Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Chicago’

Gilded Age Decorative Arts: Chicago’s Driehaus Museum

front entry Driehaus Museum

Magnificant marble front entrance to the Driehaus Museum

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!

Read more

Advertisements

Royal Revisions in Assyrian Art

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.

The Khorsabad Gate, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

The Khorsabad Gate, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago (Photo: American Lady, Flickr)

Read more

Art Institute of Chicago Ancient Greek & Roman Wing Reopens – Nov 11

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:

Art Institute of Chicago Greek and Roman wing closure sign

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!

A Walk Through the Art Institute of Chicago

For all the masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago, sometimes it is good to wander slowly and find new favorite paintings.  Here’s a few works and details that jumped out at me this summer.

Caillebotte - Paris Street, Rainy Day, detail

Read more

Photo of the Week – Stikman in Chicago

stikman chicago

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?

%d bloggers like this: