A week with my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and Grandparents in the suburbs of Chicago left me even more grateful for family, though slightly dizzy with the details of domestic bliss. So one day, after a friend’s gorgeous wedding in Freeport, I took my Aunty Cyn to Chicago’s renowned Art Institute for a day of appreciation, exploration & imagination. She’s an art teacher herself, so I was lucky enough to get schooled on several of the pieces. A monster of an art space, the Institute isn’t something you could properly peruse in a matter of hours. Here’s a ‘lil slideshow of some personal highlights . . .
The Modern Wing (which we definitely got a chance to check out. Spacious and cool, though not the most comfortable of cafes . . . )
On May 16, 2009, the Art Institute opened the Modern Wing, the largest expansion in the museum’s history. The 264,000-square-foot (24,500 m2) addition, designed by Renzo Piano, makes the Art Institute the second-largest museum in the US. The Modern Wing is home to the museum’s collection of early 20th-century European art, including Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Henri Matisse’s Bathers by a River, and René Magritte’s Time Transfixed. It also houses contemporary art from after 1960; new photography, video media, architecture and design galleries including original renderings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Bruce Goff; temporary exhibition space; shops and classrooms; a cafe and a restaurant, Terzo Piano, that overlooks Millennium Park from its terrace. In addition, the Nichols Bridgeway connects a sculpture garden on the roof of the new wing with the adjacent Millennium Park to the north and a courtyard designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. In 2009, the Modern Wing won a Chicago Innovation Awards.