Posts Tagged ‘Art Institute of Chicago’

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.”

 There are a lot of places you hear the word “face” used.

Face your fears.
He’s such a two-faced liar.
The Three Faces of Eve.
You have to face the facts ( or the consequences.)
She’s not just another pretty face.
I turned the corner and came face to face with my best friend.

Let’s face it.  These visages found at the Art Institute of Chicago aren’t your run-of-the-mill faces.  Even if they’re faces only a mother could love, it’s as plain as the nose on your face that they’re unique.  And which of us hasn’t felt the way that second face looks! But I could talk until I’m blue in the face.  To see what faces other bloggers have chosen, just click here.

You get the face you build your whole life, with work and loving and grieving and laughing and frowning.
~Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

© janet m. webb 2016

A mask tells us more than a face.
~Oscar Wilde

© janet m. webb 2016

Age should not have its face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.
  ~Clarence Day, Jr.

We made the drive from Philadelphia to Chicago today, after a stop at the airport to deliver our older daughter for her flight to LA that arrived on the west coast long before we tottered into our house.  We enjoyed four busy, but good, days, including “the graduation.”  But before I head for a night of delicious sleep in my own bed, I’ll get my black and white challenge response done and scheduled.

I spotted this beauty in the Japanese section of the Art Institute of Chicago. If I recall correctly, it was basket, a decorative one obviously.  I love the shapes of it and I think it translates very well into black and white from the original tan/brown for the theme of the third week: “Black and White.”

© janet m. webb 2016

My best friend is in town, so we took a day trip into Chicago, had a fabulous vegan lunch at the Chicago Diner (which I completely forgot to save on camera for posterity because I was too busy eating) and went to the Art Institute of Chicago where we saw the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit and a small slice of the rest of the museum before taking the train home.   (Chicago Diner info and pictures here: http://www.veggiediner.com/wp/.)  Excellent day…and we’re even getting some rain, finally.  I’m hoping for an all night soaking, but we’ll see.  Anyway, here are a few highlights from our trip. (more…)