Friday, 25 September 2009


Ten years ago, my trip to Chicago was planned around visiting the Art Institute of Chicago. Well, ten years ago I actually planned my trips, bought a guide book, wrote an itinerary, did this in the morning, ate lunch here, did that in the afternoon, ate dinner there, occasionally went to the cinema in the evening. (Actually, Chicago is the only place that I have ever stolen a movie! I am generally a very law-abiding citizen but I went to the cinema and saw The Mod Squad. It was so woeful that as I was leaving I saw that Forces of Nature was about to start in another theatre so I just walked right in and watched that one too. Slightly less woeful and I don't mind a bit of Ben Affleck.)

Anyway, Art Institute of Chicago, Oak Park to see the Frank Lloyd Wright studio and homes, somewhere down south to visit another FLW house - it was a packed few days back then. It wasn't until a few years later that I realised that Chicago was on a lake.

Needless to say, this visit has included a couple of visits to the Art Institute but in quite a different, meandering, 'come away from the fountain!' kind of way. I was trying to do some stuff that I wanted to and still engage little miss bear so we looked at the miniatures collection (well, eight of the fifty odd before attention span ran out), visited the education centre, read picture books and took a bit of a stroll through the galleries. Can't resist including this one:

When I was last in Chicago this painting was not on display because it was away on loan as part of another exhibition. That exhibition was actually at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (where I also stayed on that visit) but had not yet opened. So I didn't see it that time. It's always good to have something to go back for.

And I have something to go back for again now. I had been wanting to revisit Chicago for the past few years because I understood that they had some items in their textiles collection made from fifteenth century brocades, which is just the sort of stuff that I love. Due to the construction of the recently completed modern wing, the entire textiles collection has been packed away to protect it from dust and debris. So Chicago is back on my travel list. I have managed to walk along the lakefront a couple of times this visit - next time I might even get out on a boat.

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