Results 11-20of 36 Reviews
Madison Heights, Michigan
April 16, 2005
The only thing better than shopping all that weekend and Moonstruck's peanut butter shakes was the show that happen to be going on at the Art Institute that showed the making of Georges masterpiece. Beyond what I ever thought and could imagine, it made me fall in love with it all over again. Of course, it pleased me to death that my husband enjoyed the show and now has a newfound respect for the copy in our living room.
From journal Weekend in Chicago
April 1, 2005
I would suggest that you start on a floor and work floor by floor. The European Art is a great place to start. You can even go century by century. I would suggest seeing some of the middle-ages works and then progressing onward. It is easier to track how art forms have changed over the centuries and it makes the appreciation of the artwork more this way. Don’t miss the pictures by the French impressionists: Monet, Degas, Renoir, the lists goes on. There is nothing quite like seeing a picture that is in every history and art book up close.
I always found that the Ancient collection very interesting as well. It is great for people that may appreciate history more than art. Here there is a great combination of both. There are coins, vases, glass, jewelry, and more to look at. It describes the lives of the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and many more. It is also a welcome change for those that may not enjoy looking at paintings for hours on end.
The section of American artwork is highly impressive. With everyone from Georgia O’Keefe to Winslow Homer being honored in this section of the Art institute. Also, make sure to take a look at American Gothic, for those that don’t remember your art history it is the picture of farmer (with his pitchfork) and his wife done by Grant Wood.
The museum has an extensive contemporary art collection in as well. Here you will see everything from one red line painted across a white canvas, to photographs that have been adjusted by the artists. It is a good place to see the range that isn’t often discussed in Contemporary art. Lichtenstein, Hockney, and Warhol are just a few of the names that are hanging somewhere on the walls.
Yet, my favorite part of the Art Institute hands down is the Thorne Rooms. They are the miniature replications of a European and American rooms spanning from sixteenth century to the 1940s. There are 68 rooms in all and they are highly detailed with everything from place settings in the dining rooms to fountains in the courtyard. Personally, I could spend hours here and I suggest that it is worth a view for everyone.
In addition the museum shop is very well stocked, and there are prices and gifts for all walks of paper. There is more here than just reprints of famous paintings. There are unique gifts for everyone, I even know people that do all there Christmas shopping in this gift shop.
The Art Institute of Chicago is a fabulous art museum. It has a picture, sculpture, photograph, or suit of armor for everyone. I would strongly suggest you going to Art Institute.
From journal Windy City Spots
Buffalo, New York
March 8, 2005
From journal Chicago on a Budget
December 18, 2004
TRAVEL TIP: Because it was so late in the day, the ticket person asked us what we wanted to pay to get into the museum. We said $4, and we meant $4 each, for a total of $8. However, the ticket person charged us only the $4! So, if you arrive with less than an hour before closing, you can get in without paying full price. Just make an offer.
With our tickets in hand we went straight upstairs to the Impressionist Exhibit to see A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, a painting most people remember from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and the painting the museum is most known for. I absolutely love this painting, not just because of the scene, but because of the technique. The painting is comprised of hundreds of thousands of tiny dots (think of a dot-matrix printer). At 10 feet wide and 6 feet high, imagine the time and energy spent doing that by hand. We spent what little time we had viewing this painting and all the Impressionist paintings, such as Monet and Renoir, and more modern works, such as those of Picasso.
MUSEUM TIP: Do not use the flash to take photos. Light from the flash will fade the paintings. You can take photos without flash because there is plenty of light inside the museum.
Upon leaving the museum, we made many purchases in the gift shop, including a miniature replica of La Grande Jatte, a miniature Monet, and some postcards. Outside on the front steps, we were treated to a concert of young street performers who played buckets like drums and had quite a crowd of museum-goers putting money into their hats. They played until a cop car drove by and blared his siren at them, and the boys picked up their drums and ran across the street (where we saw them 5 minutes later dividing up the money). We guessed they didn't have a permit to perform for money on the street. What an afternoon; Ferris Bueller eat your heart out!
July 23, 2004
The Art Institute welcomes a new director this year (James Cuno) and also has changed a long-standing Chicago favorite: the Tuesday free admission day will no longer be the night they are open late. Instead, extended hours will be on Thursdays. The museum is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 10:30am to 4:30pm weekdays and 10:30am to 5pm on weekends. The Art Institute has a "suggested admission" policy, which means "Pay what you wish but you must pay something." Adults suggested admission has been raised to $12.
The Art Institute is located on the west side of Grant Park in the heart of Downtown. From the main entrance on Michigan Avenue, you are presented with several choices of directions. The museum is basically shaped like a giant "E". To your right, as you enter, is the Museum Shop, an extensive and high quality gift shop (for which you can also shop via Internet). However, all exhibits are beyond the entry desk, either up the Grand Staircase or beyond it.
Downstairs, there is the Garden Restaurant, which is good although a little pricey (as most museum cafés tend to be), the Textiles hall, an extensive paperweight collection (I love this gallery - I find glass working fascinating), European Decorative Arts, Architecture, Photography, and various classroom/workshop spaces. I have not been through these rooms as much, but there are some very nice pieces here. (You’d think that somebody who loves photography as much as I do would have, at least, seen the Photography gallery!)
On the entry level, close to the entrance, you will find the African and Ancient American galleries, Contemporary Art, and the Oriental galleries (Chinese, Japanese and Korean). To reach the Sculpture Court, American, Indian/Southeast Asian, and Ancient (Egyptian/Greek/Etruscan/Roman) galleries, you walk through the Arms and Armor exhibit. I love the AI's Arms & Armor exhibit - it's probably my favorite part of the museum. There is a fairly sizeable collection, with one of their most noteworthy pieces being a set of ornate Italian inlaid armor.
Upstairs, you can find their extensive European, Impressionism/post-Impressionism, and Modern galleries, as well as their Special Exhibitions hall, which plays hosts to several major exhibitions per year. In fact, the AI is often the solitary American stop on some major art tours. Some past exhibits the Art Institute has hosted have included Monet and the Sea, a Rembrandt perspective, Van Gogh and Gauguin, and Chinese arts.
The best times to go for a visit are weekdays afternoons, when the school tours have gone for the day and you'll find the museum is a bit quieter. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for your visit - there is lots of wonderful art to be explored!
From journal Playing Tourist at Home in Chicago
June 26, 2004
Among the most famous works of art in the Art Institute's collections are the first that you will encounter on your visit. The pair of bronze lions standing guard at the main entrance to the museum on Michigan Avenue was unveiled on May 10, 1894 and was adopted almost instantaneously by Chicagoans as a proud symbol of the city's most prestigious art museum. Over the years the lions have come to symbolize the strength of the city, appearing on guidebook covers and tour maps.
Lions as guardians have an ancient history. The fierceness, strength, and grace of the regal animal led people in early history to adopt it as a symbol of royalty and guardianship. The Lion Gate at Mycenae (1300 BC), the parade of lions on the walls of Babylon (6th Cent. BC), and Emperor Asoka's lion columns in India (240 BC) are only a few examples. The Art Institute lions follow that famous tradition.
The lions that guard the entrance today were derived from two lions that were previously sculpted for the Palace of Fine Arts at the World's Columbian Exposition. The lion that watchfully stands on the north side of the entrance with his tail arched in attention is said to be "On the Prowl", while the other big cat that guards the south side of the museum was christened "Defiance" .
Their creator Edward Kemys was a self taught sculptor who was the most famous of the 19th-century school of animal sculptors. His artistic philosophy was to shun any sculpture that needed a professor to explain it.
I am certain that the artist would approve all the years of attention that the lion pair has had. Countless hands have rubbed away the patina on their tails and millions of photos have been taken by tourists and residents alike take standing beside these icons. They have there own special annual winter ceremonial day when the "Wreathing of the Lions" announces that the Christmas season in Chicago has officially begun. The Holiday lights can then be lit and shopping begins in earnest!
Way back in 1986, these lions where the first to celebrate the Bear’s Super Bowl victory by proudly donning custom made blue and orange team helmets. And more recently, when the entrance portico was under going reconstruction in 2000 the lions were one by one gingerly, carefully relocated to the North Garden by a specialized crew. For the duration of the renovation of their side of the entry, the bronze creatures lived in their own patina dens like their real cousins and being treated just like the celebrities that they are to Chicagoans.
From journal The Art Institute of Chicago "Behind the Lions”
June 25, 2004
There is a special golden room in my heart for the Art Institute of Chicago. It is the first building that I remember loving besides my own little home. I loved it so much that at age 9, while my mother thought that I was off bike-riding on summer afternoons, I frequently hopped a bus riding downtown to the museum. I spent many a hot, clandestine day wandering the cool, marble corridors, totally in love with the architecture as well as the art it contained.
An article in the Chicago Tribune, October, 1890 said that after the Columbian Exposition, Chicago will be the "Paris of America". Chicago & its citizen’s wanted & deserved a museum equal to their ambition to build one of the world’s leading cities.
Over a hundred yeas later, AIC is possibly Chicago’s most popular tourist attraction. Constructed in 1893, the planners of the World’s Columbian Exposition hoped that the structure would become the final repository for the treasures exhibited in the Palace of Arts in Jackson Park’s main fairgrounds. Immediately evident is the Beaux-Arts styled pale grey stonework influence by that "White City", forever linking it to the most flamboyant of cultural events ever staged.
At the beginning, the museum’s collection was not of overwhelming quality, & contained plaster cast reproductions of art as was common in European museums in the nineteenth century. But in the 1920’s the luck of the Art Institute would begin to change dramatically.
Bertha Honoré Palmer, was a prominent socialite serving on the board of the Columbian exposition. She was also close friend of Mary Cassatt & became an ardent champion of Impressionism, collecting works by Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas & many others. She donated fifty-two paintings from her collection in 1922. This group of art treasures, now known as the Potter Palmer Collection, named after her equally famous husband, is universally acknowledge as the foremost & largest installation of Impressionist paintings in the world outside of France.
ASIDE: Bertha Potter Palmer is the only American woman immortalized by August Rodin. The marble bust-sculpture of the American beauty can be appreciated at the Musée Rodin in Paris.
Following Mrs. Palmer's lead & NOT to be out done by a woman, Martin Ryerson, a millionaire and close friend of Monet, donated perhaps the most important collection of European & American paintings, prints, drawings, Asian art, and European decorative arts. Many more extraordinary bequests followed: Japanese Woodblock Prints by Kate & Clarence Buckingham (the brother & sister millionaires of Bucking Fountain Fame), countless ceramics, Chinese bronzes, Japanese & Chinese paintings were generously endowed to the museum by individuals establishing a dazzling Asian Arts collection.
The cherry on the sundae came in 1926 when Henry Clay Bartlett donated Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte . It is widely considered one of the greatest paintings of the nineteenth century & has been the best known painting in the museum’s collection to this day.
November 17, 2003
Background: Liz had just gotten back from a visit to Germany and had done almost all of her clothes shopping at H+M, which she described as Germany's answer to Old Navy. So for nostalgia's sake, she demanded that we find Chicago's local H+M.
We finally found it, located on the opposite street corner from the Hancock Tower. We had expected a small place, but we were a bit mistaken. It spans three floors, each floor being more massive than many full retail operations here in Indianapolis.
The first floor was all women's clothing, spanning a broad range of styles. Everything from suburban chic to alternative and punk stylings could be found on their racks. Liz was acting like a kid in a candy store, trying to choose between four different scarves (she eventually bought all of them since the were remarkably inexpensive), a plethora of shoulder bags and purses, and about six different color variations of the same pleather miniskirt with faux bondage belt and metal bindings. When we finally made it upstairs so I could do some shopping of my own, I realized I couldn't make fun of her anymore--I was acting just the same. I found all kinds of shirts, sweaters, scarves, hats, and coats that were just my style (believe it or not, they even had an entire wall of winter attire in nothing but shades of black, white, and grey, the only colors I really wear). Everything was remarkably priced as well! Examples: soft wool tartan print scarf in shades of grey for $8, German military style sweater for $24, black short sleeve dress shirt with johnny collar for $19, and a three-quarters length soft wool overcoat with silk lining for $78 (it would have cost two or three times that elsewhere).
Liz really hit it on the head when she likened H+M to Old Navy, except I'll add that they have better quality clothes, they're far less tacky (both the store AND the clothes), greater range of styles, and they're more affordable.
It really was an incredible find to run across this store. Unfortunately, it's the kind of place I want to go back to again and again, which means many more roadtrips! I'm glad the clothes aren't expensive, because the gas will be!
From journal Chicago Roadtripping
November 2, 2003
Manet's seascapes, ranging from 1864 to shortly before his death in 1883, are a little-studied subject of the artist who sometimes is referred to as the father of Impressionism. The links between Manet and his immediate predecessors and contemporaries such as Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, James McNeill Whistler, Gustave Gourbet, Eugene Delacroix, and others are examined.
To truly understand the exhibit, I suggest you get the audio tour for $6. There are several walls of the exhibit that have paintings from three artists, such as Monet, Manet, and Whistler, all on the same subject. The audio tour explains which of these painters painted it first, how the other two painters were influenced, and the differences between their styles are identified.
One interesting fact about the subjects Manet chose for his paintings, was that he occasionally painted modern events. In 1864 he created a painting about an American Civil War naval battle that took place off the coast of France, The Battle of the U.S.S "Kearsarge" and the C.S.S. "Alabama". He used his imagination, since he was not present at the battle, to create the scene. Within one month from the event happening, and not even history yet, the painting was on display for people to see.
Towards the end of the exhibit is a large room with paintings only on one curved wall. On this wall are nine paintings of waves from various artists. Works from Renoir, Monet, Manet, and others are included. The exhibit is very large and takes about an hour to go through. We went on a Saturday morning at 10am when the general museum opened, and it was very crowded.
Several products related to the exhibition are available in the gift shop, including postcards, a Manet and the Sea exhibition catalogue, ornaments and an umbrella with one of the paintings, and much more.
Special Viewing Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday:10:30am-4:15pm
Saturday, Sunday: 9am-4:45pm
Closed: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
$5 for members and School of the Art Institute students
$6 for the public
Philadelphia Museum of Art
February 15-May 30, 2004
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
June 18-September 26, 2004
From journal Chicago: Museum Exhibits during the Fall of 2003
The curator's notes on the wall explained that all aircraft (and anything else that moves against wind such as trucks, cars, trains, etc.) are all tested in a wind tunnel to ensure that the design is geared for high performance. To test, they make a scaled-down version of the aircraft and run all sorts of tests on it. This exhibit is comprised of several of these models.
A wide variety of aircraft and space shuttles throughout the past 100 years are on display. The Wright brothers first took off in flight on December 17, 1903, and this exhibit commemorates that event. Even the Wright Brothers used a wind tunnel to test their plane before they attempted to take flight.
Objects included in the exhibition are from NASA and its predecessor, NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which was founded in 1915. Created out of that agency at the beginning of the space race in 1958, NASA, according to the Art Instutite, "has a wealth of often un-exhibited and unpublished artifacts that not only document technological advances in flight over the past century but are also aesthetically striking."
No photographs of this special exhibit are permitted. Unfortunately, there are not postcards or items from this exhibit for sale in the gift shop either.