Monday, August 16, 2010

In awe.

This weekend I went to the Art Institute of Chicago for the first time. My mom says I was there when I was a toddler, but that does NOT count! Let me just tell you, there is absolutely nothing like standing in front of a painting you've spent your whole life admiring.

Please excuse my photos- it was dark and practically impossible to get clear shots! There were three paintings that reduced me to tears- literally a pile of mush. First:

I stood there in awe staring at this painting trying to hide my tears. I hadn't expected such an emotional reaction- it caught me off guard. I have loved this van Gogh for as long as I can remember. There was nothing like standing a few inches from it. I will never forget that feeling.

Next painting to reduce me to tears:

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte work by Georges Seurat took my breath away. I'm including a photo with people present so you can see how large it is. I never knew it was this big!

Third painting to reduce me to tears:

Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day was also way bigger than I thought it would be, which is why I'm posting a photo including a person.

Mary Cassatt's The Child's Bath was another favorite- absolutely amazing:

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks was great fun to see in person!:

The mere size of this Georgia O'Keeffe work was breathtaking. It was HUGE! 24 feet wide, to be exact:


Some more classics:

The two photos below show paintings I thought were absolutely stunning when it comes to detail. I don't have the names of the paintings, unfortunately!:

I thought this woman was beautiful:

I absolutely loved the glowing woman in this one- just look at that face. It's haunting!:

As I look back at this post, it just looks so dull compared to what I saw and what I felt. What an amazing day.


  1. Wow I never realized they were that big either! (Well except for that one in Ferris Beulers Day Off!)
    Really neat, thanks for posting them!

  2. Oh how I miss that museum!
    The wandering from wing to wing it is just amazing.
    I took my husband (then boyfriend) to Chicago to see it and we were stranded inside for hours due to a thunderstorm and of course we were walking cuz that is what you do there. It will be a great memory always for me.

  3. Amy, I would love to be stranded there!

  4. I'm originally from the Chicago area so I've been to the art institute a lot. It is so amazing and beautiful. I love that place :)

  5. Oh man! the art museum in Chicago is on my list of places to go before I die! I did a paper on a huge art piece that's exhibited there, or maybe just was not long ago. It probably still is because when I researched it a year ago it had an entire room built specifically to house it. The piece is a gigantic triangle table with place settings created for many of hte great women in history. I really want ot see it in person some day!

  6. Those are all beautiful!!! I'm jealous <3

  7. that's so awesome! I would love to visit there someday. You have me wanting to go to the museum now! It is so incredible how amazing the master paintings are.

  8. My mom & sister had the same reaction when the van Gogh exhibit came to Phoenix. They said the colors on his sunflower painting was intense...

    truly inspiring

  9. I had that same reaction to the Seurat painting the first time I saw it there. I was just weeping and told my friend that I was never ever leaving. I was going to live next to that painting in the museum.
    Yeah, that didn't work, but that piece has such huge emotional impact, doesn't it?

  10. Oooh, love the Chicago museum <3 So glad you had a good time!! Just found your blog through your Etsy shop -- your stuff is beautiful. Just started to follow your blog :)

  11. I love seeing what affects different people at different museums. I love this post!

    Sarah--the Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum--it's one of my top favorite pieces of art. ever; and so worth seeing in person!

  12. Brought me to thinking of Cameron in Ferris Bueller when he looks at it closer and closer, beautiful pieces

  13. Good to read you had such a good time there, love paintings too...The water lilies from Claude Monet are one of my favorites :)

  14. Amy I cannot believe you've never been there!! (Do you have any details about your forgotten toddler trip?)
    I've been there countless times - and several of the paintings you pictured were singled out on school field trips. Did you see my very favorite (Morning on the Seine by Monet)? It's surprisingly small. Many years ago I bought a print in the Art Institute gift shop. RIGHT NOW it's being custom framed at Joanns -- expensive but I can't wait to see it. It figures you would be posting about the Art Institute right now too!

  15. The last painting is "At the Moulin Rouge" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It is also one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I can't get over how realistic these painting are. I'd love to see them in real life.

    -Zane of ontario honey


I read every single one of your comments- thanks for leaving one!