, our feet ALMOST stepped on a piece of white canvas or bulap or something on the ground. It blended very well into the tile. One of the docents/guards called for us to watch out because it was a "piece". We all walked out of there shaking our heads, whatever!

    @3rdnlong - I've never been to the High, or Atlanta for that matter. It looks like a gorgeous place though. I love Free Fridays!

  14. Nice to see you made it to my beautiful city. Hope you enjoyed your stay.