Cold Day Field Trip: The Art Institute of Chicago

Buddha, Tang dynasty (A.D. 618–907). Just a few steps inside the museum from the Michigan Ave entrance, this Buddha was one of the first pieces I admired today. 
Bodhisattva, Tang dynasty (A.D. 618–906). Another sculpture to welcome visitors to the Chinese art gallery.
Illuminated Page from a Buddhist Manuscript with the Buddha in Teaching (Dharmachakra) Mudra, 13th-14th century. So fragile yet in pristine condition, this manuscript caught my eye.
Base of a Cult Statue of Queen Arsinoe, B.C. 284-246. One of the featured exhibits at the museum focuses on the occupation of Ancient Egypt by various Ancient European empires. This piece highlights the collision of the Egyptian and Greek Empires.
Ancient Greek Vessel, B.C.425-400. I was fascinated with Ancient Greek pottery when I visited Athens. I was happy to see another extensive collection at the Art Institute.
Pierre-Jacques Volaire. The Eruption of Vesuvius, 1771. Did you know erupting Mount Vesuvius used to be a highly desirable attraction for tourists visiting Italy?
Vincent van Gogh. The Christmas Prayer, 1882. Van Gogh’s art is unmistakable. While I felt like I was the only person in the museum for most of the day, a small crowd seemed to always form around his artwork.
Georges Seurat. A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884, 1884–86. Those of us who own or use Macs may recognize this painting from the available stock background images. This piece was much larger in person than I was anticipating.
Daniel Chester French. Abraham Lincoln, modeled in plaster 1916, cast in bronze after 1916. I seemed to bump into Lincoln statues throughout my visit. This particular piece was may favorite of the ones I saw.
William Rush. General Andrew Jackson, 1819. “Brownie points” have to be awarded for this find. My school’s namesake, in all his glory.
Grant Wood. American Gothic, 1930. One of the most visited pieces in the museum and the product of an Iowan!
Joan Mitchell. City Landscape, 1955. I started at this piece for a few minutes and walked away as confused as I came.
Jackson Pollock. Greyed Rainbow, 1953. I can imagine Pollock creating this piece, in a fury of paint and brushstrokes.
Jackson Pollock. The Key, 1946. Every time I look at this piece a new portion resonates with me.
Kazuo Shiraga. Chikatsusei Maunkinshi (Golden Wings Brushing the Clouds Incarnated from Earthly Wide Star), 1960. For reasons I cannot fully explain, this was one of my favorite pieces I admired today.
Mark Rothko. Untitled (Purple, White, and Red), 1953. The soft stokes make this piece look blurry.
Roy Lichtenstein. Brushstroke with Spatter, 1966. I spotted this Lichtenstein from across the gallery. I remember studying the artist’s distinctive style in elementary school.
Andy Warhol. Mao, 1973. Something tells me this piece wouldn’t be approved to hang in Tiananmen. But an awesome rendition of Mao nonetheless.

With Chicago Public Schools closed for the second day in a row due to subzero temperatures, I decided to spend the day enjoying some art. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world’s premier art museums. The museum’s extensive collections, relatively cheap admission price ($17 for students), and central location in the city make it a must on any art enthusiast’s bucket list.

I spent a good 4 hours enjoying the works spanning centuries and of famed artists such as Van Gogh, Grant Wood, and Andy Warhol. Although most of the Picasso’s (The Old Guitarist in particular) were not on display due to work being done in some of the galleries, I was able to see everything else I hoped to and more. While I made the most of the chilly day, I am ready to be back at Andrew Jackson Language Academy tomorrow!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Dad says:

    Impressive! Looks like money and time well spent.


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