Monday, December 2, 2013

"I adore Chicago. It is the pulse of America." - Sarah Bernhardt


Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles. With 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in both the U.S. state of Illinois and the American Midwest. Its metropolitan area, sometimes called Chicagoland, is home to 9.5 million people and is the third-largest in the United States. Chicago is the seat of Cook County, although a small part of the city extends into DuPage County. Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and experienced rapid growth in the middle nineteenth century. Today, the city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, telecommunications, and transportation, with O'Hare International Airport being the second-busiest airport in the world in terms of traffic movements. It has the fourth-largest gross domestic product (GDP) among metropolitan areas in the world, ranking behind Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles, and ahead of London and Paris. Chicago is listed as an alpha + global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranks seventh in the world in the 2012 Global Cities Index. In 2012, Chicago hosted 46.2 million international and domestic visitors. Chicago's culture includes contributions to the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly blues and soul. The city has many nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best-known include "Windy City" and "Second City." Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues.

1. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is an encyclopedic art museum located in Chicago's Grant Park. It features a collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its permanent collection. Its holdings also include American art, Old Masters, European and American decorative arts, Asian art, modern and contemporary art, and architecture and industrial and graphic design. In addition, it houses the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries.

Tracing its history to a free art school and gallery founded in 1866, the museum is located at 111 South Michigan Avenue in the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District. It is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is overseen by Director and President Douglas Druick. At one million square feet, it is the second largest art museum in the United States, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
AIC is one of the best museum that you'll ever visit in USA. Since AIC is located in a great location right in the heart of the downtown Chicago so obviously you will close to lots of restaurants if you need to have your breakfast or lunch nearby. You can walk easily to the Chicago Lake from the The Art Institute of Chicago.

Here are some useful information about the Art Institute of Chicago: Museum Hours Open daily 10:30–5:00 Thursday until 8:00 The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Free Thursday Evenings Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please note: There will be a $15 surcharge ($12 for students and seniors) for Illinois residents visiting Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity during Free Thursday Evenings.
On May 16, 2009, the Art Institute opened the Modern Wing, the largest expansion in the museum's history. The 264,000-square-foot addition, designed by Renzo Piano, makes the Art Institute the second-largest museum in the US. The architect of record in the City of Chicago for this building was Interactive Design. The Modern Wing is home to the museum's collection of early 20th-century European art, including Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Henri Matisse's Bathers by a River, and RenĂ© Magritte’s Time Transfixed.

It also houses contemporary art from after 1960; new photography, video media, architecture and design galleries including original renderings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Bruce Goff; temporary exhibition space; shops and classrooms; a cafe and a restaurant, Terzo Piano, that overlooks Millennium Park from its terrace. In addition, the Nichols Bridgeway connects a sculpture garden on the roof of the new wing with the adjacent Millennium Park to the north and a courtyard designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. In 2009, the Modern Wing won a Chicago Innovation Awards.

In 1866, a group of 35 artists founded the Chicago Academy of Design in a studio on Dearborn Street, with the intent to run a free school with its own art gallery. The organization was modeled after European art academies, such as the Royal Academy, with Academians and Associate Academians. The Academy's charter was granted in March 1867. Classes started in 1868, meeting every day at a cost of $10 per month. The Academy's success enabled it to build a new home for the school, a five-story stone building on 66 West Adams Street, which opened on November 22, 1870.

In the first major presentation in an American museum of Jitish Kallat’s work, the contemporary Indian artist has designed a site-specific installation that connects two key historical moments the First World Parliament of Religions held on September 11, 1893, and the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that very date, 108 years later. The resulting work, Public Notice 3, creates a trenchant commentary on the evolution, or devolution, of religious tolerance across the 20th and 21st centuries.
The basis for Kallat’s installation is a landmark speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament, which was held in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in what is now the museum’s Fullerton Hall. The Parliament was the earliest attempt to create a global dialogue of religious faiths, and Vivekananda, eloquently addressing its 7,000 attendees, argued for an end of fanaticism and a respectful recognition of all traditions of belief through universal tolerance.

With Public Notice 3, Kallat converts Vivekananda’s text to LED displays on each of the 118 risers of the historic Woman’s Board Grand Staircase of the Art Institute of Chicago, adjacent to the site of Vivekananda’s original address. Drawing attention to the great chasm between this speech of tolerance and the very different events of September 11, 2001, the text of the speech will be displayed in the colors of the United States’ Department of Homeland Security alert system.
Opening on September 11, Public Notice 3 explores the possibility of revisiting the historical speech as a site of contemplation, symbolically refracting it with threat codes devised by a government to deal with this terror-infected era of religious factionalism and fanaticism. When the Great Chicago Fire destroyed the building in 1871 the Academy was thrown into debt. Attempts to continue despite of the loss, using rented facilities, failed. By 1878, the Academy was $10,000 in debt. Members tried to rescue the ailing institution by making deals with local businessmen, before some finally abandoned it in 1879 to found a new organization, named the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. When the Chicago Academy of Design went bankrupt the same year, the new Chicago Academy of Fine Arts bought its assets at auction.

The Impressionist collection is spectacular, but there are many many other strengths: Asian, twentieth-century modernism, photography, textiles. Every time you go, You'll find gems that you have not noticed before. There are two gift shops, one traditional and one focused on modern design.
Harriet Hosmer's Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra portrays the ruler of Palmyra (now Syria) who conquered Egypt and much of Asia Minor but was eventually defeated by the Roman Emperor Aurelian in A.D. 272. After her capture, Zenobia was marched through Rome in chains. Hosmer's heroic bust shows the queen's serene resolve at this tragic moment and emphasizes her strength as well as her beauty. A delicately modeled toga covers her sturdy frame, and her face is outlined by waves of neatly cascading hair and a crown decorated with scrollwork. Although the chains of Hosmer's original full-length sculpture are missing, the emotion of the bust is heightened by Zenobia's facial expression. With her head tilted down and her lips slightly parted, the queen appears resigned rather than remorseful.
Auguste Rodin’s sculpture Eve owes its genesis to The Gates of Hell, the artist’s major commission from the French government in 1880. The associations posed by the sculptural portals of that project led Rodin back to the art of Lorenzo Ghiberti and Michelangelo, particularly their depiction of biblical stories from the book of Genesis. A number of elements from the Gates such as The Thinker, Adam, and Eve gradually evolved into independent works. In particular, Eve recalls the most sculptural of Renaissance paintings: Michelangelo’s panels from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and Masaccio’s Expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Its naturalism shocked critics when it was first exhibited, since Eve seemed to them more like a flesh-and-blood woman than an idealized creation.
Jephtha’s Daughter depicts a character from the Old Testament book of Judges. An Israelite leader engaged in war against the Ammonites, Jephtha promised that if God assured his army victory, he would sacrifice whoever met him upon his return home from battle. Jephtha prevailed, but when he arrived at his house, his only child, a virgin daughter, greeted him jubilantly. Here we see the young woman grieving over her imminent tragedy, her tambourine stilled and her head and shoulders drooping with the weight of her knowledge. For audiences of the day, this work represented a form of tragic female bravery an innocent victim who was obedient, virginal, and ultimately unrewarded.
The Ryerson & Burnham Libraries are the art and architecture research collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. The libraries cover all periods with extensive holdings in the areas of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century architecture and 19th-century painting, prints, drawings, and decorative arts. A variety of materials important to scholarly research includes architects' diaries, correspondence, job files, photographs, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, articles, transcripts, and personal papers. The complete collection of Bruce Goff artifacts is housed within the libraries. The Director of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries is Jack Perry Brown.

The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications.

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