Friday, March 18, 2011

Chicago - What a delight!

I am visiting Chicago for the first time in my life.  I came here because my niece was having a baby and never gave a thought to much of anything else but Chicago turned out to be a delightful city.  Of course, I knew about the Art Institute of Chicago, and was planning several trips to see their world renowned Impressionists collection.  I just wasn't prepared for all the other wonderful prospects Chicago had to offer.

On my second day, I left the apartment with the intention of going for a walk for an hour and half an hour later, ended up finding myself on the steps of the Art Institute... surprise, surprise...

First, I joined the museum so I could come and go as I pleased.  Then I went in with the intention of just taking a quick peek at their Impressionist collection.

When I walked up those steps and sighted Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day for the first time, I nearly lost my mind.  It was so much more than what I had expected.  I am not sure if it was the size, which was bigger than I expected, or the placement within the gallery, which was the first wall in front as you entered... whatever it was, I was enchanted.

Art Institute of Chicago

As I walked thorough the first gallery, it felt like walking within the pages of my art history text book.  All of the paintings we are studying were hanging on the walls in front of me to be devoured.  They were so real, so radiant with an indescribable luminosity...  just stunning.

After the first shock was over, I was like a kid in a candy shop, running from one painting to another, trying to absorb as much as I possibly could within a limited time.  There was always something to get excited about.  I ended up going around all of the galleries with Impressionist and European art before 1900.  I had to drag myself out of there knowing I would be back very very soon.

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
(312) 443-3600

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