Monday, July 19, 2010


The Shedd Aquarium was wonderful. But the Art Institute was a dream! Here, in Cincinnati, we can count on seeing one Van Gogh, one Monet, one Cezanne, get the idea. But in Chicago you see 7 or 8 of the same artist all in the same room and you just stand and stare and realize what history you are looking at, remember things about their lives, etc.

Here are some of my favorites in the Galleries of American Art (Impressionists to come later):

We entered a side room and saw a crowd of people sitting and standing around this painting, Grant Wood's American Gothic. It is not a large painting - maybe 11 x 15 or so, not counting the frame. (I had to stand to the side to get a photo without glare). But it's definitely impressive and humorous and caught the public's eyes.

We found the same thing - a small crowd standing and looking - around Edward Hopper's Nighthawks (a large painting - didn't get a photo but you know the won of the people at the bar counter late at night).

Mary Cassatt's The Child's Bath was stunning. Such clean, beautiful, touchable skin on that child!

John Singer Sargent's paintings drew me to them for his glorious use of the light! I took photos of The Fountain, Villa Torlonia and Portrait of (?) Deering.

The light shines, glows, gistens and glimmers in his paintings. There was one painting I stood in front of for a long time - I didn't take a photo, though. It was so dark...dark hints of people in the far background, all women working in glass and the glass was white - pure stripes of the brush created panes of white glass laid aside while in their hands were smaller stripes of white. It pulled you around and through and the white standing out against all those darks really was something to see.

And then there were the Georgia O'Keeffes!!!

Through her friendship with then Director of the Art Institute, Daniel Catton Rich, Ms. O'Keeffe gave a major portion of Alfred Stieglitz' collection to the Institute when Stieglitz died. She also added to the collection with her own holdings. They can be found in Galleries 271 and 265 and on the wall, a huge painting of sky and clouds (which took her weeks of full days to paint) can be found. Overwhelming to think of the size!

But most of the paintings were small - about 11 x 15 or smaller, not counting the frame. There was an intimate feeling to them as you stood looking at many of them.

Enough for now - later, the Impressionists!


Ginny Stiles said...

Oh wonderful to see these images again. I grew up on the NW side of Chicago (Des Plaines) and so was privileged to visit this museum often. In fact I was so spoiled that I thought ALL big city museums were like that one! Imagine my surprise! I always stopped at the Rembrandts first. I'd forgotten how big O'Keefe's clouds and sky were! I am assuming you took photos there? I am amazed they let you do that. There is a whole room full of icons too. Fascinating. Chicago seems a ways from Kentucky. Do you stay with friends? Or at a hotel?

laura said...

What a great trip. I esp. love the O'Keeffe's you've selected. For many years I had a print of Woods' Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere hanging over my dining room table--I still love that painting.

Vicki Greene said...

Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

RHCarpenter said...

Ginny, I can see how you'd be disappointed that all museums are not like this one - it's huge and so full of art to see you could easily spend a whole weekend looking. My Sweetie has relatives in the suburbs so we drove into the city to see the sights. You are allowed to take photos - just not flash photos or use tripods.
I did enjoy seeing these OKeeffe's Laura - I've been to the OKeeffe Museum in New Mexico and this was a treat to see some I'd never seen before. Love the leaves and daisy! It just jumped off the canvas at you.
You're welcome, Vicki - thanks for checking out the paintings :)

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

John Singer Sargent! JOHN SINGER SARGENT!!! I'm so envious right now Rhon! It's great to be able to see them through your eyes, thanks for sharing the experience! so amazing

RHCarpenter said...

I know, Teresa, you would have LOVED it! Someday, Madrid and your art museum and the Sorolla museum...someday...