Saturday, July 23, 2011

Last of my Illinois pictures (promise)

I have a passionate love of all things glass and ceramic, and the Art Institute of Chicago is full of eye-candy.

Ornate and fussy, or simple and elegant.
In ceramic vases and in glass lamps.
Fancy cut glass and elegant brass.
This outdoor sculpture reminds me of the thread guides some quilters have (not me though).
After the Institute I headed to Union Station. I found the Station deceiving.
Looks like plenty of space, but the bowels of the building are crammed with hoards of ticket holding soon-to-be train travelers.  I rode the BNSF to Naperville. 
I had to walk a few blocks to the College campus. Charming, charming city/town.
This salt-box building was for sale.  Looks like a perfect home/business for a prim quilter/rug hooker.
Anyone interested in moving to Illinois?
The building below was an out-building on the property of a rather lovely home.  I was wondering if it was someone's studio.
This stone home was at the corner across the street from the train station. How lovely!
It was pretty hard to stay vegan while I was in Naperville until I found the Moe's restaurant.
I got my order to go and ate on a bench on the campus.
Ah, but it is good to be home again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can I get a stitch in?

These two have been on my wall for a while.  I finished the M.Bonanomi piece before I left for Chicago, but the L.Bongean piece above it is about two years old now. I am admiring my finished work.
And trying to get going on the Vintage 9-Patch.
Really, this should not take too much longer.  I just need to find the motivation.
On another note: while I was at The Art Institute of Chicago, I saw a sculpture I thought my Aunt Katie would like.
So I took a quick snapshot, and then got a close up of the sheep.
He is cute and curly. I am sorry I don't have more information on them.
I made sure to get a photo of these boxes from the primitive wing.  They come from Massachusetts and Rhode Island around 1650-1675. I would just love to open them to see the insides. Grandpa (who would have been 100 years old next month but died last summer) always told me "curiosity killed the cat." I was a smart mouth kid and replied "but satisfaction brought him back." As an adult I see the faulty reasoning behind that; after all, a cat might have 9 lives, but we don't. It was a fun exchange with Grandpa.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last Sunday at the Art Institute of Chicago

I first thought I wanted to see the Field Museum.  I looked online, and they had an exhibit about horses and one about whales, but I changed my mind and decided to head to The Art Institute of Chicago, since they were advertising a special exhibit of kimono.
The building is beautiful on the outside.
I soaked in every element.
When I got inside and paid my admission, I also checked my bag.  I left my traveling camera in my bag, then went walking into the exhibit area.  When I saw these Korean vessels from about the year 1000, I stopped dead in my tracks.  I was overwhelmed and needed my camera in a bad way.
See, the rule is you may take photos of the regular exhibits, but not the special ones.  It is important to ask each room's curator if it is possible to take photos there.
I, in error, thought it would be easier to skip the photography altogether. Me.  Yeah, right.
I stood in wonder at how these works of art survived, and at
the talent of the artists who created them
The sense of wonder never left me.
I asked about photography in the kimono room. 
The answer was "no." 
I was so overcome with emotion at three of the kimono that I had  to hold back tears so I could read about them.  There were not many in number, but they were magnificent in their simple design, yet the technical aspect of the print creation is remarkable and the result stunning. I wish Mom had been with me.  If you Google "Kimono 1920" or "Kimono 1930" and choose "images" you will see something of what I mean about the beauty of these kimono.
Then I proceeded to the paperweight exhibit.  The description of how they are made impresses me, and makes them very desirable. I don't have one yet, but I am on the scout for a little gem.

I love the botanical ones that have roots. But really, who could choose just one?
AND then there are the Thorne Miniature Rooms. Please go to the link to view more of them.  I put my thumb in the picture for scale. There are 68 rooms total. As in this one, you can see one room from another, or sometimes the exterior of a room has gardens.
There are so many famous and stunning works at the Art Institute.
Here is Guido Reni's Salome and the Head of John the Baptist.
I wanted to see the "Primitive" room in the American wing, so I hurried down there.  The Curator there said he didn't get much traffic, so he was actually waving people in.
There was only one quilt, and its lighting was not good enough for a picture.  Here is "Sister Tuesday" by Leslie Bolling.  He is a self-taught artist who worked with a jack knife and then used gold pigment to make it look like bronze.
She was created in 1934.
Also in the primitive wing is this Mexican jar from around 1700.
As I was leaving the Institute for the day, I spied this German bowl with lid (1905).
At this point, I may have been missing my Kitten!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chicago Walk-About

Last Saturday I flew to Chicago.  I struck out on my lonesome.  At the airport I spotted the directions to the "orange line" and headed to the train.  After one (45 minute) circle around the city, I walked back up the ramp to the gate attendant and leaned through and asked "may I have a map please?  I didn't know at which stop to get off." So around the city again (this time I made friends of three little boys ages 6, 5 and 2). They were so cute jumping up waving so I could see them as the train pulled away. One older woman took me under her wing and discussed with the train operator what stop I should take.  Finally I found myself on the street walking toward the Art Institute and then along Michigan Avenue.  
I detoured through the park area to see the famous Buckingham fountain (top photo) and some of the gardens.  I stayed at the Hilton and was able to view the fireworks over Navy Pier from my room.
Many famous people have stayed at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue. It is the most beautiful hotel I've ever been in.
I took quite a few photos of the grand ballroom.
Beauty all around
Can you imagine an event here?
Sitting in the balcony watching people dance?
The outer gallery.
Staircase at the end of the gallery.
Detail of the carpet.

Ceiling of the inner gallery.
Kitten stayed home and waited for me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Missouri Town 1855

I was lucky enough to work at Missouri Town 1855 summers while I was in college in 1976-78.  I went back to visit while I was home last week.
I met the blacksmith.  He is one of two full-time employees of Missouri Town.
The anvil and grindstone are important tools for him to use.
The fire was not going in the blacksmith's.  Good thing; it was nearly 100 degrees outside, and look at his clothing!  Can you imagine wearing wool pants all summer? 
When I worked there I was responsible for currying the oxen and keeping their pasture free of thistle.
I was terrified of them at first, since the ones we had back then did double duty as rodeo rides.
Here is the herb garden.  I remember we had lemon balm and made tea in the fireplace at the inn.
Here is one of the cabins.
I leaned in and got some photos of the inside.  Guests of the park are not allowed to traipse through the buildings.  See the keyboard instrument at the left of the previous picture?  I don't remember if it is a clavichord or a harpsichord, but I used to play it while I was at work.  Okay, maybe "play" is too strong a word for me tinkling the keys with "Alley Cat" and "Do-Re-Mi."
This is the Inn.
And the kitchen next to the dining room in the Inn where I learned to spin wool into yarn.
Another bedroom.
And the woodsman's cottage. The must have made a lot of those little coffins back then. The woodsman's workshop was on one side and his family's living quarter on the other.  Can you imagine living (along with your family) and working in a two room dwelling?
I found the little lambs at the far side of the Town's property.
The bedroom below is one I hated to clean because it always had the most spiders.  The loft area was especially creepy with crawly things.
Here is the other side of the same room.
Pretty cool place to work.