The inconvenient thing when you spend only a day in a city is the fact that you only see a fraction of what it has to offer. A friend of mine had told me to spend the day « looking above », since Chicago has an exceptional architecture. Alas, we spent most of the day in museums, but we did go to the John Hancock Center Observatory to see what life looks like at the 94th floor.
First stop : the Art Institute, a great museum, great by its architecture and by its collections. The Impressionnists always attract the masses, with good reasons. There are very nice paintings from these artists, notably Renoir. I was disappointed to see that a painting by one of my favorite painter, Gustave Caillebotte, was temporarily gone to a parisian museum. But I was very glad to see « in the flesh » Van Gogh’s The Bedroom. Its vivid colors and spatula works are striking. I spent a long time in front of it. The Indian Art of the Americas collection was too small for my taste. Curiously, there were more artefacts from South and Central America than from the US. American painting and sculpture from the mid-nineteen century was a complete discovery for me (except John Sargent). This bronze by Frederic Remington was striking, but I fell for H. MacNeil’s Moqui Runner and for a series of Amerindian portraits, such as this one. My beloved viking liked very much a series of painting looking like caricatures in the folk art collection, as well as a window by Marc Chagall.
Second stop: Museum of Science and Industry. This is a gigantic museum in a neoclassical building, mainly designed for children: pratically everything is interactive. Due to hollidays, it was litteral busting with people, children and strollers and all temporary exhibits were sold out, we could’nt see Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit. Still, the permanent collection is very interesting, and as true city slickers, we were ecstatics seeing chicks being born in a heated hatchery.
Then I succumbed and bought a Gravitron. It is a simple plastic peg entirely made by an automated assembly line. We also fell in « tourist trap » linked to the Charlie Brown exhibit, we will soon publish it online.
Third stop : John Hancock Center Observatory, 94th floor of that skyscraper. Night and fog gave the illusion that the streets would go on foverer in the distance. (photo: Google images)
Then the day culminated with a fine dining.