Thursday, July 3, 2008

Art Institute of Chicago

Recently, my husband and I vacationed in Illinois, and #1 on my list of places to see while we were in Chicago was the Art Institute. It was at the top of the "10 Best" website of things to do and see while in the area, so I was adamant that my husband and I stop there to spend some time.
The Art Institute of Chicago (featured in the movie Ferris Buller's Day Off) is home to some of the worlds most famous artists and paintings. I have never seen so many Renoir's, Gauguin's, Picasso's, Degas, Van Gogh's, Monet's, Manet's, Seurat's, and Dali's in my life! It was like an endless labyrinth of famous paintings all stacked one on top of the other, and it never seemed to end. The admission price was surprisingly reasonable, and actually quite affordable with my student i.d. I only wish that we had more time (and energy) to peruse all the galleries.

The Art Institute features something for every artistic palate: impressionists, realists, romantics, abstracts as well as a variety of sculptures, architecture and modern artwork. I personally tend towards the French Impressionists, and found myself inexplicably drawn to one piece in particular, "Resting" by Antonio Mancini (pictured below). It was soft and sensual and something I might put on display in a private guest bedroom. My husbands favorite piece was the famous, "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte" by Georges Seurat (pictured above), which is actually quite large and must be seen up close to truly appreciate.The other galleries that I absolutely loved were home to some incredible 14th and 15th Century paintings, most of which were in pristine condition. I loved the detailed renderings of the biblical characters and events: the Virgin Mary, baby Jesus, prophets, angels and of course Christ's Crucifiction. Even the frames were exquisitely ornate and magnificent. It is amazing to me that those paintings have been so well-preserved over the years, and I am so grateful for the dedication and love that went into each piece. If you ever happen to be in the Chicago area, I definitely recommend a trip to the world famous Art Institute. Happy viewing!


Lindsey said...

You are so well-rounded! The Megan I remember was all about dancing and boys. Actually, at the time we hung out that was all I was about so that is probably why I remember those characteristics.

Marie said...

Megan, I am so glad that you loved the Art Institute. My parents lived in Chicago for 6 years while my dad was finishing his Ph.D. and they both fell in love with this place. I was raised on the Impressionists, and Mom always said it is the best place in the country (and maybe the world) to see that kind of collection. I love Chicago!

Cristy said...

I'm so jealous! I would love to see the paintings, especially those from the 14th and 15th century. I hope I get the chance someday!