Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
November 2, 2003
The Artful Teapot is split into four sections demonstrating how the everyday teapot can be transformed into a work of art. The teapot's basic components, the body, handle, lid, and spout, are interpreted in wildly imaginative variations. Expect to see teapots of animals, houses, scenes, dragons, and even Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.
In the "Aesthetic Variables" section, which you enter as the first part of the exhibit, the 20th century's most important artists, designers, and architects have been beguiled by the teapot. While some have focused on its shape and design, others have sought to increase its efficiency. Many teapots and tea sets are lavishly decorated with colorful glazes or constructed using novel and eccentric materials.
The teapot is artfully disguised in the "Illusion and Allusion" section. Teapots and tea services are fashioned to resemble famous people, imaginary characters, and a menagerie of creatures. One of my favorites is called Invisible Support by Sergei Isupov, which features a man's face with several other faces painted all over it, and the head is being supported by four feet from underneath.
The "Rendezvous with Ritual" section touches on the sociable ceremonies of tea-drinking. Once people started traveling, they began taking their teapots with them. This led to teapots in the shape of trains, planes, and automobiles, as well as practically designed teapots such as the "cube."
"Tea for Art's Sake" examines the artistic license of pieces where the teapot form is employed strictly for aesthetic potential. These teapots are not functional in any way. There is even one made entirely from rock salt.
With such a wide variety of unique and creative teapots, it is hard to pick out favorites! As we walked through the exhibit, each teapot invoked various emotions. Some were cute, some made me chuckle, while others left me scratching my head wondering what the artist was trying to convey. One I really liked is called I'm a Little Teapot and was created by Cheryl Frances. Picture a traditional sterling-silver teapot with a silver baby doll on the inside. Her arms and legs protrude out the front of the teapot, while her head pops out the top and the lid is her hat.
Most of the teapots are wide open and not in display cases. This allows visitors to get a good look at the teapot and materials used by the artist. There are "DO NOT TOUCH" signs posted everywhere. Also, photos are not allowed. If children are with you, pick up a family guide outside the door. There are activities for them like finding which teapot matches teapot parts printed and other games.
Mint Museum of Craft + Design
Charlotte, North Carolina
February 15-May 30, 2004
From journal Chicago: Museum Exhibits during the Fall of 2003
March 17, 2003
The Beaux-Arts-style landmark, which calls itself the "Architectural Showplace for the Lively and Visual Arts," does live up to its billing as a cultural center. While I would not rate it as highly as the great Pompidou Centre in Paris, I do enjoy dropping in and seeing what is going on. There are many programs held throughout the year, ranging from classical concerts, theater, and dance to films, lectures, and art and photography exhibits. Most of these programs are free, great for visitors and locals alike.
Opening as the Chicago Public Library in 1897, the building was designed by the architectural firm of Shepley Rutan & Coolidge. It is interesting to take an elevator to one of the upper levels and walk down, passing through the building's many beautiful spaces. Tiffany lamps, ornate mosaics, inscriptions in 10 languages, and the names of great writers embellish the grand Preston Bradley Hall, topped by perhaps the world’s largest Tiffany dome. Another glorious set of interiors is the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Rotunda and Memorial Hall. A stunning glass dome, by the studio of Healy and Millet, caps the Rotunda; its floor is a unique combination of glass block embedded in a mosaic tile floor. The Memorial Hall features coffered ceilings, marble walls depicting Civil War motifs, and windows with great views of Grant Park.
Other grand spaces include the Italian Renaissance-influenced Sidney R. Yates Gallery and the Greek-themed Exhibit Hall, which was formerly the library's reading room. The Landmark Chicago Gallery, on the first floor, displays interesting black-and-white photos of old Chicago landmarks and building remnants.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications is located here, with an emphasis on old radio programs and local Chicago television personalities. There is a souvenir store, along with the Shop at the Cultural Center (with Chicago-themed gifts), elsewhere on the main level. The first floor also houses a small Corner Bakery outlet.
The Chicago Cultural Center is open every day except holidays, with surprisingly late hours during the weekdays.
From journal Bill at home in CHICAGO - Activities
December 13, 2001
From journal The non-trite Chicago Guide