Gallery Travels Art Institute Chicago

Right on Michigan Avenue a short walk from the water you will find a small but mighty museum in the Art Institute Chicago. I had the privilege of spending a day taking in the museum at a lazy pace.

Here are some of the highlights of the museum’s history along with some of my favorites pieces of work. 

Located in downtown Chicago, the Art Institute is one of the world’s great art museums, housing a collection that spans centuries and the globe.

The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world’s diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession’s highest ethical standards and practices.

The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for the fine arts in 1879, a critical era in the history of Chicago as civic energies were devoted to rebuilding the metropolis that had been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871. The Art Institute found its permanent home in 1893, when it moved into a building constructed on what is recognized today as the traditional homelands of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. Built jointly with the city of Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street, that building—its entry flanked by the two famous bronze lions—remains the “front door” of the museum even today.

In keeping with the academic origins of the institution, a research library was constructed in 1901; eight major expansions for gallery and administrative space have followed, with the latest being the Modern Wing, which opened in 2009. The permanent collection has grown from plaster casts to nearly 300,000 works of art in fields ranging from Chinese bronzes to contemporary design and from textiles to installation art. Together, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the museum of the Art Institute of Chicago are now internationally recognized as two of the leading fine-arts institutions in the United States.

 

 

There so many masterpieces here it’s hard to narrow down my favorites but here are a few.

Painting of a pond seen up close spotted with thickly painted pink and white water lilies and a shadow across the top third of the picture.Water Lilies, 1906Claude Monet

Painting of woman in a striped dress seated on the bank of a river, beneath a full, leafy tree, a boat at the shore and a village visible across the river.On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt, 1868Claude Monet

A crashing wave looms over two small ships, Mount Fuji in the background.Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as The Great Wave, from the series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)”, 1830/33Katsushika Hokusai

White Shell with Red, 1938Georgia O’Keeffe

Painting of the Virgin Mary ascending to heaven amongst multitude of angels.The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577–79Domenico Theotokópoulos, called El Greco

 

The photos of the artwork weren’t working well so please click on the links to view these great pieces. 

I would highly recommend a trip to Chicago to see the museum, take in all the great food, architecture, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum. There are also some beautiful cathedrals to attend.

Happy Travels

Melinda.

Gallery Travels: The Palace Versailles Château Rive Gauche

A short train ride outside of Paris you will find The Palace Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche. This is a must see, the experience is like no other. The museum compares to the top museums in Paris. The gardens are magnificent and perfectly manicured, beautiful waterfall statues are strategically placed. This is before you enter The Palace.  Enjoy!   Melinda

Discover the Estate

The Palace of Versailles, whose origins date back to the seventeenth century, was successively a hunting lodge, a seat of power and , from the nineteenth century , a museum. With the gardens and the Palaces of Trianon, the park of the Château de Versailles spreads over 800 hectares.

« It’s not a palace, it’s an entire city. Superb in its size, superb in its matter.»

– CHARLES PERRAULT, LE SIÈCLE DE LOUIS LE GRAND, 1687

With 60,000 artworks, collections of Versailles illustrate 5 centuries of French History. This set reflects the dual vocation of the Palace once inhabited by the sovereigns and then a museum dedicated “to all the glories of France” inaugurated by Louis-Philippe in 1837.

Water features of all kinds are an important part of French gardens, even more so than plant designs and groves. At Versailles, they include waterfalls in some of the groves, spurts of water in the fountains, and the calm surface of the water reflecting the sky and sun in the Water Parterre or the Grand Canal.

Visitors looking through the central window in the Hall of Mirrors will see the Grande Perspective stretching away towards the horizon from the Water Parterre. This unique east-west perspective originally dates from before the reign of Louis XIV, but it was developed and extended by the gardener André Le Nôtre, who widened the Royal Way and dug the Grand Canal.

In 1661 Louis XIV entrusted André Le Nôtre with the creation and renovation of the gardens of Versailles, which he considered just as important as the Palace. Work on the gardens was started at the same time as the work on the palace and lasted for 40 or so years. During this time André Le Nôtre collaborated with the likes of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Superintendant of Buildings to the King from 1664 to 1683, who managed the project, and Charles Le Brun, who was made First Painter to the King in January 1664 and provided the drawings for a large number of the statues and fountains. Last but not least, each project was reviewed by the King himself, who was keen to see “every detail”. Not long after, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, having been made First Architect to the King and Superintendant of Buildings, built the Orangery and simplified the outlines of the Park, in particular by modifying or opening up some of the groves.

These two large rectangular pools reflect the sun’s rays and light up the outside wall of the Hall of Mirrors. Le Nôtre considered light as an element of decoration in the same way as plant life, and his designs combined a harmonious balance of light and shade.

The Gallery of Great Battles is the largest room in the Palace (120 metres long and 13 metres wide). It covers almost the entire first floor of the South Wing. It was designed in 1833 and construction started the same year. It was solemnly inaugurated on 10 June 1837, constituting the highlight of the visit of the Museum of the History of France.

The Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Palace, was built to replace a large terrace designed by the architect Louis Le Vau, which opened onto the garden. The terrace originally stood between the King’s Apartments to the north and the Queen’s to the south, but was awkward and above all exposed to bad weather, and it was not long before the decision was made to demolish it. Le Vau’s successor, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, produced a more suitable design that replaced the terrace with a large gallery. Work started in 1678 and ended in 1684.

 

This prestigious series of seven rooms were parade apartments, used for hosting the sovereign’s official acts. For this reason, it was bedecked with lavish Italian-style decoration, much admired by the king at the time, composed of marble panelling and painted ceilings. During the day, the State Apartments were open to all who wished to see the king and the royal family passing through on their way to the chapel. During the reign of Louis XIV, evening gatherings were held here several times a week.

 

Containing over 60,000 works, the collections of the Palace of Versailles span a very broad period. The collections reflect the dual identity of the Palace, as both a palace occupied by the kings of France and the royal court, and later a museum “dedicated to the glories of France,” inaugurated by Louis-Philippe in 1837.

Gallery Travels-British Museum

If you have the chance to visit London do yourself a huge favor and schedule at least two days at the British Museum. The museum has pieces from around the world including the Parthenon, where else can you find relics from the ancient world. I did not get the chance to see the Chinese section of the museum and hear it is extensive.

Founded in 1753, the British Museum is London’s largest and most visited museum. Its gigantic permanent collection includes over 8 million historical artifacts, with everything from Egyptian mummies to Roman treasures. Highlights include sculptures from the Parthenon, the Rosetta Stone, and the 12th-century Lewis chessmen.

The Basics Allow at least two hours for a British Museum tour, but don’t expect to see everything in one visit—it would take days to explore the entire museum and it’s easy to get lost. With so much to see, visiting with a tour guide is a convenient choice, and a small-group or private guided tour will ensure you maximize your time.  Things to Know Before You Go There is no admission fee for the British Museum, although donations are welcome.  Visitors are required to pass security checks to enter, and large bags and suitcases are prohibited. On-site facilities include museum shops, cafés, and restaurants. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum. Audio guides are offered in several languages. The British Museum is fully wheelchair accessible.

Read more about The 10 Best British Museum Tours & Tickets 2019 – London | Viator – https://www.viator.com/London-attractions/British-Museum/d737-a1388?mcid=56757

The Museum’s collection online offers everyone unparalleled access to objects in the collection. This innovative database is one of the earliest and most extensive online museum search platforms in the world.

There are currently 2,335,338 records available, which represent more than 4,000,000 objects. 1,018,471 records have one or more images.

Marble relief, Slab II from the West Frieze of the Parthenon: two horsemen.

 

COMPASS Title: Ivory plaque depicting a winged sphinx

Free exhibitions and displays

Until 12 November 2019
Free

Special morning tours

Experience the Museum with a private morning tour

Photos of homes in unexpected places

IDEAS.TED.COM

Necessity as the mother of invention: Photos of homes in unexpected places

Oct 16, 2013 /

Iwan Baan is not as interested in what architects build as he is in the beautiful ways that people appropriate the spaces once the planners are gone. In his TED Talk, Baan — whose breathtaking image of lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy hangs on at least one of our walls — shows incredible images from communities thriving in ways that seem quite opposite to the uniformity of suburbs. First, Baan takes us to Chandigarh, India, where people inhabit buildings created by modernist architects Le Corbusier in very different ways than expected. Then, Baan takes us to Caracas, Venezuela, where an abandoned 45-story building has become a miniature city. From there, Baan takes us to a Nigerian slum built on water, to a community in Cairo thriving amid recycling heaps, and to an underground village in China.

Baan’s talk will have you marveling at human ingenuity. In it, the photographer shows 154 images. Since they appear rapid-fire, Baan has selected some to share here, where you can take your time and appreciate the details.

See the homes of 70% of Caracas’ residents

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, nearly seventy percent of the population lives in slums that seem to drape over every corner of the city.

Welcome to the world’s largest vertical slum

In the centre of the city is the Torre David, a forty-five story unfinished office tower that was in the midst of construction until the developer died in 1993, and the crash of the Venezuelan economy the following year. About eight years ago, people started moving in to the abandoned construction site, and today it is considered the world’s largest vertical slum.

The forty-five-story walk up 

With no lifts or escalators, the tower is essentially a forty-five-story walk up. You’ll find seniors or those less physically-abled on the lower floors, and the young and healthy near the top. Public spaces like this stairwell are painted with care in order to make the tower feel more like an apartment building.

The hole in the wall. Or, how to build airflow into a tower

With the average temperature in Caracas reaching twenty-eight degrees, the inhabitants needed to find ways to induce airflow, and this also serves as a circulation system to help inhabitants better navigate the building.

It’s humble but it’s home

In an exercise of ingenuity, inhabitants like this family typically mark their space with whatever materials they can find or purchase. Here, newspaper becomes wallpaper.

Decorated with care

Every home in the tower is designed with love and passion – at least up until as far as one can reach.

A town in a tower

The tower functions on an entire system of micro-economies, and on each floor, you’ll find a collection of shops and services. You’ll find the church, the grocery store as well as the gym on the thirtieth floor, where all of the weights are made from the unused elevator equipment.

A space for creativity 

Like a beehive, the tower provides a skeleton framework for each inhabitant to create something for himself or herself by whatever means they can afford.

A community built on a lagoon

In the centre of Lagos is Makoko – a community of approximately one hundred and fifty thousand who live and work on stilted structures, just meters above the Lagos Lagoon.

Human adaptability in Makoko 

Makoko is both an example of Nigeria’s seemingly irrepressible population growth, and an incredible illustration of our human ability to adapt to seemingly inhospitable conditions.

Life on the water 

From the barbershop to the movie theatre, every aspect of life in Makoko has been adapted to meet the demands of life on the water.

Floating, live music

Despite being a highly disadvantaged community, when it comes to good live music, the atmosphere in Makoko is quintessentially Nigerian. At any given time, you’ll find a band floating down the lagoon, for all of the community to enjoy.

A community fighting eviction 

In Makoko, forced evictions are a daily reality. In response to the government’s plan to clear out the area to make room for development, the Nigerian Architect, Kunle Adeyemi built a school for the children of Makoko. Today, the entire community uses the structure, and the building appears like a beacon against the landscape.

Meet the Zabaleen 

Under the cliffs of the Mokattam Rocks one will find the Zabaleen – a community of Coptic Christians who make their living by collecting and recycling waste from homes and business across Cairo.

Those who take trash home 

The collected waste is brought back home where it is sorted and crushed before being sent off to a third party. To those in the Zabaleen, the waste becomes nearly invisible, as living amongst piles of garbage is merely a new definition of normal.

A wild sense of decor

On the street level, the area seems to be in complete disarray, but step inside one of the homes, and you’ll be met with all manner of elaborate interior design choices.

Homes dug into the earth

In the provinces of Shanxi, Henan and Gansu you will find collections of yadongs – underground cave dwellings that are dug out from the soft and malleable Loess Plateau soil. Up until the early 2000’s an estimated forty-million people still lived in sunken courtyard houses which sit seven meters below-ground.

Home is wear the heart is

For the poor farmers, building a yadong costs next to nothing – all one needs is a shovel and a few friends to dig the soil.

All photos courtesy of Iwan Baan.

Gallery Travels: The Musee d’Orsay

If you love the Impressionist period art, the d’Orsay has the largest collection of masterpieces in the world. It’s a travelers delight. The architecture of the building, an old train station, is worth the trip alone. The Left Bank has a completely different vibe than the Right Bank. The crowd is younger, it’s more affordable and less Rodeo Drive. I stayed in a small family run hotel, quaint, friendly and close to many attractions. Just blocks from Norte Dame, now sadly what’s left of Notre Dame.  

Melinda

 

The Musée d’Orsay (French pronunciation:  [myze dɔʁsɛ]) is a museum in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe. Musée d’Orsay had 3.177 million visitors in 2017.

     

The museum building was originally a railway station, Gare d’Orsay, constructed for the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléansand finished in time for the 1900 Exposition Universelle to the design of three architects: Lucien Magne, Émile Bénard and Victor Laloux. It was the terminus for the railways of southwestern France until 1939.

By 1939 the station’s short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that had come to be used for mainline services. After 1939 it was used for suburban services and part of it became a mailing centre during World War II. It was then used as a set for several films, such as Kafka‘s The Trial adapted by Orson Welles, and as a haven for the RenaudBarrault Theatre Company and for auctioneers, while the Hôtel Drouot was being rebuilt.

In 1970, permission was granted to demolish the station but Jacques Duhamel, Minister for Cultural Affairs, ruled against plans to build a new hotel in its stead. The station was put on the supplementary list of Historic Monuments and finally listed in 1978. The suggestion to turn the station into a museum came from the Directorate of the Museum of France. The idea was to build a museum that would bridge the gap between the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art at the Georges Pompidou Centre. The plan was accepted by Georges Pompidou and a study was commissioned in 1974. In 1978, a competition was organized to design the new museum. ACT Architecture, a team of three young architects (Pierre Colboc, Renaud Bardon and Jean-Paul Philippon), were awarded the contract which involved creating 20,000 square metres (220,000 sq ft) of new floorspace on four floors. The construction work was carried out by Bouygues.[4] In 1981, the Italian architect Gae Aulenti was chosen to design the interior including the internal arrangement, decoration, furniture and fittings of the museum. Finally in July 1986, the museum was ready to receive its exhibits. It took 6 months to install the 2000 or so paintings, 600 sculptures and other works. The museum officially opened in December 1986 by then-president François Mitterrand.

Major Paintings

 

Gallery Travels: The Palace Versailles Château Rive Gauche

A short train ride outside of Paris you will find The Palace Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche. This is a must see, the experience is like no other. The museum compares to the top museums in Paris. The gardens are magnificent and perfectly manicured, beautiful waterfall statues are strategically placed. This is before you enter The Palace.  Enjoy!   Melinda

Discover the Estate

The Palace of Versailles, whose origins date back to the seventeenth century, was successively a hunting lodge, a seat of power and , from the nineteenth century , a museum. With the gardens and the Palaces of Trianon, the park of the Château de Versailles spreads over 800 hectares.

« It’s not a palace, it’s an entire city. Superb in its size, superb in its matter.»

– CHARLES PERRAULT, LE SIÈCLE DE LOUIS LE GRAND, 1687

With 60,000 artworks, collections of Versailles illustrate 5 centuries of French History. This set reflects the dual vocation of the Palace once inhabited by the sovereigns and then a museum dedicated “to all the glories of France” inaugurated by Louis-Philippe in 1837.

Water features of all kinds are an important part of French gardens, even more so than plant designs and groves. At Versailles, they include waterfalls in some of the groves, spurts of water in the fountains, and the calm surface of the water reflecting the sky and sun in the Water Parterre or the Grand Canal.

Visitors looking through the central window in the Hall of Mirrors will see the Grande Perspective stretching away towards the horizon from the Water Parterre. This unique east-west perspective originally dates from before the reign of Louis XIV, but it was developed and extended by the gardener André Le Nôtre, who widened the Royal Way and dug the Grand Canal.

In 1661 Louis XIV entrusted André Le Nôtre with the creation and renovation of the gardens of Versailles, which he considered just as important as the Palace. Work on the gardens was started at the same time as the work on the palace and lasted for 40 or so years. During this time André Le Nôtre collaborated with the likes of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Superintendant of Buildings to the King from 1664 to 1683, who managed the project, and Charles Le Brun, who was made First Painter to the King in January 1664 and provided the drawings for a large number of the statues and fountains. Last but not least, each project was reviewed by the King himself, who was keen to see “every detail”. Not long after, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, having been made First Architect to the King and Superintendant of Buildings, built the Orangery and simplified the outlines of the Park, in particular by modifying or opening up some of the groves.

These two large rectangular pools reflect the sun’s rays and light up the outside wall of the Hall of Mirrors. Le Nôtre considered light as an element of decoration in the same way as plant life, and his designs combined a harmonious balance of light and shade.

The Gallery of Great Battles is the largest room in the Palace (120 metres long and 13 metres wide). It covers almost the entire first floor of the South Wing. It was designed in 1833 and construction started the same year. It was solemnly inaugurated on 10 June 1837, constituting the highlight of the visit of the Museum of the History of France.

The Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Palace, was built to replace a large terrace designed by the architect Louis Le Vau, which opened onto the garden. The terrace originally stood between the King’s Apartments to the north and the Queen’s to the south, but was awkward and above all exposed to bad weather, and it was not long before the decision was made to demolish it. Le Vau’s successor, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, produced a more suitable design that replaced the terrace with a large gallery. Work started in 1678 and ended in 1684.

 

This prestigious series of seven rooms were parade apartments, used for hosting the sovereign’s official acts. For this reason, it was bedecked with lavish Italian-style decoration, much admired by the king at the time, composed of marble panelling and painted ceilings. During the day, the State Apartments were open to all who wished to see the king and the royal family passing through on their way to the chapel. During the reign of Louis XIV, evening gatherings were held here several times a week.

 

Containing over 60,000 works, the collections of the Palace of Versailles span a very broad period. The collections reflect the dual identity of the Palace, as both a palace occupied by the kings of France and the royal court, and later a museum “dedicated to the glories of France,” inaugurated by Louis-Philippe in 1837.

The Musee’ d’Orsay​

Rebuilding Notre-Dame de Paris

 

The Musée d’Orsay wishes to express its deep sorrow at the tragedy that has struck Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
We would also like to extend our gratitude to those men and women who fought to save this emblem of our capital and this monument that belongs to the heritage of humanity.

The President of the French Republic has announced the launch of a national and international public appeal to rebuild the cathedral.
In order to help raise money for this reconstruction, the Government has put in place a shared portal www.rebatirnotredame.gouv.fr that regroups four charitable establishments and foundations authorised to raise funds via donations:

The Centre des monuments nationaux
The Fondation Notre Dame / Avenir du Patrimoine à Paris
The Fondation du patrimoine
The Fondation de France

These structures work to collect as many donations as possible from France and abroad while honouring certain commitments: full payment of all funds raised, secure payment and guaranteed transparency regarding fund-raising procedures.

Day 2047 Some of my favorites —Guest Blogger Margaret McCarthy Hunt Art

From my Biking cruise from Paris to Normandy. First night on the Champs d’Elysses. Who doesn’t love the arc de Triomphe and a rainy night in Paris. All the variety of doors just fascinated me. I could have filled a book with doors and The amazing variety of lampposts. Drawing in the Louvre. Who knew […]

via Day 2047 Some of my favorites — Margaret McCarthy Hunt Art

Gallery Travels: Spain and The Prado

In 1988 I had an opportunity to travel to Madrid, Spain with a small group from a popular radio station. The morning DJ took the trip with us, to some it was like traveling with a celebrity. That would not be me. This was my first trip to Spain and sitting at the hotel was not my idea of fun.

I walked to Toledo, a famous city with the magnificent Castle of San Servando.

Castle of San Servando

Evidence exists of an ancient monastery attached to a basilica of the same name, possibly founded in the 7th century. In 1080, Cardinal Richard of St. Victor, a monk of the ancient Abbey of St. Victor in Marseille, was sent as the legate of Pope Gregory VII to the Council of Burgos held that year. One of his mandates was to ensure the adoption of the Roman Rite, replacing the ancient Mozarabic Rite used by the Christians of Iberia for centuries. He carried specific instructions for the restoration of San Servando and its adoption of Roman liturgical practice.[1]

As you cross the bridge over the Tagus River you can see where cannonballs hit the Huge gates and surrounding walls protecting the Castle.

See the source image

See the source image

 

The most famous museum in Madrid, Spain is the Prado. 

Eugenio Lucas Velázquez – The Second of May 1808

See the source image

Roger van der Wevden Descent from the Cross 

 

See the source image

 

Spain is known for many handmade collectibles. Ladro porcelain is exquisite and my journey to Toledo was a search for a special piece of Ladro for my grandmother. The delicate flowers blow my mind. How could any person’s hand create the delicate flowers?

 

Thank you for reading, I welcome all your comments.

Melinda

Gallery Travels: Maui 1997

I started scuba diving in 1987, it was difficult I’m claustrophobic taking extra classes to handle the thought of breathing underwater. I was fortunate to log over a hundred dives in ten years.

A panic attack while shore diving almost drowning two people, this was the start of my Maui vacation. This is not my idea of fun any time, it was scary. I kept taking off my face mask, not breathing thru the regulator and pushing my dive buddy under water. Once on land, I would not take off the wet suit, kept laying on the ground and would not get in the car. That was my last dive, devastating but if I can’t dive again there are so many great memories and photos.

The early evening was much better, walking thru the Gallery District, sampling the wine, talking to the artist. It was so relaxing as the sun fell. I started talking to a gallery owner about his most recent works of art. I followed him inside and saw THE painting was perfect, I could see eating at the table, drinking wine smelling the beautiful flowers. This was my first original painting and I love it as much today. Interestingly he is the nephew of Gene Stallings American Football player and coach.

 

“Two Plums” c1997  G1/399