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Swami's View

Friday, July 29, 2022

Art Institute of Chicago


I have to say that after my trip, I am extremely embarrassed that I have never before visited the Art Institute of Chicago. It is one of the greatest museums in the world, on par with, if not exceeding the Met, Musee D'Orsay or the Rijksmuseum in my personal opinion.

So many phenomenal works of art, in the fields of impressionism, regionalism, western, antiquities and antiques. 

Great asian, American Indian, craftsman, secessionist, abstraction, just a murderers row of Monets, Renoirs, Van Goghs, Sargents and the like. 

I took so many pictures that I would bore you and don't have room to show them all but will share a couple photographs with you.

Hopper's Nighthawks, one of my personal favorites.

I last saw Grant Wood's American Gothic at a traveling show at the Whitney Museum of the West in Cody, Wyoming, several decades ago.

A startling piece of American art history, always a thrill.
Thomas Hart Benton.


I wasn't familiar with the artist Peter Blume (1906-1992) but this large regionally surrealist canvas was extraordinary.







If you get a chance to visit the museum do so. Great Tiffany window too. Wish I had room to share more photos but maybe later.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very Nice! Your photos are as amazing as the memories they inspire.

I am a life member of the Art Institute, but they see to have dropped me from their mailing list.

I guess I have moved too much.

Really… I love your photos.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Blume's painting is one that I always showed students when we were studying surrealism.
Isn't the collection great?

Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about memory lane! In my spare time at the Art Institute, when I wasn't tending to matters for the AI Film Archive, I'd wander for hours in the galleries.
Enhancing my visual education, and during the winter having those empty galleries all to myself. One morning I found myself alone with American Gothic, and couldn't help thinking what did Grant Wood use
for his painted surface?? Was there a sketch on the verso, or an inscription? Carefully, I took American Gothic from the wall, turned it around, leaned against the wall. Mundane masonite! No inscriptions,
just a very sturdy, practical Middle American panel!

Anonymous said...

Really a blast seeing again what I experienced every day for years. My office was across the street from Pizzaria Uno's and the building is no longer there. But all the restaurants you went to were our daily fare. A great eating city and I miss that so thanks for sharing. Now when we visit there, we don't get into the city. We spend our time with our kids in the burbs. It's a whole different vibe.
And the art institute? I was lucky to get a scholarship there.
C.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know about the rest of this crowd but I’ve been there many times years ago. Remember- I’m from the Midwest

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites

Anonymous said...

Robert, Thank you for sending all the pictures of your trip to Chicago, especially the ones taken at the Art Institute and of Chicago architecture. I had a big smile on my face as I scrolled through them. When I was young, I would go to the Art Institute with my mom and dad and three siblings regularly. We loved it and those trips gave me a great appreciation for Art. My biggest regret about living in California is that I am so far away from the Art Institute. Thanks for the memories, Carol

Anonymous said...

Spectacular art from the floor to the ceiling. A special, special place.

Anonymous said...

You are making me want to return to Chicago. It is a great City. I did a print fair there for over a dozen years ending probably 15 years ago.. at the Allerton Hotel right off Michigan Ave near the Hancock Bld. and the water tower.

My Historical print collectors group had a netting there about 12 years ago. Saw many fine collections in several libraries, museums and the Chicago Historical Society. They pulled out what was at the time the only known singly published view of Santa Monica 1876, for me to see. I have since found another one in a private collection in LA..

Re Chicago Art Institute. Yes one of the great museums!! Many decades ago the print curator (Mark Pascal) gave a lecture at LACMA. to the Graphic Arts Council He encouraged people
to come to the print department and look at prints in their archives if doing research,. So every year I made a point of going there and pulling something that I was particularly interesting in researching.

Hit a gold mine one time when I asked to see Guaguin having just purchased a good color woodcut. So Sam brought out a cart of solander boxes of lifetime proofs and early states pulled by him and the Kornfield Catalog. I began to realize that the Catalog raisonne was largely based on the CAI Collection.

Sam, the guy in charge of pulling things, had been there since the late 40’s. He was old. He proceeded to tell me about when they bought the collection in something like 1947. It cost around $42,500. And they had a long debate about whether to spend that much on one collection. One of those proofs is is worth way more that that now

We always went to Greek town for a group dinner. Also the name of the cafe. Lots of food for cheap. We alway walked back to walk off the food.

One year I took a bus out to Oak Park to see Frank Lloyd Wright's House.

RG

Anonymous said...

Love the photos from the Art Institute. I spend 13 years there on a scholarship starting at age 10. All those amazing paintings that brought back wonderful memories for me..
thanks Robert for the great post!

DE

Bethany said...

A favorite to visit whenever we are in Chicago. The temporary exhibits are also a diverse treat. Beautiful photos, Rob

Ken Seals said...

Wow, thanks!