Nothing captures the artistic spirit of an era like a historic home. Through a coherent assemblage of architectural elements, furniture, and decor, you can get an absolute understanding of a period’s design principles. I recently visited the Driehaus Museum in Chicago which presents within its luxurious rooms the evolving American decorative arts of the Gilded Age. This mansion is also a startlingly beautiful oasis in the modern business center of Chicago and definitely worth a visit!
Posts tagged ‘Chicago’
We sometimes forget that beautiful works of art may have been created with ulterior motives. Think of a pharaoh using a heroic frieze to solidify his power, an elegant Renaissance chapel donated to erase the sins of the patron, or a lovely oil portrait sent to encourage a royal marriage. Sometimes the circumstances behind the message change and the image must be adjusted. I notice one such major revision in Chicago and was surprised to hear about some political turmoil that led to the defacement of a glorious royal sculpture.
On November 11th, the Art Institute of Chicago opens its Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art. I have to give the AIC a lot of credit for the best museum construction sign ever! I saw this while visiting in August:
Greek art, get it?
Anyways, these galleries sit awkwardly in the hallway to the Chagall windows making it a difficult space for a curator to work with. The remodeling construction this summer consisted of numerous, single item sized, free standing display cases. From the few mockup images I’ve seen, the galleries will be a lot less crowded and more focused. (Click here for a panorama of one of the former Roman galleries). I presume fewer items will be displayed making for a more focused collection. If anyone stops soon, I’d appreciate a report back on the new space!
I posted not too long ago about Stikmen popping up near Boston, so I was on the look out for them in Chicago. I didn’t find any of the road decals but I did find one of the original stick figures. The Art Institute of Chicago sits on Michigan Avenue with the front steps looking down S Adams Ave. As you cross Michigan, literally a few yards from the Chicago Art Institute, there is a Stikman glued to a street light utility box and painted for camouflage. Thousands of people walk this way every day to enter the Museum. I wonder how many noticed the Stikman? I wonder how long he’s been there?