Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Morning at the Museum

Art on a rainy morning, what could be better? While in Chicago, I had a morning free to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. A wonderful place! The first major art museum I've visited since returning back to the US. I enjoyed the opportunity to see some new works of some of the painters I came to appreciate while in Europe, and learn more about American artists as well. The museum allows photos too - a very happy day for me!! My experience of art is always deepened if I can capture it with my camera.

Since I had limited time and I know what periods of art I like, I focused my visit on specific areas. American Modern Art (1900-1950), European Modern Art (1900-1950), and Contemporary Art (1945-1960). I also popped through Contemporary Art (1960 and later), Architecture and Design (special exhibit on Bertrand Goldberg), and Photography (although they were resetting the photography exhibit and most of it wasn't open - sad!).

As always, I was drawn to abstracts with bright colors. Paintings that highlight gradations and transitions between color in unusual ways attract me. A new find this trip was German painter Franz Marc, I loved this painting called The Bewitched Mill. Very much like my favorite Italian Futurists of a similar time. I am always drawn to the art of 1900-1920 or so.

I just loved his use of color! Isn't it gorgeous?

It was also fabulous to see more of Georgia O'Keefe's work in the American section, she has a style that has always appealed to me. I was pleasantly surprised by how large the museum's Impressionist collection was! It was great to see more of Monet's water lilies, and Cezanne's still lifes, among many others. I also very much enjoyed seeing these two paintings by Mary Cassatt. I've seen them before in texts but they are beautiful in person. She had such an amazing way of portraying everyday moments.

I left the museum refreshed and inspired. There is something about art, specifically painting, that just speaks to my soul. What a wonderful opportunity to connect with this again!

Emily, this last one is just for you. (Bueller... ? Bueller... ?)

PS - Lightroom 3 Update: I edited all of these in Lightroom this morning! I've had absolutely no instruction (books are on their way!) but I'm finding it intuitive to use and in some ways much simpler than Photoshop Elements. I will keep you posted as I progress!


  1. I love that first photo - the way you set it up with the doorway - perfection.

  2. What a lovely morning you had. The first photo reminds me of the National Gallery in London where there's a vista through several galleries ending in a huge picture (can't remember what it is!). But they actually cheated and made the pillars framing the far openings slightly smaller to enhance the feeling of perspective - clever, huh!!

  3. Cassatt is one of my favorites because of her everyday-ness and focus on the lives of women and children. It's nice when the familiar is reflected in art as a universal -- you know? I'd love to do a photo project one day imitating some of her paintings :

    LR is much more intuitive that photoshop and I love the way the modules are set up -- follow them along the right-hand column and you've got a great workflow going!

  4. I am ssooooooo overdue for visiting blogs. I have been reading and writing A LOT for my art appreciation class. It's slowing me down on the fun, but all good-can you say color wheel? Absolutely!
    Missed your birthday....happiest of belated birthdays to you. I'm glad you received a special gift.
    I enjoyed these shots of the art museum and your earlier posts of Chicago-the lines and balance shot was really appealing. Reminded me of Brenda a bit.
    I love the shot looking beyond the bench through the frame to the sculpture and painting. I also like that colorful image you captured.
    I visited an art gallery here in Maine last week with my class. An hour simply wasn't enough, but enough of an intro to know where I want to go on my next visit.
    Totally jealous on the Lightroom 3. It's nowhere near my b'day, but I've been really really good this year. I may have to treat myself.
    You MUST let me know if you're coming to Maine. I would totally love to do a photowalk with you.


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