Posts Tagged ‘Art Institute of Chicago’

Anne Sandler is our guest hostess this week, (thanks, Anne), asking us for black and white photos. I remember when there were only black and white photos (as well as film and no digital.) So I’m taking a break from watching the replay of stage 13 of the Tour de France to gather some of my favorite black and white photos. Not true; I’m doing both. 🙂

Anne asked us to talk about our post-processing but I do virtually none and have no fancy editing apps. Here’s what I told her in response to her post:

“Some were taken with an iPhone and other than cropping, sometimes adding a frame or vignette, or making them black and white, I do very little. I don’t have Lightroom, Nik or any of those things. I use Picasa (free) or Pixlr (also free.)”

One of my favorite photos is this lone grocery cart in the middle of a flooded parking area in Naperville, Illinois.

A quiet moment in the Art Institute of Chicago, rendered in black and white. I love the sweep of the staircase and the single woman making her way down.

Shell and shadow on a beach at Cape May, New Jersey.

A foggy morning in Cape May. I waited for the ghostly carriage to come careening through the mist but I waited, thankfully, in vain.

If there’d been a deer nearby, I could have had a photo of a literal deer in the headlight but it, like the coach above, never materialized.

As always, thanks so much for visiting and for commenting. The conversation makes it all worthwhile because I love to know what you think, what you like, why you like it, and what it makes you think about.

It’s Thursday again, time for Thursday Doors, brought to you this week as every week by our Norm, our Montreal doorman. Even though sick, he managed to share a unique door today. Thanks for your resolve, Norm, and feel better soon.

This the last of my doors and drawers from our pre-Christmas visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. There’s a variety of shapes and styles, so something should appeal to everyone. Which is your favorite?

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for One Word Sunday: Culture

I promised that we’d complete our walk through the Beyond Bauhaus weaving exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, so let’s get going. (Here’s the link to the prior post if you missed it.) There are some very fine (as opposed to coarse) weavings as well as another one of the ones that remind me of a waterfall. You’re welcome to stop and look whenever you like. Except for the last one, these depend not so much on color as on texture and shadow.

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Last week’s doors and drawers from the Art Institute of Chicago were on the simple yet beautiful side. This week we’re going upscale and fancy. In both cases, the workmanship is quite something. (These days, do I have to say “workpersonship?”) You also have to have a large room for any one of these pieces.

for Thursday Doors

While my daughter and I wandered through the Art Institute of Chicago recently, I was on the lookout for doors and I found lots of them. I offer them for you today, especially for Norm and Dan as well as any other woodworkers.

I’ll be on the road or in Philadelphia until Tuesday, taking a last load of our daughter’s things to her before we move, so I don’t know how much I’ll be online. But I always appreciate your thoughts and I’ll respond eventually.

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Today you’ll be happy to be doing a virtual walk, as this walk was cold and windy, windy being a trademark of Chicago, and as I’m writing this, it’s also cold and windy. But you don’t even have to bundle up, whereas this poor lion in front of the Art Institute of Chicago was wearing nothing but a wreath. (He’s even blue with cold!) The enormous line of people waiting were bundled up a lot more.

We’ve seen part of the weaving exhibit at the musuem, but today we’re going to venture around the environs of the museum, heading toward The Bean, more formally known as Cloud Gate, in Millennium Park. But first let’s take a look at Crown Fountain, where the faces change regularly in all seasons, but no water comes out in winter. Wonder why? 🙂

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It’s grey and cold outside, so let’s take a walk indoors, inside the Art Institute of Chicago to the Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus exhibit. (If you click on the link, you can see a wonderful creation that I couldn’t photograph well. Worth the click.) And you can read a bit more about the exhibit, the movement, and the weavers here.

But if you just want to walk, you’ll find some fascinating and unusual uses of weaving, starting with this first one. I can’t even imagine the amount of time and material this took, to say nothing of a very large studio area!

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Sorry, but “indoors” aren’t like in or out belly buttons.  These beauties are from the Art Institute of Chicago.  I did a post on some other indoors doors at some point in the past and perhaps that will show up at the bottom of this post.  But either way, enjoy the craftsmanship that’s on display here.

To get the World Wide Door channel, surf over to Norm’s blog up north in Montreal.  Once this week’s post is up, I’ll update the link to go right to this week’s Thursday Doors post.

© janet m. webb

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Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, born in Paris in 1879, was a master Art Deco furniture designer and designer of interiors.  His father ran a painting and contracting firm, which Ruhlmann took over after his father’s death.  In 1910, after getting married, he designed furniture for their apartment and, that same year, exhibited his furniture.

“To create something that lasts, the first thing is to want to create something that lasts forever.”

On this website by Frank Pollaro, an authority on Ruhlmann’s furniture who also makes reproductions of his work, you can read more about Ruhlman, see rare photos of his work as well as some of his sketches, and see pictures of his furniture gathered from various sources, including this cabinet from the Art Institute of Chicago, one of many stunning pieces found there.  Now that’s a door!

© janet m. webb 2016

“His early designs reflected the Art Nouveau influence popular in France at the turn of the century. Later his influences could be traced to architects and designers creating innovative furniture in Vienna around the time of the First World War.

Although his very early work was quite heavy, apparently influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, by 1920 Ruhlmann made clear his disdain for the movement. In a magazine interview in 1920 he succinctly stated his case: “A clientele of artists, intellectuals and connoisseurs of modest means is very congenial, but they are not in a position to pay for all the research, the experimentation, the testing that is needed to develop a new design. Only the very rich can pay for what is new and they alone can make it fashionable. Fashions don’t start among the common people. Along with satisfying a desire for change, fashion’s real purpose is to display wealth.” He further stated: “Whether you want it or not, a style is just a craze. And fashion does not come up from humble backgrounds.

His strongest inspiration may have come from the classical design elements and craftsmanship ideals found in 18th century furniture. Ruhlmann would later shape these same ideals into what he called his precious pieces. These pieces, most often occurring between 1918 and 1925 were his favorites. They made use of the rarest woods such as Macassar ebony, Brazilian rosewood, and amboyna burl, usually in combination with each other. Most of the forms were very simple, making use of gentle, almost imperceptible curves. These pieces were most often embellished with ivory; used for handles, dentil, feet, and inlay. The ivory brought a static sense of control to the pieces that made them unique, timeless and extremely elegant in form.”

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“When examining Ruhlmann’s furniture, take notice of the subtle use of grain. Ruhlmann was careful not to allow the figure of the wood to vie for attention with the form of the furniture. His two favorite woods; Macassar ebony and amboyna burl both create soft but striking background patterns, without focusing attention on the wood itself. This allowed the veneers to support the design details instead of competing with them.”