Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Visiting the Art Institute, Chicago

AI LionMy first day visiting Lady Redjeep, I hoped to catch a poetry reading at Northwestern, so I stayed in Evanston, rather than going downtown - though that only resulted in blisters on my feet, and the knowledge that despite a good sense of direction, a map is a good idea. I did see the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, which did contain some beautiful items, in a somewhat haphazard way. Their visiting exhibit was sponsored by the Canadian Consulate. It contained many prints by Bill Reid, which were variously identified as 'Tshimsham' or 'Haida' rather than Bill Reid (and if they wanted to list his affiliation they could have been consistent and accurate by identifying him as Haida). It seemed odd to me - his art is on our currency and he is quite well-known in Canada. But I did enjoy the art from the southwest, with which I am not really familiar. The Kachina dolls are fascinating.

My second day, I set off for downtown on the El, to go visit the Art Institute. Apart from visiting , and generally seeing Chicago again, this was my only real goal. They have got Stanley Cup fever, though, despite being an Original Six town, it seems this is not the most popular choice of sport, and some of the support was bandwagoning*. I was really amused by the Blackhawks paraphernalia in various places.

The special exhibit was about a transformative year for Matisse (1816-1817), and was packed, but interesting. They also had a great exhibit of local printmakers educated at SAIC. I spent all day there, which is easy to do at the Art Institute. They really do have a tremendous collection. There were things I recalled from visiting in my teens, like the Georgia O'Keefe paintings, and the miniatures, which I had forgotten until I saw them again. I had to skip some of their collection as there are so many hours in a day.

I walked around a little bit, but then got back on the El, to get back to Evanston and meet Lady Redjeep for dinner and movie.

I like the concept of the elevated 'subway', even if it is loud. It gives you a really unique view of the city, without interfering too much with traffic.

Millennium ParkEl loop
river from ElDowntown from El
Chicago, Memorial Day Parade

*Yes, that is a verb. I say so.

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